a Hatful of Rain (1957)

108-109 mins | Drama | July 1957

Full page view
HISTORY

In the film's title card, the initial article is presented in lower case. The film closes with the following written acknowledgment: "Twentieth Century-Fox acknowledges and thanks the generous cooperation of Mr. John Graham and the Department of Commerce and Public Events of the city of New York in the production of a Hatful of Rain ." Although blacklisted screenwriter Carl Foreman was not listed in the onscreen credits, his credit for the film was reinstated by the Writers Guild in 1998 to add him to the list of credited writers. According to materials contained in the film's film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, Twentieth Century-Fox bought the rights to Michael Vincente Gazzo's play shortly after it opened on Broadway. At that time, the PCA forbade the production of any film dealing with narcotics. In Dec 1956, in partial response to the controversy surrounding Otto Preminger's The Man with the Golden Arm (see below), the Production Code was revised to allow narcotics as an acceptable subject for film.
       According to Fox publicity materials contained in the film's production file at the AMPAS Library, a Hatful of Rain was the first of three films produced under the revised Code. Publicity materials note that in hopes of attracting a wider audience, the studio changed the location of the play from the slums to a housing project. The family in the play was depicted as lower-class Italian-American, whereas in the film, the family is working class, devoid of ethnicity. Locations were shot in New York City at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Housing Project on the East Side, and at the Brooklyn ... More Less

In the film's title card, the initial article is presented in lower case. The film closes with the following written acknowledgment: "Twentieth Century-Fox acknowledges and thanks the generous cooperation of Mr. John Graham and the Department of Commerce and Public Events of the city of New York in the production of a Hatful of Rain ." Although blacklisted screenwriter Carl Foreman was not listed in the onscreen credits, his credit for the film was reinstated by the Writers Guild in 1998 to add him to the list of credited writers. According to materials contained in the film's film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, Twentieth Century-Fox bought the rights to Michael Vincente Gazzo's play shortly after it opened on Broadway. At that time, the PCA forbade the production of any film dealing with narcotics. In Dec 1956, in partial response to the controversy surrounding Otto Preminger's The Man with the Golden Arm (see below), the Production Code was revised to allow narcotics as an acceptable subject for film.
       According to Fox publicity materials contained in the film's production file at the AMPAS Library, a Hatful of Rain was the first of three films produced under the revised Code. Publicity materials note that in hopes of attracting a wider audience, the studio changed the location of the play from the slums to a housing project. The family in the play was depicted as lower-class Italian-American, whereas in the film, the family is working class, devoid of ethnicity. Locations were shot in New York City at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Housing Project on the East Side, and at the Brooklyn Bridge, according to studio publicity materials and a Feb 1957 NYT news item. Henry Silva and Anthony Franciosa played "Mother" and "Polo," respectively, in the Broadway production of Gazzo's play. Franciosa was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actor for his performance in the film. Actor William Hickey (1928--1997) made his motion picture debut in the film. On 6 Mar 1968, the ABC network broadcast a televised version of Gazzo's play, starring Sandy Dennis and Michael Parks and directed by John Moxey. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
22 Jun 1957.
---
Box Office
6 Jul 1957.
---
Daily Variety
18 Jun 57
p. 3.
Film Daily
18 Jun 57
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jan 57
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Jan 1957
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jan 57
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Mar 57
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Apr 57
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jun 57
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
22 Jun 57
p. 425.
New York Times
3 Feb 1957.
---
New York Times
18 Jul 57
p. 19.
Variety
19 Jun 57
p. 7.
Variety
9 Aug 1998.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Exec ward des
Cost des
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styles
PRODUCTION MISC
Dial dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play A Hatful of Rain by Michael Vincente Gazzo, as produced on the stage by Jay Julien (New York, 9 Nov 1955).
DETAILS
Release Date:
July 1957
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 17 July 1957
Production Date:
mid January--13 March 1957
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
17 July 1957
Copyright Number:
LP8907
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Lenses/Prints
lenses by Bausch & Lomb
Duration(in mins):
108-109
Length(in feet):
9,750
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
18462
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When John Pope, Sr., the opinionated, bellicose patriarch of the Pope family, comes to New York to visit his sons Polo and Johnny in their Lower East Side housing project, he finds Johnny, his favorite, jumpy and overwrought, and bitterly voices his disappointment that Polo, his younger son, is working as a bouncer in a cocktail lounge. When Pop asks Polo to lend him $2,500 to renovate the bar that he has just bought in Florida, Polo informs him that the money has already been spent, prompting Pop to lash out and call Polo a bum. That night at the apartment the brothers share with Johnny's pregnant young wife Celia, Celia serves dinner to Johnny and Pop while Johnny anxiously glances out the window. As Johnny watches, three men meet at the street corner and then proceed to his apartment. The three, Mother, Chuch and Apples, are Johnny's drug connections, and when they ring the doorbell, Johnny lies that they are his poker buddies and steps out in the hallway to beg Mother to advance him some heroin. Johnny, who became addicted while recovering from wounds he suffered during the Korean War, now needs a fix three times daily. Refusing to supply Johnny with any more drugs until he pays for those he had previously bought on credit, Mother hands him a gun and suggests that he steal the money. Once Pop leaves, Johnny and Celia drop their façade of the happy family and Celia reproaches Johnny for his inability to communicate with her. Unaware of her husband's addiction, Celia believes that he is seeing another woman although he denies it. Soon after, ... +


When John Pope, Sr., the opinionated, bellicose patriarch of the Pope family, comes to New York to visit his sons Polo and Johnny in their Lower East Side housing project, he finds Johnny, his favorite, jumpy and overwrought, and bitterly voices his disappointment that Polo, his younger son, is working as a bouncer in a cocktail lounge. When Pop asks Polo to lend him $2,500 to renovate the bar that he has just bought in Florida, Polo informs him that the money has already been spent, prompting Pop to lash out and call Polo a bum. That night at the apartment the brothers share with Johnny's pregnant young wife Celia, Celia serves dinner to Johnny and Pop while Johnny anxiously glances out the window. As Johnny watches, three men meet at the street corner and then proceed to his apartment. The three, Mother, Chuch and Apples, are Johnny's drug connections, and when they ring the doorbell, Johnny lies that they are his poker buddies and steps out in the hallway to beg Mother to advance him some heroin. Johnny, who became addicted while recovering from wounds he suffered during the Korean War, now needs a fix three times daily. Refusing to supply Johnny with any more drugs until he pays for those he had previously bought on credit, Mother hands him a gun and suggests that he steal the money. Once Pop leaves, Johnny and Celia drop their façade of the happy family and Celia reproaches Johnny for his inability to communicate with her. Unaware of her husband's addiction, Celia believes that he is seeing another woman although he denies it. Soon after, Polo comes home, roaring drunk while Johnny, tormented by withdrawal symptoms, stumbles out to the street in search of drugs. Alone with Polo, Celia chastises him for fighting with his father, and Polo bitterly replies that Pop was never a father to them, having placed them in an orphanage when they were young boys. After Polo calls Johnny a loser, Celia tells Polo that she knows he is in love with her and asks him to move out. When Johnny, prowling the streets for victims to rob, fails to return home that night, Polo admits his love for Celia and wonders how she can live with his brother. Celia, neglected and confused, confesses that she no longer loves her husband and in desperation, came to Polo's bedroom door earlier that night but found herself unable to go in. After Celia leaves for work, Johnny returns home, shaking, and begs Polo for twenty dollars to buy some drugs. When Polo protests that has already given Johnny his life savings of $2,500, Johnny promises to quit once again. Johnny then invites Polo to join him for breakfast with their father, but Pop, holding a grudge, refuses to shake Polo's hand. Polo departs, and Johnny, in the throes of withdrawal, asks Pop to reconcile with him. After accusing Pop of never being a father to him, Johnny breaks down and Polo returns and hustles him into his car. When Polo tells Johnny that he plans to turn him in to the police, Johnny threatens to jump out of the moving vehicle. Polo relents and agrees to drive him to meet his drug dealer at a playground. The police have arrested the dealer, however, so Polo drives Johnny home, where Johnny, now delirious, hallucinates that he is in battle. Agonizing over his brother's condition, Polo begs Mother for a fix, and Mother tosses him a packet and then instructs him to sell his car to pay his brother's debt. After selling his beloved car, Polo takes Pop to a football game. When Celia comes home from work that night, she tells Johnny their marriage is over. Johnny, restored to his former self by the power of narcotics, shows Celia a dress he has bought for their unborn baby and begs her forgiveness. Celia embraces Johnny in relief, but when Polo returns, he insists that Johnny tell his wife he is an addict. Johnny is on the verge of confessing his secret when Pop buzzes the doorbell from downstairs. After Johnny finally admits that he is a junkie, Celia, in disbelief, reassures her husband of her love and support. Just then, Pop pounds at the door and the four sit down to a tension-filled dinner. As Pop chatters on, Johnny unemotionally states that he is a junkie. Wanting to blame someone, Pop explodes. After Johnny runs out of the apartment, Celia begins to experience spasms and Pop and Polo rush her to the doctor. Once the doctor assures them that Celia and the baby are well, Polo goes to look for Johnny. Johnny, meanwhile, returns to the apartment and finds Mother waiting there for his money. As Mother taunts Johnny about his addiction, Polo enters and repays him. Mother then tosses a packet of dope to Johnny, but Johnny throws it back and declares he is through, then begins to suffer withdrawal convulsions. After Mother leaves, Celia and Pop return and Celia insists that Johnny be hospitalized, over the objections of Pop and Polo. When Pop offers to stay in New York and take care of his son, Celia asserts that she will take care of Johnny by herself and contends that his only chance of survival is to notify the police. When Johnny consents, Celia phones the police department to report an addict and then bravely embraces her husband. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.