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.