The Rainmaker (1956)


“We don’t believe in rainmakers.” – Noah Curry

“What DO you believe in, mistah? Dyin’ cattle?” – Bill Starbuck

Number of Times Seen – 1 (1 Dec 2019)

Brief Synopsis – During a drought in Kansas, a farmer and his sons try to find a solution for their cattle and for their spinster sister who is seeking love.

My Take on it – In my quest to watch all movies featuring Oscar nominated performances, I came across this movie that has a great cast and was curious to see what it was all about.

Unfortunately, this is a terrible film that has a really silly plot.

The film might have worked a bit better if the cast and script were more polished and felt believable instead of silly from start to finish.

Katharine Hepburn somehow got an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her work ion this film and that’s quite laughable because despite being a great actress overall, her performance here is absurd.

Having a 50 year old woman play a 20-something spinster is ridiculous and even someone with the acting chops like Hepburn can’t pull this off.

I think the Academy had a love affair with Hepburn like they have now with Meryl Streep and just gave her nominations for showing up.

The sets look really fake and not believable at all.

The dialogue is long winded and fails to make us care more about any of the characters.

The biggest problem here is that the most interesting character isn’t utilized enough and instead of making the sheriff played by Wendell Corey more enjoyable to watch, they give him very limited screen time which is a shame.

Burt Lancaster is fine in his role but he gives a very over the top performance that should have been slightly toned down.

Bottom Line – Pretty silly film that might have worked better if the cast and script were a bit more believable. Hepburn somehow got an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her work here despite being much too old for this role. The sets look a bit too fake and the dialogue is very long winded.  The best character is the sheriff played by Corey, but he is underused.  Lancaster is ok in the role he is given even if the character is completely over the top.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – William Holden was originally cast as Bill Starbuck. After Holden backed out, Burt Lancaster read about it in Hedda Hopper ‘s column and phoned producer Hal B. Wallis. Lancaster agreed to star in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) if he would get the role of Bill Starbuck in this film. (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (3/10)

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One thought on “The Rainmaker (1956)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1956 | MovieRob

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