Movie Review – The Rainmaker (1956)

This film was really bizarre. I can’t even say it was a bad film it’s just…weird. 

The basic story is that Lizzie (Katharine Hepburn) gets sent off to her Uncle’s place to see if she can get married to one of her cousins (nothing dodgy there) but when she comes back she realizes that she’s nothing but a plain Jane and nobody will ever see her as beautiful. Her father and two brothers try to set her up with the local sheriff (Wendell Corey), who is incredibly gruff and doesn’t have time for romance. Then along comes Starbuck (Burt Lancaster), a traveler who claims he can make the rain come for $100 and stop the drought. 

The cast is pretty good, there are some humorous moments and the dynamics between them are well-played. There are some sub-plots with Lizzie’s brothers that are quite engaging but the main thrust of the story is simply boring. Everyone in the film is getting worked up about Lizzie’s romance life but it’s something that the audience is never given a real reason to care about. The conflict feels manufactured and the ultimate resolution doesn’t really make sense within the context of the film. At some points it seemed like a farce, and I see that it has a rating of 7/10 at IMDB! I must be missing something really obvious here because it didn’t connect with me at all.

I can’t even say that I hated the film though, because it was well-paced, the cast was good and the actors all threw themselves into the roles. There was just nothing to get me involved in the characters’ plight so when it ended I was left feeling like I had just watched it to pass the time.  

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