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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 1999
Anyone who thinks Joan Crawford was just an overly made-up "mooovie star" who couldn't act should see this stunning film. Crawford acts rings around her stage-bred co-stars-and she doesn't over-act, either. It's a brilliant bit of film acting; she knows her lighting, her positioning, but never seems self conscious about it. A shame that the film bombed, and that Crawford repudiated it, as her Sadie Thompson was one of her finest portrayals.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2015
For a full description of the plot, etc., read other reviews. Just some thoughts on this forgotten movie...

This is a review of the Roan Group version of Rain (1932). This DVD will provide the best picture and sound quality out of all the different DVD releases of this public domain movie over the years. The Roan Group restored the movie from the original 35 mm negatives and other original materials. The picture and sound quality easily tops any other DVD release of this movie, I assure you.

Rain (1932) stars Joan Crawford and Walter Huston. Crawford, under contract with MGM at the time, was out on loan to United Artists to make Rain after the huge success of Grand Hotel (1932). The kind of role Crawford plays in Rain is unlike any of her usual roles she had played up to that point. She usually played heroic roles and shop girl roles. Now she was playing the role of a sinner, a loose woman, a hooker named Sadie Thompson. Audiences at the time couldn't accept Crawford playing such a role, so this movie flopped at the box office. Time has given this movie a huge boost, as modern day audiences accept this movie and Crawford's performance much more easily. Crawford herself didn't like this movie, probably because it bombed. She said that she overacted. I do agree that she did overact in some parts, but Crawford gives a great performance. A different role, yes. But her acting works so well for her character. Crawford looks the part as well, and her entrance in the movie is legendary. This movie is a good example of an actress showing her versatility, but unfortunately the subject matter of the movie and perhaps some tunnel vision by people at the time is what made this a flop in 1932. It's amazing how audiences can't accept an actor playing a different kind of role than what they're accustomed to.

One of the things I like about this movie is the atmosphere. It's a rather dark movie and it rains a lot throughout, hence the title "Rain". I also like the way a lot of the scenes were shot and some of the camera angles. The shots of the sky at various times throughout the movie really add to the dark feel and atmosphere. The movie seems ahead of its time.

In my opinion, Rain is one of Crawford's best movies from the 1930s and it's certainly in my top two or three Crawford movies from the 1930s. I think the movie holds up pretty well. I highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2013
For a full description of the plot, etc., read other reviews. Just some thoughts on this forgotten movie...

Rain (1932) stars Joan Crawford and Walter Huston. Crawford, under contract with MGM at the time, was out on loan to United Artists to make Rain after the huge success of Grand Hotel (1932). The kind of role Crawford plays in Rain is unlike any of her usual roles she had played up to that point. She usually played heroic roles and shop girl roles. Now she was playing the role of a sinner, a loose woman, a hooker named Sadie Thompson. Audiences at the time couldn't accept Crawford playing such a role, so this movie flopped at the box office. Time has given this movie a huge boost, as modern day audiences accept this movie and Crawford's performance much more easily. Crawford herself didn't like this movie, probably because it bombed. She said that she overacted. I do agree that she did overact in some parts, but Crawford gives a great performance. A different role, yes. But her acting works so well for her character. Crawford looks the part as well, and her entrance in the movie is legendary. This movie is a good example of an actress showing her versatility, but unfortunately the subject matter of the movie and perhaps some tunnel vision by people at the time is what made this a flop in 1932. It's amazing how audiences can't accept an actor playing a different kind of role than what they're accustomed to.

One of the things I like about this movie is the atmosphere. It's a rather dark movie and it rains a lot throughout, hence the title "Rain". I also like the way a lot of the scenes were shot and some of the camera angles. The movie seems ahead of its time.

In my opinion, Rain is one of Crawford's best movies from the 1930s. I think the movie holds up pretty well. I highly recommend it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2002
Supposedly, "Rain", from Somerset Maughams' story, was a flop on its' release in 1932. Maybe the subject matter was too far over the heads of Depression era audiences. "Rain" is fine today as a vintage relic of adult filmmaking. It concerns a group of missionaries who land on the tropical isle of Pago Pago during rainy season to save the souls of the "sinful" natives who are otherwise living in blissful harmony. Unfortunately, a group of Marines gets stranded there as well and among them is the colorful Sadie Thompson (Crawford), a woman of easy virtue and proud of it. The Marines love her and she parties hardy with them much to the shock and chagrin of the missionaries--- particularly the Reverends' self righteous wife (Beulah Bondi). She complains loudly and the Reverend determines to cast out the "evil" from Sadies' soul even though Sadie is just fine with it the way it is. Their confrontations eventually lead to a near exorcism of Sadie and she succumbs to the Reverends' power. But the rain doesn't let up and the jungle drums keep pounding in the night. The Reverend succumbs to a power of a different kind---that of the unleashing of long pent up sexual frustration and he rapes Sadie thus sealing his own fate as the real "lost soul". Walter Huston is stagily effective as the pompous Reverend and Crawford is nothing short of magnetic as Sadie. A definite curio from the pre-code 30's and an interesting look at a young Joan Crawford. My DVD from Image looks and sounds fine so for me this was a plus.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This 1932 vintage film has a young and sultry Joan Crawford in the role of South Seas siren Sadie Thompson. Walter Huston is compelling as the fire and brimstone preacher who wants to run this fallen woman out of town on a rail. Beulah Bondi is excellent as the preacher's prudish wife whose sensibilities are upset by Sadie Thompson's very presence in the small, cramped South Seas island hotel where they are all staying, awaiting a ship that is to take them to their final destination. Seeking to save Sadie's soul, the preacher manages to brow beat Sadie into repentant submission to his will, only to be done in at the last by his own answer to the call of the wild.

This is an interesting film that shows the idiosyncrasies of earlier talkies. Look for some odd camera shots used in order to segue into the next scene. Listen to the pounding of the torrential rain that can be heard almost throughout the entire film (hence, its name). Listen to the beat of the native drums, working to set a mood when necessary. All in all, a very well done film for its time. Joan Crawford fans will love it, as will all lovers of vintage films.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This 1932 vintage film has a young Joan Crawford in the role of the notorious Sadie Thompson, a sultry South Seas siren. Walter Huston is compelling as the fire and brimstone preacher who wants to run this fallen woman out of town on a rail. Beulah Bondi is excellent as the preacher's prudish wife whose sensibilities are upset by Sadie Thompson's very presence in the small, cramped South Seas island hotel where they are all staying. Seeking to save Sadie's soul, the preacher manages to brow beat Sadie into repentant submission to his will, only to be done in at the last by his own answer to the call of the wild.

This is an interesting film that shows the idiosyncrasies of earlier talkies. Look for some odd camera shots used in order to segue into the next scene. Listen to the pounding of the torrential rain that can be heard almost throughout the entire film (hence, its name). Listen to the beat of the native drums, working to set a mood when necessary. All in all, a very well done film for its time. Joan Crawford fans will love it, as will all lovers of vintage films.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2003
Crawford fans already know that while this movie was a famous flop for Joan, it contains one of her most interesting performances. Now they can see it struck from a near-immaculate print and enjoy both the gorgeous cinematography and those wild closeups of Joan. A friend of mine who is not a Crawford fan described her look in this movie as "Makeup Poisoning". Personally, I love Joan's characterization of South Seas prostitute Sadie Thompson. Highly stylized, it's a little ridiuclous, but compelling. In her "redeemed" scenes Sadie is quite moving (and stunningly beautiful! This was Crawford at her peak). Sadie's ascent up the staircase to confront Walter Houston's lustful preacher is brilliantly handled and has to be one of Joan's best confrontation scenes ever --ranking right up there with Mildred slapping Veda. A little talky and slow in spots, but the rewards are worth the wait.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Joan Crawford's depiction/acting as a prostitute, depicts the reality as how prostitutes actually dress back then and do now a days, I mean they over do their makeup I mean they wear tons of makeup. A lot of people say that Joan Crawford looks like a drag queen with all that makeup and jewelry, but I mean look at real prostitutes that's how they done themselves, her portrayal is authentic and raw. Her acting is superb in every way, and it also shows how Christian bigotry has not change since 1932 till now. Also Gloria Swanson did a swell job in her adaptation in her role as Sadie Thompson in the early version of this film with the different title of "Sadie Thompson" from 1927 also a most see if you like this film "Rain". I give this film 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2013
The story of a bad girl tempting the missionary, man of the cloth, symbol of all that is good and Sadie Thompson is all that is evil.
I thought Joan was quite effective since she always comes off as a bit course to me in all of her films anyway.
Her early scenes with the soldiers on shipboard and then at Guy Kibbee's General Store were probably risqué for the early 30's and I wondered how they were able to get around the code of decency though by today's standards there is nothing to these scenes.
I am a big fan of Walter Huston and Beulah Bondi which made this film all the more enjoyable for me.
This film moves at a good pace and I hope others will want to own it for their film collections.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
this little gem has been underrated. Excellent acting, well cast, and a provocative story line.
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