- Two vintage "Behind the Cameras" segments from the Warner Bros. Presents TV series
- Original theatrical trailer
Miracle in the Rain
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Miracle in the Rain (DVD)
Jane Wyman and Van Johnson star in this classic love story, an O. Henry-style romantic melodrama about of two lonesome people, a shy woman and a dashing soldier from Tennessee. After they meet on a rainy afternoon in New York City during World War II, they start to build a love that might last forever. But fate threatens to come between them. Ben Hecht wrote the screenplay based on his novel. The popular song "I'll Always Believe in You" is featured.]]>
Need a good cry? A real fistful-of-Kleenex, cathartic, "Oh (sob) my (sob) God (sob)" weeping jag? The deft and lovely Miracle in the Rain is exactly what the love doc ordered. The 1956 classic stars Jane Wyman as Ruth, that long-lost movie heroine type: a working-girl spinster caring for her ailing mother, toiling at her mundane job and feeling life's passing her by. Well, life has a little surprise up its sleeve, in the form of a random meeting on the streets of New York, with a soldier named Arthur (Van Johnson), who's on temporary leave during World War II. The streets are dingy and the rain is pounding, but the mood is changed; two lost souls connect. What follows is a believable, heart-wrenching tale with a great script (courtesy of Ben Hecht), and terrific performances by the two leads and a brassy Eileen Heckart as Ruth's best pal (and chaperone on the couple's first date!). The film presages the later weepy Somewhere in Time, with its echoes of fate, chance, and even the role of a tiny coin. Fans of romance of all eras, who believe what Arthur says--"Love never dies"--should wrap themselves in the cocoon of Miracle in the Rain--and never stop believing in miracles. --A.T. Hurley
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Then after the show, they all go to a restaurant. Ruthie is so anxious and awkward but Art pulls her right out of it with his bubbly manner. He makes them both feel comfortable and special. Soon they are all talking and having a good time. He's a true gentleman. Watching the restaurant scene is like watching three real people having a conversation. It was like they weren't acting, it all just flowed so naturally. Who wouldn't love to have a buddy like Art? Seeing Ruthie come out of her shell is a joy to watch. I also love the scene where Grace tries to comfort Ruthie when she is sad. These characters all care deeply about one another and as a result you care about them too, at least I did.
While it's true that the ending is a little "romancey", I still love this movie. This is one of those movies that would never be considered anything more than a 2 star film by the professional critics yet, I enjoy it more than most 4 star films that are considered classics.
Jane Wyman is wonderful as a lonely woman brought to life by the unexpected attention of soldier Van Johnson in this tender soaper. Though it doesn't have quite the charm of "The Clock" with Garland and Walker, there is something very real and ultimately moving about this bittersweet story of falliing in love during wartime.
Ruthie (Wyman) lives in New York where she takes care of her heartbroken mother, still shell-shocked years after Ruthie's father called one night to say he was leaving. It has not allowed the sweet Ruthie much of a life outside her job and mother. When she meets a soldier in an elevator named Art (Van Johnson), his warm and friendly manner is just the right medicine for Ruthie, who's never really been noticed.
Johnson really shines in a role tailor-made for his boyish charm. He is lonely too, and masks his need with constant chatter so that Ruthie can't tell him to go away. Art sort of invites himself to dinner and over the next two days they paint a picture of love's transforming magic, which does not always take huge amounts of time. It is a picture painted on a canvas of fresh grass in Central Park, boat races, and a city made for falling in love.
When Art's 153rd is slated to pull out, however, their happiness is interrupted. It is the small touches, such as Ruthie's pride in a story Art gets publised in the paper, and a truck full of soldiers yelling goodbye to Ruthie when Art leaves that make this film rise above its soap opera origins. Ben Hecht's script, based on his own story, doesn't hurt either. A lovely and subtle score by Franz Waxman adds just the right mood to this special film.
Writing Art every day until he can write her back, a letter finally arrives for a lonely Ruthie, waiting for the voice and words which will make her heart live again. To reveal more would be unforgivable to anyone with a romantic heart who hasn't seen this yet. I can only say that a scene in the rain is a poignant moment never forgotten by those who have seen it, either recently or years ago.
A great cast gives Johnson and Wyman the room they need for two lost souls to find each other. Those with a romantic heart will find much to enjoy with this film, finally available on DVD.