Miracle in the Rain (1956)

107 or 110 mins | Melodrama, Romance | 7 April 1956

Director:

Rudolph Maté

Writer:

Ben Hecht

Producer:

Frank P. Rosenberg

Cinematographer:

Russell Metty

Editor:

Thomas Reilly

Production Designer:

Leo Kuter

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

Voice-over narration is heard at the beginning of the film, introducing the setting as New York City, May 1942. At the end of the film, the narrator says, “That’s the way we heard it. We’d like to believe it’s true!” Ben Hecht's onscreen credit reads: "Novel and screenplay by Ben Hecht." A condensed version of author Ben Hecht’s 1943 novel, Miracle in the Rain , appeared in the 3 Apr 1943 SEP . According to a Feb 1944 HR news item, Hecht was planning to write, direct and produce a film version of his story with the help of cameraman Lee Garmes and assistant director Harold Godsoe. Jul 1947 HR and LAEx news items reported that Benedict Bogeaus purchased the property for his company, Arcadia Productions, which he co-owned with actress Ida Lupino. According to the LAEx news item, Lupino and Bogeaus planned for Lupino to star in the film and King Vidor to direct.
       In Jan 1953, LAHE reported that, prior to Bogeaus and Lupino’s acquisition, the property had belonged to M-G-M and afterward changed hands several times: The Arcadia producers sold it to Raphael Hakim and a year later Alfred Guarini bought it as a starring vehicle for his wife, Italian actress Isa Miranda. Charles Feldman next bought the property, planning to produce it with Vittorio de Sica. An Apr 1952 Var news item reported that De Sica and Feldman planned to produce the property under a different title and that the script, which Thornton Wilder and Orin Jennings would write, would be set in Chicago.
       A May 1954 ... More Less

Voice-over narration is heard at the beginning of the film, introducing the setting as New York City, May 1942. At the end of the film, the narrator says, “That’s the way we heard it. We’d like to believe it’s true!” Ben Hecht's onscreen credit reads: "Novel and screenplay by Ben Hecht." A condensed version of author Ben Hecht’s 1943 novel, Miracle in the Rain , appeared in the 3 Apr 1943 SEP . According to a Feb 1944 HR news item, Hecht was planning to write, direct and produce a film version of his story with the help of cameraman Lee Garmes and assistant director Harold Godsoe. Jul 1947 HR and LAEx news items reported that Benedict Bogeaus purchased the property for his company, Arcadia Productions, which he co-owned with actress Ida Lupino. According to the LAEx news item, Lupino and Bogeaus planned for Lupino to star in the film and King Vidor to direct.
       In Jan 1953, LAHE reported that, prior to Bogeaus and Lupino’s acquisition, the property had belonged to M-G-M and afterward changed hands several times: The Arcadia producers sold it to Raphael Hakim and a year later Alfred Guarini bought it as a starring vehicle for his wife, Italian actress Isa Miranda. Charles Feldman next bought the property, planning to produce it with Vittorio de Sica. An Apr 1952 Var news item reported that De Sica and Feldman planned to produce the property under a different title and that the script, which Thornton Wilder and Orin Jennings would write, would be set in Chicago.
       A May 1954 DV news item announced that Frank P. Rosenberg acquired the film rights to the property and was at one time negotiating with Audrey Hepburn for the lead role. Neither Sal Mineo, who was reported to be cast by a May 1955 HR news item, nor Biff Elliott , who tested for the lead, according to an Apr 1955 HR news item, appeared in the released film. Although their appearance in the film has not been confirmed, HR news items add the following actors to the cast: Kathleen O’Malley, Harry Harvey, Jr., Anna Dewey, Chalo Alvarado, Darlene Fields and Eddie Foy III. Actress Eileen Heckart’s name is misspelled as “Hackart” in the Var review. Although Jun 1955 HR news item added Paul Maxey to the cast, he did not appear in the viewed print. Miracle in the Rain marked the final film of long-time character actor Halliwell Hobbes, who died in 1962.
       Portions of the film were shot in various locations in New York City, among them Central Park and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. According to an undated, but contemporary, HCN article found in the file for the film at the AMPAS library, Miracle in the Rain marked the first time the interior of the cathedral appeared in a commercial film. According to a Feb 1956 HR news item, a special screening of the film was held for New York City's cardinal, Francis J. Spellman, who was interested in seeing the scenes filmed there. As noted in a Mar 1955 DV news item, a marquee advertising Miracle in the Rain appears in a street scene in the film Illegal , which was also produced by Frank P. Rosenberg.
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
4 Feb 1956.
---
Daily Variety
6 May 1954.
---
Daily Variety
11 Mar 1955
p. 5.
Daily Variety
1 Feb 56
p. 3.
Film Daily
9 Feb 56
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Feb 1944
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jul 1947.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Apr 1955
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
13 May 1955
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
23 May 1955
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
27 May 1955
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jun 1955
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Jun 1955
pp. 6, 8.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jun 1955
p. 17.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jun 1955
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jun 1955
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jun 1955
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jun 1955
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jun 1955
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jul 1955
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jul 1955
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Jul 1955
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Feb 56
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Feb 1956
p. 20.
Los Angeles Examiner
5 Jul 1947.
---
Los Angeles Examiner
29 Mar 1956.
---
Los Angeles Herald Express
5 Jan 1953.
---
Los Angeles Times
29 Mar 1956.
---
New York Times
2 Apr 56
p. 18.
Variety
23 Apr 1952.
---
Variety
1 Feb 56
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
Scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Dial supv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Miracle in the Rain by Ben Hecht (New York, 1943).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"I'll Always Believe in You," music by Ray Heindorf and M. K. Jerome, lyrics by Ned Washington.
DETAILS
Release Date:
7 April 1956
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 31 March 1956
Production Date:
mid May--9 July 1955
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
7 April 1956
Copyright Number:
LP8171
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
1.75:1
Duration(in mins):
107 or 110
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
17600
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In New York City in 1942, secretary Ruth Wood lives quietly with her ailing mother Agnes. Ruth’s co-workers at Excelsior Shoe Manufacturing Co. are Grace Ullman and Millie Kranz, a young blonde who is having an affair with her married boss, Stephen Jalonik. Also in the office is Monty, a young shipping clerk classified by the draft as 4-F, who monitors the war’s campaigns on a world map pinned to the wall. One evening after work, when a cloudburst forces Ruth and other pedestrians to take shelter in the vestibule of an office building, Arthur Hugenon, a cheerful, talkative G.I. stationed in the area, surprises the shy Ruth by starting a conversation. When he invites her to dinner, she declines, saying that her housebound mother is expecting her. Undeterred, Art buys food for three at a delicatessen and accompanies Ruth home. Agnes, who has distrusted men since her husband Harry left her for another woman ten years earlier, receives Art with little enthusiasm. During the meal, Art, who grew up on a Tennessee farm, captivates Ruth with his stories and afterward entertains them by playing the piano. Upon finding the manuscript of an unfinished song Harry composed, Art asks permission to take it back to camp, where he and an Army buddy will write lyrics for it. On the weekend, Art takes Ruth and Grace to a matinee. On their way to a restaurant, they stop at an auction and Ruth impulsively bids on an antique Roman coin, which she gives to Art for good luck. At the Café Normandy, where they have dinner, Ruth is unaware that the piano player is her father, whom she has not ... +


In New York City in 1942, secretary Ruth Wood lives quietly with her ailing mother Agnes. Ruth’s co-workers at Excelsior Shoe Manufacturing Co. are Grace Ullman and Millie Kranz, a young blonde who is having an affair with her married boss, Stephen Jalonik. Also in the office is Monty, a young shipping clerk classified by the draft as 4-F, who monitors the war’s campaigns on a world map pinned to the wall. One evening after work, when a cloudburst forces Ruth and other pedestrians to take shelter in the vestibule of an office building, Arthur Hugenon, a cheerful, talkative G.I. stationed in the area, surprises the shy Ruth by starting a conversation. When he invites her to dinner, she declines, saying that her housebound mother is expecting her. Undeterred, Art buys food for three at a delicatessen and accompanies Ruth home. Agnes, who has distrusted men since her husband Harry left her for another woman ten years earlier, receives Art with little enthusiasm. During the meal, Art, who grew up on a Tennessee farm, captivates Ruth with his stories and afterward entertains them by playing the piano. Upon finding the manuscript of an unfinished song Harry composed, Art asks permission to take it back to camp, where he and an Army buddy will write lyrics for it. On the weekend, Art takes Ruth and Grace to a matinee. On their way to a restaurant, they stop at an auction and Ruth impulsively bids on an antique Roman coin, which she gives to Art for good luck. At the Café Normandy, where they have dinner, Ruth is unaware that the piano player is her father, whom she has not seen since he left Agnes. However, Harry recognizes Ruth and confides to the bartender that he has been too ashamed to return to his family. Later, Ruth tells Art that Agnes tried to kill herself after Harry left and still hopes for his return. On their next date, Art sings for Ruth “I’ll Always Believe in You,” the lyrics he and his friend have written for Harry’s song. As Ruth and Art walk through Central Park, Ruth voices her fears about the war and Art tells her she must have faith. They then encounter Sgt. Gil Parker, while he takes snapshots of his new bride, Arleene Witchy, who works as a striptease dancer. Gil asks Art to take their picture and then offers to photograph Art and Ruth. In private, Gil warns Art that his division will soon be shipped overseas, but Art refuses to believe the rumor. At the lagoon, where children are sailing toy boats, Art recognizes the name of an elderly man, Commodore Eli B. Windgate. “Windy,” as he is now called, is a former yacht owner who owned many of the surrounding buildings before losing his fortune. Art, who hopes to be a reporter after the war, senses a good feature story and interviews Windy on the spot. He then takes Ruth to the New York Times Building and convinces the city editor to let him write the story. Instead of taking payment, Art asks to be considered for a reporting job after the war. On their next date, Art arrives late riding on a truck filled with other soldiers. Having only a few minutes before he will be shipped out, he asks Ruth to marry him when he returns and, to allay her fears, says he still has the lucky Roman coin. For three months, Ruth writes Art every day, but receives no letters in return. Finally, a specially delivered letter arrives, informing her that Art died on the battlefield and that his dying wish was that she be told he still loves her. Ruth despairs, although her friends and co-workers try to console her. Millie, moved by Ruth’s misfortune, drops Jalonik as her lover and takes another job. Grace finds Ruth mourning in Central Park and takes her to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where Ruth lights candles under the statue of St. Andrew. Jalonik, hoping Ruth will fill the void left by Millie in his personal life, takes her to the Café Normandy to cheer her up, but Ruth is too grief-stricken to pay attention to him. Art’s friend Dixie publishes Harry’s song under his own name, and when Harry hears it on the radio, he calls Agnes to ask her what happened to his manuscript. When Agnes answers the phone, he loses his nerve and hangs up. Although he has written several letters to Agnes, Harry always loses courage and tears them up. Ruth returns often to the statue of St. Andrew and talks to the young priest there. Losing interest in life, she ignores a cold, which turns into pneumonia. Mrs. Hammer, the upstairs neighbor who has often helped Ruth care for Agnes, now helps Agnes nurse Ruth. One rainy night, the feverish Ruth leaves the apartment while her mother dozes off, just before Harry, having mustered his courage, goes there to apologize to Agnes for leaving. Ruth's parents realize Ruth is missing just as Grace telephones. Hearing the Ruth has gone, Graces realizes that Ruth must have gone to the cathedral. Ruth is climbing the cathedral steps when she hears Art calling to her. In her delirium, she sees Art come to her and tell her that love never dies. Because he no longer needs the Roman coin, Art gives it to Ruth. Soon after, the priest finds Ruth passed out on the steps. Graces arrives a moment later. When the priest finds the coin clasped in Rth's hand, he shows it to Grace, who recognizes it and realizes that, for a brief time, Art returned to Ruth. +

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

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