The Rains Came (1939)

100 or 102-104 mins | Drama | 15 September 1939

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HISTORY

According to news items in HR , Darryl Zanuck originally planned to co-star Ronald Colman and Marlene Dietrich in this film, which was shot on location in Balboa Park, CA. Other news items in HR note that the film was budgeted at $2,500,000. $500,000 was allotted for sets and $500,000 allotted for the flood and earthquake scenes. 350 grips, carpenters and other laborers worked for more than a month on these sequences. To create the effects in the flood scenes, a tank holding approximately 50,000 gallons of water was erected on a studio soundstage. Another news item in HR adds that the budget was increased by $100,000 in Jun so that a new ending could be filmed.
       According to another news item in HR , cameraman Arthur Miller replaced Bert Glennon in early May after Glennon became ill. Myrna Loy was borrowed from M-G-M for this picture. The picture marked the screen debut of actress Brenda Joyce (1912--2009). It won an Academy Award for Best Special Effects and was nominated for Best Art Direction, Best Editing, Best Musical Score and Best Sound Recording. In 1940, George Brent and Kay Francis starred in a Lux Radio Theater version of the story. The 1955 film The Rains of Ranchipur , directed by Jean Negulesco and starring Lana Turner and Richard Burton, was a remake of this film. According to a modern source, Turner was considered for the role of "Fern Simon" for the 1939 ... More Less

According to news items in HR , Darryl Zanuck originally planned to co-star Ronald Colman and Marlene Dietrich in this film, which was shot on location in Balboa Park, CA. Other news items in HR note that the film was budgeted at $2,500,000. $500,000 was allotted for sets and $500,000 allotted for the flood and earthquake scenes. 350 grips, carpenters and other laborers worked for more than a month on these sequences. To create the effects in the flood scenes, a tank holding approximately 50,000 gallons of water was erected on a studio soundstage. Another news item in HR adds that the budget was increased by $100,000 in Jun so that a new ending could be filmed.
       According to another news item in HR , cameraman Arthur Miller replaced Bert Glennon in early May after Glennon became ill. Myrna Loy was borrowed from M-G-M for this picture. The picture marked the screen debut of actress Brenda Joyce (1912--2009). It won an Academy Award for Best Special Effects and was nominated for Best Art Direction, Best Editing, Best Musical Score and Best Sound Recording. In 1940, George Brent and Kay Francis starred in a Lux Radio Theater version of the story. The 1955 film The Rains of Ranchipur , directed by Jean Negulesco and starring Lana Turner and Richard Burton, was a remake of this film. According to a modern source, Turner was considered for the role of "Fern Simon" for the 1939 version. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
7 Sep 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
11 Sep 39
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Apr 39
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Apr 39
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Apr 39
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
2 May 39
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
5 May 39
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
13 May 39
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jun 39
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jun 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jul 39
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Sep 39
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
11 Sep 39
p. 8.
Motion Picture Herald
9 Sep 39
p. 46.
New York Times
9 Sep 39
p. 11.
Variety
13 Sep 39
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
2d unit dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff scenes staged by
PRODUCTION MISC
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Rains Came by Louis Bromfield (New York, 1937).
SONGS
"The Rains Came," music and lyrics by Mack Gordon and Harry Revel
"Hindoo Song of Love," music and lyrics by Lal Chand Mehra.
DETAILS
Release Date:
15 September 1939
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 9 September 1939
Production Date:
16 April--late June 1939
additional scenes filmed in late July
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
15 September 1939
Copyright Number:
LP9199
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
100 or 102-104
Length(in feet):
9,407
Length(in reels):
12
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
5320
SYNOPSIS

In Ranchipur, India, British artist Tom Ransome idles away his time with drinking and careless socializing, having long ago ceased work on a portrait of the Maharajah. Despite his reputation as a bounder, Tom maintains a sincere friendship with the dignified and progressive Major Rama Safti, a physician highly favored by the aging Maharajah and his wife, the Maharani, and who encourages Tom to resume his painting. One afternoon, Tom reluctantly accepts an invitation to a formal tea at the home of the social climbing Mrs. Simon, but annoys his hostess by stopping beforehand for a visit with her neighbor and Tom’s aunt, Phoebe Smiley, and her minister husband Homer, who heads a children’s school. Later, at the tea, Tom meets Mrs. Simon’s young daughter Fern who is immediately smitten with him. The tea is interrupted when Tom is summoned to the palace to join a dinner welcoming the visiting Lord Albert and Lady Edwina Esketh. Upon arriving at the party, Tom is surprised to discover that Lady Esketh is a former lover who has married the boorish, older Albert for his money. Edwina is initially amused then bored by Tom’s description of the allure of Indian life and, as the long-awaited seasonal rains begin to fall outside, confesses her disdain for her married life. Later, Edwina spots the handsome Rama playing cards nearby and asks Tom about him. Upon returning home that night, Tom is surprised to find Fern, who announces that she has run away from home. Although Tom kisses Fern, he immediately has his manservant John drive her home. The next day, because ... +


In Ranchipur, India, British artist Tom Ransome idles away his time with drinking and careless socializing, having long ago ceased work on a portrait of the Maharajah. Despite his reputation as a bounder, Tom maintains a sincere friendship with the dignified and progressive Major Rama Safti, a physician highly favored by the aging Maharajah and his wife, the Maharani, and who encourages Tom to resume his painting. One afternoon, Tom reluctantly accepts an invitation to a formal tea at the home of the social climbing Mrs. Simon, but annoys his hostess by stopping beforehand for a visit with her neighbor and Tom’s aunt, Phoebe Smiley, and her minister husband Homer, who heads a children’s school. Later, at the tea, Tom meets Mrs. Simon’s young daughter Fern who is immediately smitten with him. The tea is interrupted when Tom is summoned to the palace to join a dinner welcoming the visiting Lord Albert and Lady Edwina Esketh. Upon arriving at the party, Tom is surprised to discover that Lady Esketh is a former lover who has married the boorish, older Albert for his money. Edwina is initially amused then bored by Tom’s description of the allure of Indian life and, as the long-awaited seasonal rains begin to fall outside, confesses her disdain for her married life. Later, Edwina spots the handsome Rama playing cards nearby and asks Tom about him. Upon returning home that night, Tom is surprised to find Fern, who announces that she has run away from home. Although Tom kisses Fern, he immediately has his manservant John drive her home. The next day, because Albert is suffering from congestion, Edwina sends for Rama, then insists that he remain for tea. Although he tries to evade Edwina’s pointed flirtations, Rama politely agrees to take her horseback riding later that afternoon. When their ride is interrupted by another downpour, Rama and Edwina stop at the Maharajah’s music school and listen to a traditional singer render an ancient Indian love song. Over the next few days, Rama spends increasingly more time with Edwina, to the dismay of hospital superintendent Miss MacDaid, who believes that Edwina is a corrupting influence. A few nights later, with Albert still ill, Edwina and a drunken Tom attend a party at the home of the obsequious Mr. Bannerjee. When Tom advises Edwina to leave Rama alone, she admits to having failed utterly in her attempt to seduce him. Nevertheless, at the party, Edwina joins Rama and walks out onto the terrace with him, and reveals that Albert has grown bored with Ranchipur and intends to depart very soon. Just then there is a mild temblor, followed by a violent quake that sends buildings crashing into the street onto panicked residents. The violence of the quake cracks a nearby dam, which collapses, sending a flood of water raging over the rubble of the city. While the Maharani orders the military to take immediate action to help her people, Rama and MacDaid struggle to return to the mission hospital. Meanwhile, a terrified Albert pleads for help from his long suffering valet, Bates, just before their dwelling collapses upon both men. The next morning, Tom and Edwina, who, trapped at the Bannerjee’s home because of the high waters, are surprised when Fern paddles up to the house in a dinghy, confessing her concern for Tom. Ordering the drenched and exhausted girl to rest, Tom then takes Edwina to the Smiley residence as Homer arrives with several displaced children. As Tom makes his return to the Bennerjees’, the rains resume and the little dinghy capsizes, forcing him to find momentary refuge clinging to a partially submerged statue of Queen Victoria. He then swims back to the Bannerjees’ where he collapses in exhaustion by the sleeping Fern. As the waters begin to recede gradually from Ranchipur, Rama struggles in vain to save the life of the ailing Maharajah, who pleads with him to help the Maharani rebuild the state. After the Maharani declares a state of emergency, Rama receives confirmation of plague and pronounces the city’s water contaminated. The Maharani asks Tom to be her aide-de-camp and he agrees, then asks Fern to assist him. Unexpectedly discomfited by her inactivity in the midst of the disaster, Edwina volunteers at the hospital. She meekly accepts the drudge work assigned by MacDaid, but after Rama finds Edwina cleaning out rooms, Rama orders MacDaid to place her on the wards. Over the next several days, while Rama orders buildings burned in order to contain the spread of plague, Tom and Fern assume charge of food supplies and Edwina continues working in the plague ridden wards. One afternoon, Rama expresses his appreciation to Edwina for her volunteer work and is unexpectedly moved when he realizes that she has remained out of devotion to him. Soon after, an airplane bearing several British military officers arrives to assure the Maharani of the Viceroy’s support to rebuild the state. Learning that the officers’ return flight has an extra open seat, the Maharani asks Tom to convince Edwina to depart Ranchipur, as she is a distraction to Rama, the personally selected successor of the Maharajah. Tom tells Edwina of the Maharani’s request, but she refuses to depart, declaring that she is in love for the first time in her life. That afternoon on her hospital shift, Edwina accidentally drinks from a glass used by a contaminated patient and realizes with horror that she will be stricken. Before dawn the next morning, Rama comes to the ward to see Edwina and happily reveals that there have been no new plague cases. When Rama admits that he has fallen in love with her after she consciously abandoned her hedonistic behavior, Edwina expresses her great happiness, then collapses. Realizing she has been afflicted, Rama takes her to the private ward as MacDaid sadly looks on. Distraught that Edwina is dying, Rama turns to Tom for support, and his friend bluntly tells him that he must forget Edwina as he cannot let down all those relying on him. After giving her jewelry to Fern, Edwina presents Tom with her wedding ring and insists that he settle down and marry the devoted Fern. A little later, while Rama assures Edwina of their future together, she dies. To the Maharaja's great relief, soon after Edwina’s death, Rama accepts his obligation and assumes the position as Ranchipur’s new Maharajah. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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