Friday, July 23, 2010

Rain (1932) Seems Appropriate!


I rarely need an excuse to post a 1930s photo of Joan Crawford, but with Tropical Storm Bonnie mere minutes away from the Florida coast, my thoughts turn to the memorable experience watching the 1932 film Rain, starring Crawford and Walter Huston. The purpose of this post is to put my thoughts down before I go and see the movie through adult, pre-Hays Office eyes. It'll be interesting to see if my childhood impressions hold up.

When I first saw Rain, I was about thirteen years old and it was either a Summer afternoon or me home sick. It was on one the local PBS stations early in the afternoon. It was a sunny day but for some reason I was marooned indoors. Rain was the first time I can recall watching a movie that old that wasn't a Chaplin or Laurel and Hardy feature. The movie, while not typical fare for a 1980s teenager, captivated me because of the environment it created, the mood was spellbinding. From what I remember, much of the story took place in a tropical region and perhaps in a greenhouse or plantation-style estate. I knew who Joan Crawford was thanks to Faye Dunaway's career-destroying performance as Joan in Mommie Dearest so naturally after that dysfunctional rollercoaster ride I became interested in seeing just how "nutso" this woman was.

The movie seemed more like a filmed play and the effect of that early talkies sound recording brought home the fact that I wasn't watching a Spielberg movie.

Aaargh! Rain is out of print and fetching big bucks on the secondary market! (Plenty of Keannu Reeves and Shia Lebeouf movies still available, I'm sure). My hopes now lie with Turner Classic Movies, so I guess I'd better pray for...ah, forget that.

10 comments:

  1. Rain is a fabulous film.
    Here's hoping you stay out of harm's way.

    Best Wishes,
    Amanda

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  2. This film was in a box set with a few others movies on dvd a few years ago at Suncoast real cheap. Maybe about ten or fifteen bucks. I wanted to get it but realized this was the only film out of the four that I wanted to see. Now I wish I had gotten it.

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  3. I relish in finding old movies that are no longer in print.
    I found your movie at Amazon.com at this link:
    http://www.amazon.com/Rain-Joan-Crawford/dp/B00011D1MC
    Have a great weekend, cheers!

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  4. It's on amazon.com for $3
    I see kimmy already let you know :)

    Shia = <3

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  5. I absolutely LOVE this film! I find it ironic that she was given bad reviews when it was released because(CLEARLY)she's the best thing about it! Interesting thoughts on it, too. It is stagebound, you're definitely right, but that adds to the claustrophobia in a weird way--all these people stuck on a muggy little island.

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  6. As luck would have it, Rain is actually now in the Public Domain. You can watch the entire film for free on the Internet Archive:

    http://www.archive.org/details/rain1932

    It really is a movie that was ahead of its time.

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  7. ...My mom has a VHS copy of it from an old video rental place that went out of business MANY moons ago... I need to check it out again - saw it once and thought it was ok, but that before I was 'enlightened' to the awesomeness that is 'classic' movies', so I will probably get a LOT more out of it now...although '32 might be getting close to a 'classical' film... my daughter calls them that, which begs the question, when DOES one 'transition' from 'classic' to 'classical'???

    Keep It Gingery, y'all...
    VKMfan
    ---

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  8. i recall finding it tough to sit through.

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  9. Round my way it's public domain and available in dozens of different editions: quality is very hit and miss, however. That's the problem with public domain. Any idea where I can get a really good copy of The Front Page? Such a seminal movie, and widely available - in Britain at least - but only in almost unwatchable condition.

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  10. She makes one of my favorite entrances in all of filmdom, heck, in all of christendom!

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