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The Rainmaker


List Price: $14.98
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The Rainmaker + Birdman Of Alcatraz/Elmer Gantry + TCM Greatest Classic Legends Film Collection: Burt Lancaster (Local Hero / The Flame and the Arrow / Executive Action / Seven Days in May)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Burt Lancaster, Katharine Hepburn, Wendell Corey, Lloyd Bridges, Earl Holliman
  • Directors: Joseph Anthony
  • Writers: N. Richard Nash
  • Producers: Hal B. Wallis, Paul Nathan
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: July 12, 2005
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009CTVGI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,897 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Rainmaker" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

In THE RAINMAKER, a lonely ranch girl blossoms into full womanhood under the spell of a wandering charlatan named Starbuck. Katharine Hepburn garnered an Oscar nomination as the "believably plain yet magnetically beautiful" tomboy rancher, with Burt Lancaster brilliantly cast in the role of the smooth-talking con man.

Customer Reviews

I love this movie; it is one of my favorites.
C. Norris
This a very realistic man until the extreme he's brutal, because naked truth can be so, and does from life a desert without any illusion, killing any desire.
Carlos Vazquez Quintana
Burt Lancaster, Katherine Hepburn, Wendell Corey, Llyod Bridges, Earl Holliman, amazing performances!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By K. Williams on February 2, 2007
Format: DVD
Bill Starbuck (Burt Lancaster) is a charlatan selling multi-flavored hopes of fulfilled dreams. Take your pick: early-warning tornado devices or cumulous nimbus over drought stricken cattle. It requires more than animated gestures and wild stories to satisfy the matrimonial desires of aging Lizzie Curry (Katherine Hepburn). Their paths cross in the Southwest as THE RAINMAKER promises thunder to the Curry family of hopefuls and hopeless.

At 49 - just six years older than Lancaster, Hepburn appears old enough to be mother to her theatrical siblings - a mistaken assumption expressed by daffy brother Jim (Earl Holliman) when he remarks how wonderful it would be for her to conceive a child so he could have a little brother. Nevertheless, the vigorous passion of this Old Maid desiring change without changing well compliments the undesputed Star - buck. From the moment he enters a scene, Lancaster steals the show with prolific lines of what Hepburn shamelessly labels "bunk."

The smile that overcomes me when the film begins is frequently interrupted by tears of joy and thunderous outbursts of laughter. I love it when a DVD investment pays off this well. Put your faith in THE RAINMAKER.

Movie quote: "Rain is rain, brother. It comes from the sky. It's a wetness known as water - 'aqua pura.' Mammals drink it. Fish swim in it. Little boys wade in it. And the birds flap their wings and sing like sunrise. Water! I recommend it."
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By gy knott on September 10, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Everytime this movie came on T.V. I watched. Then I decided I might as well get it for myself. I am thrilled I did. The look, the sound - all are great. Very pleased.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By C. Robertson on December 2, 2006
Format: DVD
I first saw this film when I was 10, and fell instantly in love with Burt Lancaster. His enthusiasm, amazing smile and sheer energy make this story a joy to watch. Katherine Hepburn always struck me as a little too old for the part, but she is so good that you can't imagine anyone else playing Lizzie. When I saw Burt Lancaster later in Elmer Gantry, I was stuck by the likeness to his character Starbuck in The Rainmaker; Starbuck is a sweeter, less manipulative charater than Gantry. The Rainmaker is set in a western town suffering from a drought; into the town comes Starbuck, a seller of hope in the form of a promise to make it rain. He meets Lizzie, an "old maid" who longs for a man to love her, and the promise of children and security this brings. This is a very sweet story; while I could not understand Lizzie's final choice when I was younger, now I can see what she wanted and why she made the decision she did. This is a charming film, and it is lovely to see it looking to clear and bright on DVD.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TravelMod on July 1, 2007
Format: DVD
The story is now a bit stale, but this film is more than the sum of its parts.
The exterior sets are transparently artificial, and Ms Hepburn played another variation on her patented spinster role (see also The African Queen, The Corn is Green, Rooster Cogburn, Summertime, etc). Her acting range is better exhibited in "The Lion in Winter" or "Bringing Up Baby." Burt Lancaster also played his charlatan/con man role on other occasions (see Elmer Gantry.)

The writing (adapted by the author from his play) was excellent; contrived in plot yes (and remarkably similar to "The Music Man" in story), but surprisingly moving, intelligent and even free-thinking for its time--here's a father who encourages his daughter to become a "fallen woman". The original play "The Rainmaker" was adapted into the lovely musical "110 in the Shade" which is currently (June 2007) being revived on Broadway with the fabulous Audra McDonald. The film has comedy of a sort, personal drama, and a scene with Ms Hepburn's Lizzie in which she predicts her old-maid future that brought tears to my eyes. THAT's where her acting shines through. The ending has an unconventional twist.

Unfortunately there are no special features on this DVD; I would love to know what the actors thought of this film.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 14, 2000
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
On a drought-plagued farm somewhere in the southwest, spinster Lizzy Curry (Katharine Hepburn) has finally given up on ever being married, although her family wants to make one last effort with File (Wendell Corey), the local lawman. Into their lives comes the fast talking con man Starbuck (Burt Lancaster), who promises that he can make it rain for $100. More importantly, he can see the con job that Lizzy has played on herself and before he rides out of town he will have redeemed not only the shy spinster but himself.
Katharine Hepburn was well into her period of playing spinsters by the time she made this 1956 film with Burt Lancaster. The idea of Hepburn and Lancaster making a film together is interesting since they had totally different approaches to the acting craft. Hepburn would have the entire script memorized before shooting began whereas Lancaster preferred to learn his lines the night before. This is one of those films where the Bryn Mawr accent of the leading actress works against the character, but then the whole idea of Hepburn playing a rube--with costumes by Edith Head no less--is a bit of a stretch to start. Lancaster really sinks his teeth into the role of the charming mountebank Starbuck. Cameron Prud'Homme, Earl Hollliman and Lloyd Bridges play Lizzy's worried father and brothers, and it is they who really give the film its sense of life out on the farm more than the sets and scenery.
Based on N. Richard Nash's play, the film was directed by Joseph Anthony, who had directed the stage version starring Geraldine Page (presumably an attempt to duplicate the success of Elia Kazan in moving from Broadway to Hollywood). The story is still produced by community theaters as the musical "110 in the Shade.
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