The Rains Came

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The Rains Came
The Rains Came - Film Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byClarence Brown
Produced byDarryl F. Zanuck
Screenplay byPhilip Dunne
Julien Josephson
Based onThe Rains Came
1937 novel
by Louis Bromfield
StarringMyrna Loy
Tyrone Power
George Brent
Brenda Joyce
Nigel Bruce
Maria Ouspenskaya
Music byAlfred Newman
CinematographyArthur C. Miller
Edited byBarbara McLean
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • 1939 (1939)
Running time
103-105 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$2.5 million

The Rains Came is a 1939 20th Century Fox film based on an American novel by Louis Bromfield (published in June 1937 by Harper & Brothers). The film was directed by Clarence Brown and stars Myrna Loy, Tyrone Power, George Brent, Brenda Joyce, Nigel Bruce, and Maria Ouspenskaya.

A remake of the film was released in 1955 under the name The Rains of Ranchipur.


Myrna Loy as Edwina in The Rains Came

The story centers on the redemption of its lead female character. George Brent is Tom Ransome, an artist who leads a rather dissolute if socially active life in the town of Ranchipur, India. His routine is shattered with the arrival of his former lover, Lady Edwina Esketh (Myrna Loy) who has since married the elderly Lord Esketh (Nigel Bruce). Lady Edwina first sets out to seduce, then gradually falls in love with, Major Rama Safti (Tyrone Power) who represents the "new India."

Ranchipur is devastated by an earthquake, which causes a flood, which causes a cholera epidemic. Lord Esketh dies and Lady Esketh renounces her hedonistic life in favor of helping the sick alongside Major Safti. Unfortunately, she becomes infected and dies, making it possible for Safti to become the ruler of a kingdom that he will presumably reform. In the course of the story, a missionary's daughter, Fern Simon (Brenda Joyce), and Ransome also fall in love.


Loy and George Brent in The Rains Came
Loy and Tyrone Power in The Rains Came
Journalist Dorothy Thompson is entertained on the set of The Rains Came by director Clarence Brown (left) and writer Louis Bromfield, on whose novel the film was based


The casting apparently was a lengthy process. Loy and Brown were loaned to 20th Century Fox from MGM (as part of a deal wherein Power was loaned by Fox to MGM for Marie Antoinette). Brent was also on loan from his home studio of Warner Bros. The only cast member who was originally chosen for the role he or she played was Ouspenskaya, who was memorable as the Maharani. She later claimed that she learned all she needed to know about impersonating Indian royalty from her acquaintance with the Russian Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia.


Its budget was $2.5 million.[1]

The film is noted for a number of unusual features. Loy and Bruce are cast against type. Loy's stylish bad girl role was more akin to the sort that made Greta Garbo known than her own reputation as "the ideal wife" which MGM promoted for many years. Best remembered are the scenes dealing with the earthquake and floods.

Original prints of the film were tinted sepia.[2]


It was nominated for six Academy Awards,[3] winning in the category of Special Effects and Sound Effects, for the earthquake and flood sequences.[4] It became the first film to win an Academy Award for Best Special Effects, edging out other nominees including The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind.

1955 adaptation[edit]

The Rains Came was remade in 1955 as The Rains of Ranchipur, with Richard Burton, Lana Turner and Fred MacMurray in the Power, Loy and Brent roles. The 1939 film uses the original novel's ending; the 1955 film does not.


  1. ^ Brown Guides 'Rains Came" with Budget of $2,500,000. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif]. May 1, 1939: 9.
  2. ^ "The Rains Came". The Film Daily. September 11, 1939. p. 5.
  3. ^ "The 12th Academy Awards (1940) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved August 12, 2011.
  4. ^ Database (n.d.). "The Rains Came (1939)". The New York Times. Retrieved December 12, 2008.
  • Sources: Film commentary on the DVD "The Rains Came"

External links[edit]