"I hope they burn every print of this turkey that's in existence"
~Joan Crawford referring to the film "Rain"
Cast: Joan Crawford~Walter Huston~Fred Howard~Ben Hendricks Jr.~William Gargan~Mary Shaw~Guy Kibbee~Kendall Lee~Beulah
Bondi~Matt Moore~Walter Catlett.
Directed by: Lewis Milestone
Box Office Figures for "Rain":
Cost: $N/A ~ Domestic Studio Gross: $N/A ~ Foreign Studio Gross: $N/A
Total: $N/A / Profit: $N/A
If you have seen this movie, please write a review below. Once your review is submitted, I will post the review below. Thank
you for your review on this film.
Stars: 4 Stars
Review: Joan Crawford never realized how great her performance was in "Rain." The movie was practically ignored
at the time of its release in 1932 and so was the remarkable performance that Joan gave portraying Sadie Thompson. Sadie Thompson
was a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, cheap and easy, with a little mystery added to her as well. The movie starts
out with rain, lots of it, pouring down on the city of Pago Pago. From the first moment Sadie gets off the train you can feel
the raw performance that Crawford gives Sadie, Joan Crawford becomes Sadie Thompson. Sadie makes her grand entrance eight
minutes into the movie with too much makeup, skintight dress, costume jewelry and a cheap fox stole. The perfect whore. Sadie
shacks up at a local hotel with a bunch of army guys boozing and dancing it up but also staying at this hotel is a group of
missionaries with their strong religious beliefs. The leader of the missionary group, Walter Huston, gives an exceptional
performance as Mr. Davidson.
The missionaries to clean up her act hound Sadie or else she will be run off the island. Mr. Davidson sees to it that
she be banished and he succeeds. The most powerful scene in the film comes when Sadie is asked to beg for forgiveness from
Mr. Davidson. Sadie lashes out and shouts, "How do you know what I've suffered?" "Your God and I could never
be shipmates...you tell him Sadie Thompson is on her way to hell!" This scene alone should have earned Crawford an academy
award for her amazing performance. She does not blink an eye during this powerhouse scene. After this scene however, Sadie
does fall under the spell of the preacher and is stripped of her image. She appears on film fresh and raw in her looks. Sadie
is now without her armor and she shows her natural beauty. Crawford was at the height of her beauty at this stage in her life
and it really shows when she sheds the "costume" she is wearing. Mr. Davidson cannot resist Sadie and his lust for
her continues to grow and grow and Sadie gives in and abandons her awful ways and turns to God...turns to the preacher. But
Sadie finds out all men are alike and even the holier than thou Mr. Davidson cannot resist his passions and tries to seduce
Sadie. Sadie realizes that all men are the same and throws on her cheapness and washes her hands of God and picks up where
she left off.
"Rain" was WAY ahead of its time and it wasn't a major hit at the box office. Joan Crawford was taking a risk
at this point in her career and this pretty much halted Joan from taking any more risks while she was at MGM. One can wonder
what other meaty and powerful roles Joan would have gone after. Joan didn't sink her teeth into another risky role until 1939's
"The Women" when she was cast as the heartless bitch, Crystal Allen. Today, "Rain" is recognized as one
of the most important and amazing films of the 1930's. Joan based her films on fan acceptance and this film sent her into
depression when it was reviewed and ridiculed. She received hate mail from fallen fans and this sent Crawford over the edge.
Crawford was so affected by this and beat herself up so much that she shut down her Brentwood home and retreated to a cottage
in Malibu where she spent hours alone. She was also getting over her divorce to her first husband; Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Joan
took long walks on the beach to reflect and changed faith to Christian Science. It was at this time as well that Crawford
started to overcompensate for things in her life; from her career, her friends, how she dealt with rejection and disappointment.
Most of the time the results ended with her causing more harm or hurt then she realized. Regardless of the reviews and box
office receipts at the time, "Rain" has held up and stood the test of time. By far one of, if not the best performance
of Joan Crawford's career.
"Oh who am I kidding? I just gave a lousy performance."
~Joan Crawford on "Rain"
Review: "Rain" is one of my favorite films of all times. With the rhythm of the steadily falling rain and South
Seas island drumbeats as backdrop, it tells the story of a spirited, "fallen woman," Sadie Thompson (Joan Crawford)
whose sauciness, vivacity and sexual vitality entrance the men at a Pago Pago hotel but put her at the mercy of a puritanical
preacher, Alfred Davidson (Walter Huston) who demands her repentance and conversion. Based on Somerset Maugham's short story,
this delicious story of hypocrisy and human frailty has at its heart a magnetic performance by Crawford. Here, clad in a
slinky dress that reveals her lovely, lithe figure; the cigarette dripping from heavily-reddened lips; a fur hanging from
her shoulder; and that halo of outrageous curls, she is exciting, ripe, and very alive -- even in the worst prints, she lights
the screen the minute she makes her appearance (and what a memorable entrance). One first sees each heavily braceleted wrist
and then her ankles in shoddy pumps (with bows!) emerge from a doorway. Huston, by contrast, is indeed more wooden, but effectively
conveys the rigidity (and later torment) of Davidson.
The storyline is very potent and moving and certainly ahead of its time; I remember being deeply effected by this film
even as a child. Director Lewis Milestone's adventurous visual style adds to the impact. I love the delicious double entendres
such as when Crawford asks for a corkscrew and Guy Kibbee supplies it so insinuatingly, his hand with the corkscrew appearing
from around the door. There are the shots of the fisherman bringing up nets of fish counterbalanced with the shot later in
the film when the net brings a more sinister catch. Someone complained about the lack of "explicitness" in this
film, but I beg to disagree strongly. Do we need to see everything blow-by-blow to "get the picture," pun intended?
Isn't the creak of the door and the struggle on the preacher's face far more effective? And Crawford's large eyes like lamps
and that slinky dress say it all. Love the shots of the preacher towering over her on the stairs and she forced to look up
at him, the dominant male in a power position. Yes, she is an achingly vulnerable and sympathetic character, which makes her
persecution even more reprehensible.
There are so many great lines! They just don't do this stuff anymore! Thompson to Davidson: "Your God and me could
never be shipmates! And the next time you talk to him, you can tell him from me that Sadie Thompson is on her way to hell!"
And to Horn and soldiers: "I'd race ya to the beach if it wasn't for these pesky heels!"
It's a tragedy that it was not appreciated at the time of its release, causing Crawford to underrate her own fascinating
performance. She projects the raw sexuality of the young Madonna (and stripped down to the repentant, she has the luminosity
of the religious Madonna). Moving, magnificent and delicious fun.
Review: When I first saw this movie, I thought it's a bit weird, but as I watched again and again I understood the movie
more and more. I think that Joan played Sadie very well, but Gloria Swanson didn't like the idea of Joan playing her part
as she called it but I think Joan played it a lot more interesting than Gloria. All the cast where just as good as Joan.
Walter Huston was a great actor playing the preacher.
Review: I love when she first appears coming off the train with the cigarette dangling from her mouth and she says "Hey
Review: Id'nt come to love her Sadie Thompson. She is vibrant,beautiful,trashy, alluring,hard as nails, warm and above
all,SEXY!! I also love Beulah Bondi and Guy Kibbee,and
the Big cigar smoking island mama wife of Mr. Horn, Ameena.
Below is a photo gallery from the movie "Rain." Click on the images below to see them at full size.