Baby the Rain Must Fall (1965)

100 mins | Drama | January 1965

Director:

Robert Mulligan

Writer:

Horton Foote

Producer:

Alan J. Pakula

Cinematographer:

Ernest Laszlo

Editor:

Aaron Stell

Production Designer:

Roland Anderson
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HISTORY

According to the 5 Jan 1964 NYT, director Robert Mulligan first produced Horton Foote’s 1954 Broadway play, The Traveling Lady, as a television drama of the same name in 1957. It was part of the award-winning series “Studio One in Hollywood,” originally titled, “Studio One” (CBS, 1948-1958), which featured weekly live performances of theatrical plays. After filming the television adaptation, Mulligan suggested to Foote that the screenplay would be a good vehicle for film. In 1962, producer Alan J. Pakula teamed with Mulligan and Foote on To Kill a Mockingbird (1962, see entry), for which Hoote received an Academy Award for his adaptation of Harper Lee’s 1960 novel of the same name. At that time, Pakula joined Mulligan in encouraging Foote to adapt The Traveling Lady.
       The 16 Nov 1962 DV announced that actor Steve McQueen and director Robert Mulligan were finalizing a deal to produce a film version of The Traveling Lady, with Lee Remick set to co-star. Over seven months later, the 28 Jun 1963 DV reported a Sep 1963 start date, with locations in TX, and named Columbia Pictures as the film’s distributor. On 4 Oct 1963, DV stated that principal photography would begin on 28 Oct 1963.
       According to the 9 Oct 1963 Var, 60 to 75% of filming was scheduled to take place in Wharton, TX, the birthplace of Horton Foote, and the remainder was to occur at Columbia Studios in Culver City, CA, totaling twenty one days of photography. Local students form Wharton Junior College and area high schools would serve as background actors. Locations ... More Less

According to the 5 Jan 1964 NYT, director Robert Mulligan first produced Horton Foote’s 1954 Broadway play, The Traveling Lady, as a television drama of the same name in 1957. It was part of the award-winning series “Studio One in Hollywood,” originally titled, “Studio One” (CBS, 1948-1958), which featured weekly live performances of theatrical plays. After filming the television adaptation, Mulligan suggested to Foote that the screenplay would be a good vehicle for film. In 1962, producer Alan J. Pakula teamed with Mulligan and Foote on To Kill a Mockingbird (1962, see entry), for which Hoote received an Academy Award for his adaptation of Harper Lee’s 1960 novel of the same name. At that time, Pakula joined Mulligan in encouraging Foote to adapt The Traveling Lady.
       The 16 Nov 1962 DV announced that actor Steve McQueen and director Robert Mulligan were finalizing a deal to produce a film version of The Traveling Lady, with Lee Remick set to co-star. Over seven months later, the 28 Jun 1963 DV reported a Sep 1963 start date, with locations in TX, and named Columbia Pictures as the film’s distributor. On 4 Oct 1963, DV stated that principal photography would begin on 28 Oct 1963.
       According to the 9 Oct 1963 Var, 60 to 75% of filming was scheduled to take place in Wharton, TX, the birthplace of Horton Foote, and the remainder was to occur at Columbia Studios in Culver City, CA, totaling twenty one days of photography. Local students form Wharton Junior College and area high schools would serve as background actors. Locations were planned for the Wagon Wheel tavern, and the Pecan Garden cafe. Preparations were currently underway as of early Oct 1963, with Mulligan starting work with construction crew foreman Ed Shanley. The Caravan Motel in Bay City, TX, would house the company during production, but Steve McQueen had rented a nearby home for his family, as noted in Var.
       The 18 Nov 1963 LAT indicated that a graveyard set had been built in Wharton, and noted additional locations in Columbus, TX. Local Sheriff Buckshot Lane was cast to play himself onscreen, and several other townsfolk had reportedly been cast in small roles.
       On 5 Jan 1964, NYT announced that filming was underway at that time at Columbia Studios. According to the 18 Feb 1964 LAT, principal photography had completed.
       Columbia listed the picture as one of seventy-seven features to be released in the coming year, as stated in the 5 May 1964 LAT.
       The 6 Nov 1964 DV reported that screenings were currently being held in New York City. Three weeks later, the 25 Nov 1964 Var announced the title change to Baby, the Rain Must Fall.
       The picture opened in New York City on 13 Jan 1965, according to the 14 Jan 1965 NYT review. The 21 Jan 1965 LAT announced that the Los Angeles opening would be held on 27 Jan 1965, accompanied by the 1964 British feature film, Psyche 59, starring Patricia Neal and Samantha Eggar.
       Reviews were negative. The 13 Jan 1965 Var praised the “outstanding performances” and Ernest Laszlo’s camera work, but declared that the “somber” story filled with plot holes would “leave viewers confused and depressed.” The NYT concurred that the viewers would be “in the dark” and “left dangling and dissatisfied” by the story. The 29 Jan 1965 LAT review faulted the “unsympathetic characters,” and deemed the picture a “dreary, arty, low-keyed exercise in futility.”
       Baby the Rain Must Fall marked the acting debut of child star Kimberly Block, whom the Var review called “an appealing moppet.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
16 Nov 1962
p. 2.
Daily Variety
28 Jun 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
16 Aug 1963
p. 6.
Daily Variety
23 Aug 1963
p. 6.
Daily Variety
4 Oct 1963
p. 3.
Daily Variety
24 Oct 1963
p. 4.
Daily Variety
6 Nov 1964
p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
18 Nov 1963
Section D, p. 17.
Los Angeles Times
18 Feb 1964
Section D, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
5 May 1964
Section D, p. 17.
Los Angeles Times
21 Jan 1965
Section C, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
29 Jan 1965
Section C, p. 7.
New York Times
5 Jan 1964
Section X, p. 7.
New York Times
14 Jan 1965
p. 44.
Variety
9 Oct 1963
p. 5.
Variety
25 Nov 1964
p. 6.
Variety
13 Jan 1965
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Columbia Pictures Corporation Presents
A Pakula-Mulligan Production
A Park Place-Solar Productions Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Asst cam
Stills
Gaffer
Best boy
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Greensman
COSTUMES
Costumes
Costumes
MUSIC
Song lyrics by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles des by
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Hairdresser
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Asst to the prod
Scr supv
Transportation
First aid
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play The Traveling Lady by Horton Foote (New York, 27 Oct 1954), produced by the Playwrights Company
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Gospel Time," "Henry's Heap," "Pecan Grove Rock," "Travelin' Lady" and "Wagon Wheel Watusi," music and lyrics by Elmer Bernstein
"Baby the Rain Must Fall," "Shine for Me" and "Treat Me Right," music and lyrics by Elmer Bernstein and Ernie Sheldon.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Traveling Lady
Release Date:
January 1965
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 13 January 1965
Los Angeles opening: 27 January 1965
Production Date:
28 October 1963--January/February 1964
Copyright Claimant:
Park Place Productions
Copyright Date:
31 December 1964
Copyright Number:
LP29944
Physical Properties:
Sound
Rec on RCA equip
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
100
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
20675
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Georgette Thomas and her daughter, Margaret Rose, travel by bus to a small Texas town to meet her husband, Henry, when he is released from prison after serving time for stabbing a man during a drunken brawl. Slim, the local sheriff and boyhood friend of Henry, takes Georgette to her husband, a guitar-playing singer still dominated by Miss Kate Dawson, the aging spinster who reared him following the death of his parents. Henry tries to make a home for his wife and daughter, but Miss Kate forbids his singing in local nightclubs, threatening to have him returned to prison if he does not obey her. When Miss Kate finally dies, with a curse for him on her lips, the frustrated Henry drunkenly destroys her possessions and desecrates her grave. Henry is returned to prison, and Georgette and Margaret Rose leave town with ... +


Georgette Thomas and her daughter, Margaret Rose, travel by bus to a small Texas town to meet her husband, Henry, when he is released from prison after serving time for stabbing a man during a drunken brawl. Slim, the local sheriff and boyhood friend of Henry, takes Georgette to her husband, a guitar-playing singer still dominated by Miss Kate Dawson, the aging spinster who reared him following the death of his parents. Henry tries to make a home for his wife and daughter, but Miss Kate forbids his singing in local nightclubs, threatening to have him returned to prison if he does not obey her. When Miss Kate finally dies, with a curse for him on her lips, the frustrated Henry drunkenly destroys her possessions and desecrates her grave. Henry is returned to prison, and Georgette and Margaret Rose leave town with Slim. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.