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The Rainmaker
The Rainmaker
Actors: Burt Lancaster, Katharine Hepburn, Wendell Corey, Lloyd Bridges, Earl Holliman
Director: Joseph Anthony
Genres: Westerns, Classics, Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2005     2hr 1min

In THE RAINMAKER, a lonely ranch girl blossoms into full womanhood under the spell of a wandering charlatan named Starbuck. Katharine Hepburn garnered an Oscar nomination as the "believably plain yet magnetically beautifu...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Burt Lancaster, Katharine Hepburn, Wendell Corey, Lloyd Bridges, Earl Holliman
Director: Joseph Anthony
Creators: Charles Lang, Hal B. Wallis, Paul Nathan, N. Richard Nash
Genres: Westerns, Classics, Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Westerns, Classics, Romantic Comedies, Love & Romance, Classics, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Paramount
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 07/12/2005
Original Release Date: 12/13/1956
Theatrical Release Date: 12/13/1956
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 2hr 1min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 13
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
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Movie Reviews

"Water! I recommend it"
K. Williams | Los Angeles, CA USA | 02/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Bill Starbuck (Burt Lancaster) is a charlatan selling multi-flavored hopes of fulfilled dreams. Take your pick: early-warning tornado devices or cumulous nimbus over drought stricken cattle. It requires more than animated gestures and wild stories to satisfy the matrimonial desires of aging Lizzie Curry (Katherine Hepburn). Their paths cross in the Southwest as THE RAINMAKER promises thunder to the Curry family of hopefuls and hopeless.

At 49 - just six years older than Lancaster, Hepburn appears old enough to be mother to her theatrical siblings - a mistaken assumption expressed by daffy brother Jim (Earl Holliman) when he remarks how wonderful it would be for her to conceive a child so he could have a little brother. Nevertheless, the vigorous passion of this Old Maid desiring change without changing well compliments the undesputed Star - buck. From the moment he enters a scene, Lancaster steals the show with prolific lines of what Hepburn shamelessly labels "bunk."

The smile that overcomes me when the film begins is frequently interrupted by tears of joy and thunderous outbursts of laughter. I love it when a DVD investment pays off this well. Put your faith in THE RAINMAKER.

Movie quote: "Rain is rain, brother. It comes from the sky. It's a wetness known as water - 'aqua pura.' Mammals drink it. Fish swim in it. Little boys wade in it. And the birds flap their wings and sing like sunrise. Water! I recommend it.""
One of Katharine Hepburn's Oscar nominated Spinster roles
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 10/15/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"On a drought-plagued farm somewhere in the southwest, spinster Lizzy Curry (Katharine Hepburn) has finally given up on ever being married, although her family wants to make one last effort with File (Wendell Corey), the local lawman. Into their lives comes the fast talking con man Starbuck (Burt Lancaster), who promises that he can make it rain for $100. More importantly, he can see the con job that Lizzy has played on herself and before he rides out of town he will have redeemed not only the shy spinster but himself.Katharine Hepburn was well into her period of playing spinsters by the time she made this 1956 film with Burt Lancaster. The idea of Hepburn and Lancaster making a film together is interesting since they had totally different approaches to the acting craft. Hepburn would have the entire script memorized before shooting began whereas Lancaster preferred to learn his lines the night before. This is one of those films where the Bryn Mawr accent of the leading actress works against the character, but then the whole idea of Hepburn playing a rube--with costumes by Edith Head no less--is a bit of a stretch to start. Lancaster really sinks his teeth into the role of the charming mountebank Starbuck. Cameron Prud'Homme, Earl Hollliman and Lloyd Bridges play Lizzy's worried father and brothers, and it is they who really give the film its sense of life out on the farm more than the sets and scenery.Based on N. Richard Nash's play, the film was directed by Joseph Anthony, who had directed the stage version starring Geraldine Page (presumably an attempt to duplicate the success of Elia Kazan in moving from Broadway to Hollywood). The story is still produced by community theaters as the musical "110 in the Shade." Hepburn received her seventh Oscar nomination for Best Actress for "The Rainmaker" (the winner that year was Ingrid Bergman for "Anastasia"), but the role of Lizzy Curry is not one of best performances. Certainly Lizzy is becoming desperate, but Hepburn gives those scenes too much of an edge. In her earlier films this worked quite well, most notably in "Alice Adams," but in as a mature actress Hepburn was much more successful in underplaying the desperation of her spinster characters, as such did superbly the previous year in "Summertime." This may well be one of those regards in which it is simply difficult to separate the actress from the role. However, in her strongest scenes she certainly brings dignity to the frightened spinster, and in the end you understand why she would actually pick Wendell Corey over Burt Lancaster."
Classic Romance
C. Robertson | Sydney Australia | 12/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I first saw this film when I was 10, and fell instantly in love with Burt Lancaster. His enthusiasm, amazing smile and sheer energy make this story a joy to watch. Katherine Hepburn always struck me as a little too old for the part, but she is so good that you can't imagine anyone else playing Lizzie. When I saw Burt Lancaster later in Elmer Gantry, I was stuck by the likeness to his character Starbuck in The Rainmaker; Starbuck is a sweeter, less manipulative charater than Gantry. The Rainmaker is set in a western town suffering from a drought; into the town comes Starbuck, a seller of hope in the form of a promise to make it rain. He meets Lizzie, an "old maid" who longs for a man to love her, and the promise of children and security this brings. This is a very sweet story; while I could not understand Lizzie's final choice when I was younger, now I can see what she wanted and why she made the decision she did. This is a charming film, and it is lovely to see it looking to clear and bright on DVD."
gy knott | Santa Clara, CA, USA | 09/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Everytime this movie came on T.V. I watched. Then I decided I might as well get it for myself. I am thrilled I did. The look, the sound - all are great. Very pleased."