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 ... more »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.« less
"Grandiose, lavish, entertaining, beautifully filmed, blockbuster, exotic-adventure movie, set in Ranchipur, India, based upon Louis Bromfield's novel, directed by MGM's first class director, Clarence Brown, on loan out to 20th Century Fox, with a great cast: dashing, young, heartthrob Tyrone Power (Major Rama Safti), in the role of an Indian doctor, who falls for aristocratic Englishwoman-with-a-tempestuous-past, Myrna Loy (Lady Edwina Esketh), who's married to an arrogant, unpleasant and unbearable Nigel Bruce (Lord Esketh). On the other hand, in Ranchipur lives a man with whom Loy, when very young, had an affair: aristocratic English man-of-the-world (with a very bad reputation), George Brent (Tom Ransome), who at the same time is being pursued by pretty, willful, 18 year old Brenda Joyce (Fern Simon), an American girl who lives in a Mission and wants to get out of her parents' home, whose social climbing and very snob mother, Marjorie Rambeau (Mrs. Simon) encourages the affair, because she longs to "rub shoulders" with the upper classes.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. Smiley, Mary Nash (famous for her nasty roles opposite Shirley Temple in both, "Heidi" (1937) and "The Little Princess" (1939)), as the rather jealous Miss Mc Daid, Power's nurse assistant, who I perceived as helplessly in love with him, and Laura Hope Crews (who the same year was the very funny Aunt Pittypat in GWTW), in a small role, as an aristocratic English Lady.In all a very good picture with great special effects, featuring lots of rain, a big earthquake and a flood, in the same vein of other famous disaster films of the era, like: "San Francisco" (1936), "The Hurricane" (1937), "The Good Earth" (1937), and "In Old Chicago" (1938).Remade in 1955, by Jean Negulesco, as "The Rains of Ranchipur", with Lana Turner, Richard Burton, Fred Mac Murray and Michael Rennie."
Superb effort in all departments creating a grand classic
Simon Davis | 04/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
""The Rains Came" really is a stupendous effort by Twentieth Century Fox and is a film to be proud of as far as sets, design, writing, effects,, and costumning are concerned. It has always been one of my favourite Tyrone Power films and it contains the one and only screen collaboration of Tyrone Power and Myrna Loy.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!!"
A romantic triumph
C. Leidig | Akron, Ohio United States | 05/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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. Myrna Loy is superb. Her performance as a vamp trying to mend her ways is one of her best. George Brent is not the stiff board he is in other movies. He's quite good. Tyrone Power is simply breathtaking. The man is beautiful to look at. The special effects are marevlous. The story is interesting, and it maintains your interest. It's a triumph!"
Proper Disaster Drama with Cultural Oddities and a Love Stor
Kim Anehall | Chicago, IL USA | 11/13/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Rains Came was released the same year Gone with the Wind (1939) brought a storm of viewers to the silver screen. Unlike Gone with the Wind, which received a legendary status in the cinema history, The Rains Came only made an impact in the special effects department. The special effects are rather amazing, even today many viewers will drop their jaws, as they ponder the age of the film and the fantastic catastrophe sequence in the film's midpoint. However, the film presents an experience that parallels the cheap thrills of melodramatic afternoon TV drama of longing homemakers and bored college students.
The film follows a traditional Hollywood concept of star-loaded talent attracting a large audience, which is blatantly obvious in the film. Tyrone Power, as the Indian medical doctor Major Rama Safti, will have the women of the 1940s having their knees give away. A lively George Brent provides the role of the aging playboy Thomas Ransome seeking seclusion in the Indian province of the story while encountering the love struck 18-year old Fern cast by first time actor and beauty Brenda Joyce. Additional melodrama emerges through the appearance of the infamous Myrna Loy, best remembered for her part in the Thin Man films. Together these four actors provide a solid cast, which is backed up by an equally impressive supporting cast.
The film opens in a sweltering India in 1938 where drought, famine, and sickness trouble the Indian province of Ranchipur. It is midday and people are going about their business while Thomas Ransome sits in the shade of his porch trying to cool down and preoccupy his boredom with a slingshot. An amusing notion is that there are no sweat rings, or other signs of heavy perspiration, besides to the water pearls on the foreheads, which would be normal in heat such as the one in the film. An assumption could be that stars do not perspire heavily, as it would probably lower their star quality. Nonetheless, the beginning of the story discloses that Major Safti and Thomas are good friends, Thomas cannot get out of a garden party, and everyone prays for the rainy season to arrive. The story is told out of Thomas' perspective, but the focus is on the events taking place around him.
At the garden party, Thomas meets the youthful beauty Fern, who requests his help to break the chains of her parents. It puts Thomas in an awkward situation, but he does not really worry about it. Later, he also meets an old friend and confidant, Lady Esketh (Myrna Loy), at Maharajah's palace, and it is here the witch's brew begins to simmer. Lady Esketh first drifts off to some secluded area of the palace with Thomas where something (let your imagination run free) happened, and later falls for Major Safti. This instigates an intriguing triangle drama between Thomas, Lady Esketh, and Lord Esketh (Nigel Bruce), but Lord Esketh doesn't ever suspect Major Safti for anything.
When the emotional witch brew seems to hit its high point the rains begin followed by a severe earthquake. Here the audience gets a chance to experience a magnificent example of the special effects capabilities of the 1940s. However, the emotional turmoil begins to seep away, as a greater problem has emerged that has set all people in danger. There are several other subplots within, but the film only touches on the issues the way a soap opera would. In addition, there are cultural misconceptions within the film, which often have the purpose of glamorizing the actors. Jean Renoir's the River (1951) does a far better job depicting the Indian culture, as he also shot the film on location. Yet, the film tries to be good, and tries to enlighten the audience, but does not achieve the film's full potential. Despite the culturally awkward situations, it is within the effort of trying to teach the audience a valuable lesson where it also puts forth a cinematic experience worthwhile in a Western perspective that will amuse an attentive audience."
Well-done on every level.
Golden Girls fan | Alabama, USA | 04/12/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A complex love story periled against the wrath of Mother Nature makes this one of the better films I've seen. The earthquake and dam-busting scenes are superb and frighteningly realistic, echoing images of disaster from another film of similar ideas, "The Hurricane" (1937) (read my review of that as well). The cast is great but some of the dialogue sounds totally devoid of any creativity or could even be humanly natural. Nominated for 6 Academy Awards and winning the Oscar for Best Special Effects. A must for disaster, love story, Myrna Loy, and Tyrone Power fans."