The Rains of Ranchipur (1955)

102 or 104 mins | Melodrama | December 1955

Director:

Jean Negulesco

Writer:

Merle Miller

Producer:

Frank Ross

Cinematographer:

Milton Krasner

Editor:

Dorothy Spencer

Production Designers:

Lyle Wheeler, Addison Hehr

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Rains Came . According to HR news items, the picture was originally to be shot on location in both India and Pakistan. Modern sources claim that India refused to grant the studio a filming permit, however, and contemporary sources reported that backgrounds for the picture were shot on location in Pakistan only. Some location shooting was also done on the Twentieth Century-Fox ranch in Malibu, CA, according to HR news items.
       Lana Turner was borrowed from M-G-M for the production, which was her first for Fox. HR news items include the following actors in the cast, although their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed: Paul H. Frees, Erlyn Botelho, Maxine Botelho, Anna May Fonte, Christopher Nava, Capt. Fernan Garcia, Sushila Janadas, Aladdin Sufi, Mary Lou Clifford, Daniel Ninez, Robert Pola, Tony Fillon, Arthur Mendez, Kanza Omar, Lei Aloha, Herb Pacheco, Gil Brown, Yuri Lani and Vi Ingraham. According to a 16 Sep 1955 HR news item, the film’s special effects budget was raised from an initial $260,000 to $400,000, and its overall budget was increased from $3,500,000 to $4,500,000.
       The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Special Effects but lost to The Bridges at Toko-Ri . Actress Joan Caulfield was married to producer Frank Ross at the time of production. The Rains of Ranchipur marked her first film since the 1952 United Artists release The Lady Says No , also produced by Ross (see above). Caulfield did not appear in another picture until the 1963 M-G-M release Cattle King (see ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Rains Came . According to HR news items, the picture was originally to be shot on location in both India and Pakistan. Modern sources claim that India refused to grant the studio a filming permit, however, and contemporary sources reported that backgrounds for the picture were shot on location in Pakistan only. Some location shooting was also done on the Twentieth Century-Fox ranch in Malibu, CA, according to HR news items.
       Lana Turner was borrowed from M-G-M for the production, which was her first for Fox. HR news items include the following actors in the cast, although their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed: Paul H. Frees, Erlyn Botelho, Maxine Botelho, Anna May Fonte, Christopher Nava, Capt. Fernan Garcia, Sushila Janadas, Aladdin Sufi, Mary Lou Clifford, Daniel Ninez, Robert Pola, Tony Fillon, Arthur Mendez, Kanza Omar, Lei Aloha, Herb Pacheco, Gil Brown, Yuri Lani and Vi Ingraham. According to a 16 Sep 1955 HR news item, the film’s special effects budget was raised from an initial $260,000 to $400,000, and its overall budget was increased from $3,500,000 to $4,500,000.
       The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Special Effects but lost to The Bridges at Toko-Ri . Actress Joan Caulfield was married to producer Frank Ross at the time of production. The Rains of Ranchipur marked her first film since the 1952 United Artists release The Lady Says No , also produced by Ross (see above). Caulfield did not appear in another picture until the 1963 M-G-M release Cattle King (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ).
       Louis Bromfield’s novel had previously been filmed by Fox in 1939. Entitled The Rains Came , the picture was directed by Clarence Brown and starred Tyrone Power, Myrna Loy and George Brent. According to a modern source, Turner had been considered for the role of “Fern Simon” in the 1939 production. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
1 Dec 55
pp. 708-709, 731, 733-34.
Box Office
17 Dec 1955.
---
Daily Variety
14 Dec 55
p. 3.
Film Daily
14 Dec 55
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Oct 1954
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jan 1955
p. 1, 4.
Hollywood Reporter
20 May 1955
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jun 1955
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jun 1955
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jul 1955
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Aug 1955
p. 10, 12.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Aug 1955
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Aug 1955
p. 3, 5.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Aug 1955
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Aug 1955
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Aug 1955
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Sep 1955
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Sep 1955
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Sep 1955
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Sep 1955
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Sep 1955
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Nov 1955
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Dec 55
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Feb 1956
p. 5.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
17 Dec 55
p. 705.
New York Times
16 Dec 55
p. 38.
Newsweek
2 Jan 1956.
---
Variety
14 Dec 55
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Loc dir of photog
Cam op
Cam op
2d asst cam
Cam asst
Key grip
Boom op
Boom op
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward dir
Cost des
Miss Turner's gowns des
Ward asst
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styling
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Auditor
Prod asst
Prod asst
Scr and prod secy
Casting
STAND INS
Double
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Rains Came by Louis Bromfield (New York, 1937).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Rains Came
Release Date:
December 1955
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 15 December 1955
Los Angeles opening: 16 December 1955
Production Date:
15 August--mid September 1955
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
15 December 1955
Copyright Number:
LP5962
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Lenses/Prints
lenses by Bausch & Lomb
Duration(in mins):
102 or 104
Length(in feet):
9,341
Length(in reels):
12
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17673
SYNOPSIS

Lord Alan Esketh, an impoverished Englishman who married for money, travels to the province of Ranchipur, India with his wealthy American wife, Lady Edwina. During their journey, Alan upbraids Edwina, who indulges in many love affairs, for her selfishness and greed. At Ranchipur, Edwina and Alan are greeted by the aged but regal Maharani, from whom they want to buy a prize stallion. The Maharani tells them she is hosting a dinner party in their honor, at which one of the guests will be Dr. Safti, her late husband’s protégé. In the morning, Edwina is surprised by a visit from her childhood friend, engineer Tom Ransome, who has retreated to a life of quiet drunkenness in Ranchipur. Later, at the village’s American mission, vivacious Fern Simon receives an invitation to the Maharani’s party. Her mother does not want her to go unaccompanied, so Fern introduces herself to Tom and asks her to take him. Tom is nonplussed by the young woman’s questions about his lifestyle but genially agrees to escort her. That evening, Edwina is attracted to the quiet Safti, much to the dismay of the Maharani. While Edwina blatanly stares at Safti, Tom and Fern talk on the balcony, and Fern asks Tom to loan her $1,000 so that she can attend teaching school in the United States. Fern explains that she does not want to marry the dull Englishman chosen by her mother, but Tom states that her reputation will be damaged if anyone learns that he gave her money. Tom promises to help her achieve her goal, however, and Fern’s interest in the much older Tom grows. After the evening’s entertainment, Edwina gets Safti alone and ... +


Lord Alan Esketh, an impoverished Englishman who married for money, travels to the province of Ranchipur, India with his wealthy American wife, Lady Edwina. During their journey, Alan upbraids Edwina, who indulges in many love affairs, for her selfishness and greed. At Ranchipur, Edwina and Alan are greeted by the aged but regal Maharani, from whom they want to buy a prize stallion. The Maharani tells them she is hosting a dinner party in their honor, at which one of the guests will be Dr. Safti, her late husband’s protégé. In the morning, Edwina is surprised by a visit from her childhood friend, engineer Tom Ransome, who has retreated to a life of quiet drunkenness in Ranchipur. Later, at the village’s American mission, vivacious Fern Simon receives an invitation to the Maharani’s party. Her mother does not want her to go unaccompanied, so Fern introduces herself to Tom and asks her to take him. Tom is nonplussed by the young woman’s questions about his lifestyle but genially agrees to escort her. That evening, Edwina is attracted to the quiet Safti, much to the dismay of the Maharani. While Edwina blatanly stares at Safti, Tom and Fern talk on the balcony, and Fern asks Tom to loan her $1,000 so that she can attend teaching school in the United States. Fern explains that she does not want to marry the dull Englishman chosen by her mother, but Tom states that her reputation will be damaged if anyone learns that he gave her money. Tom promises to help her achieve her goal, however, and Fern’s interest in the much older Tom grows. After the evening’s entertainment, Edwina gets Safti alone and flirts aggressively with him, and he finds himself reluctantly responding. After the party, the Maharani explains to Edwina that she and her husband reared Safti after his parents, who were of the Untouchable caste, died. Safti served five years in prison for participating in the movement to free India, but since then, has become indispensible to Ranchipur. The Maharani orders Edwina not to interfere with Safti’s career, to which Edwina blithely replies that she is not interested in his career. Soon after, Alan and Edwina accompany Safti on a safari to kill a man-eating tiger. At the camp that night, Alan tells Edwina that he is sickened by her behavior and will be filing for divorce. Edwina then dines alone with Safti, who expresses regret for flirting with her, and states that he will not be added to her collection of men. Edwina storms off but cries out when she sees a cobra. Safti rescues her, and finds himself comforting the crying woman with an embrace. The next day, Alan shoots the tiger but he is mauled when he goes to inspect the beast. Safti saves him and Alan is taken to the palace to recuperate. As time passes, Safti falls in love with Edwina and admits to his feelings when questioned by Alan. Alan protests that Edwina merely uses men before disposing of them, but Safti will not be dissuaded from seeing her. Safti then meets Edwina, who has genuinely fallen in love with him but fears that she will not be able to change. That night, as the rains descend on Ranchipur, Fern goes to Tom’s house with the intention of spending the night on the couch. Fern explains that if everyone believes she has had an affair with him, no one in Ranchipur will marry her and her mother will be forced to find the money to send her away. Tom, who is falling in love with Fern, insists on taking her home, and explains that he became disillusioned after fighting in World War II. Later, the Maharani visits Safti’s hospital, and there confronts her foster son. After Safti confesses that he loves Edwina, the Maharani decides to order her to leave Ranchipur. Soon after, at a party given by Mr. Adoani, the Maharani’s aide, a drunken Tom, certain that Edwina will destroy Safti, exhorts her to abandon her affair with the doctor. Safti and Tom are about to come to blows when an earthquake rocks the area, followed by an even stronger one. Safti makes it across the river to the other side of the village just before the dam, weakened by the rain and tremors, crumbles and the village is flooded. The hysterical Edwina collapses, and Tom realizes that she is gravely ill. Tom spends the night looking after Edwina, while at the hospital, Safti tends to the hundreds of injured. Fern arrives at the Adoanis’ house in a boat, which Tom uses to transport Edwina to the mission. There, Emily Smiley, the reverend’s wife, nurses Edwina, who calls for Safti. Fearing that Edwina is dying, Emily sends word to Alan, who reveals to Safti that he truly loves Edwina and selflessly begs him to go to her. Safti cannot bring himself to leave the many people who need him, however, and soon Edwina recovers on her own. The area is still flooded due to a dam of debris at a narrow spot in the river, thus preventing travel from one side of the village to the other and increasing the risk of disease. Suddenly, an explosion rocks the village and the debris is blown away, freeing the water. After the floodwaters have subsided, Safti goes to the mission, where he reveals that Tom was the one who risked his life to clear the narrows. As a proud Fern embraces Tom, Safti finds Edwina, who is devastated that Safti knew she was ill yet chose to stay at the hospital. Safti, who is thrilled with the opportunity to rebuild the village and provide clean, safe housing for the Untouchables, tries to persuade Edwina to stay in Ranchipur. Later, however, Edwina and Alan prepare to leave the palace together. Edwina bids farewell to the Maharani, who bitterly rejects Edwina’s assertion that she is finally committing a selfless act by going away so that Safti can achieve his goals unhindered. As Edwina departs, she is approached by Safti, who tells her that she must always see herself as he sees her, as good, kind and capable of great unselfishness. Heartbroken, Edwina leaves without a word to join Alan, who comforts her with a smile. +

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

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