The Rains Came
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In the town of Ranchipur, four people find their lives become entwined by unexpected feelings and events they cannot control. Tom Ransome (George Brent), son of an English earl, is living a painter's life. He is pursed by Brenda Joyce, a flirtatious young English girl who adores him. Lady Esketh (Myrna Loy) is a beautiful bored sophisticated and Tom's former girlfriend. And Major Rama (Tyrone Power) is the dedicated Hindu surgeon who captures her heart. When a catastrophic earthquake and flood bring disaster to India, all their lives are forever transformed by the striking clash between good and evil, duty and forbidden love.
A trio of great performances and Academy Award-winning special effects recommend this saga of sin, scandal, and redemption based on Louis Bromfield's novel. George Brent stars as Tom Ransome, the reputation-tarnished son of an English earl who has found refuge from the world's ills in Ranchupur, India. Myrna Loy, cast against type, costars as his former lover, now the Lady Edwina Esketh, whose elderly husband (Nigel "Dr. Watson" Bruce) is more interested in the Maharaja's horses and money than her. "Dying of galloping boredom," she sets her sights on Major Rama Safti (Tyrone Power), a dedicated and selfless doctor, but nature calls with a devastating earthquake and flood that will open her jaded eyes. Drenched with atmosphere, The Rains Came further benefits from such venerable character actors as Maria Ouspenskaya (The Wolf Man) as the Maharani, Jane Darwell (The Grapes of Wrath) as Tom's missionary aunt, and Henry Travers (Clarence in It's a Wonderful Life) as his uncle. The Rains Came was released in 1939, considered by some to be the movies' best-ever year. While it is not in the same class as Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, or Stagecoach, this is a stellar example of old-school Hollywood. --Donald Liebenson
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Top Customer Reviews
Others in this noteworthy long cast: Maria Ouspensakaya, who is stunningly great as the Maharani, H.B. Warner, as his husband the Maharajah, Ranchipur's Ruler, Joseph Schildkraut, as an "occidentalized" Indian, Mr. Bannerjee, Jane Darwell (who the same year acted in GWTW), as "Aunt" Phoebe Smiley, a down-to-earth American woman who lives in the Mission, Henry Travers (the future "angel" of Capra's 1946 "It's a Wonderful Life") as her husband Mr.Read more ›
I think in every department the film is stunning. The entire Indian city built on the Fox back lot (no [bad] computer generated special effects here!!!) is amazing and the stunning effects of the earthquake and flood quite rightly won the 1939 Academy Award for best special effects (no mean effort that year considering the number of classic turned out that year!!)
The performances are also of great interest. Unlike past reviewers I think they are excellent. Myrna Loy putting aside her perfect wife persona gives a great performance as the spoilt socialite bored with life in general who falls head over heels for tyrone Power's Indian doctor. Nigel Bruce as Myrna's husband is the real surprise of the film performing totally against type as a character who is arrogant, selfish and down right vicious who in the end gets his just desserts. George Brent normally so stiff on screen also delivers a strong heart felt performance which shows what he was capable of given good direction and a good story to work with. Finally there has been much talk of Tyrone Power playing an Indian doctor in the story. Frankly I think he is perfect in the role and not only looks stunning but is spot on in his characterisation of the young dedicated doctor torn between his duty and his growing love for Loy.
A grand time is assured watching this great classic and I find I get something new from it with each screening. It's a great example of what Hollwood was capable of at its peek, enjoy!!
I give this three stars only because Tyrone Power did look pretty groovy in the Indian outfits, and the "cute little moustache and the big dark eyes" added to the effect. Otherwise I would have taken off two stars and given it one because I couldn't give it less.
One thing that was interesting was how George Brent really reminded me of Rhett Butler, meaning that he could have taken Clark Gable's role and been equally effective. Something about him in this movie. Don't know what exactly... because I've seen him in other movies and he never struck me as a Rhett possibility.
Myrna Loy did so many better roles... in The Best Years of Our Lives, The Bachelor and the Bobby-soxer, and even Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House was made tolerable because her role was the best one. Here she wasn't anything much.
None of the characters were very well-developed and I would have liked to have seen more Henry Travers. Oh well. All I can say is... maybe you'll like this movie more than I did. I just can't recommend it very highly somehow...
Most recent customer reviews
Amazing special effects for the time. Must be watched by anyone who loves classic movies. Myrna Loy and George Brent at their best.Published 14 months ago by blkgrrl
I don't know why this movie got the bad reviews. It wasn't all that bad. The remake was better but the story line was changed some to make it better. Read morePublished on Nov. 23 2002
This was a BORING movie. I can't really say anything else, except it was putting me to sleep. The main characters were never developed. Read morePublished on July 22 2002 by Susan
Tyrone Power is an Indian noble--we know this because he wears a turban. Of course, he is also a doctor, appropriately enough a noble profession. Read morePublished on Aug. 16 2001 by Linda McDonnell
The Rains Came is a romance set in Ranchipur during monsoon season. Myrna Loy is the former lover of George Brent. She falls in love with Tyrone Power who plays an Indian doctor. Read morePublished on May 26 2000 by Chris Leidig
The Rains Came is an early example of the disaster films popular in the 70s, and unfortunately, like those films, this movie is long on special effects and short on story. Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2000 by James L.