The Rainmaker - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Rainmaker Reviews

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hunterjt13
Super Reviewer
June 2, 2015
A con artist arrives in a drought-ridden town claiming he can bring rain.
Burt Lancaster is a force. Perfectly cast as Starbuck, Lancaster chews the scenery with aplomb, and whereas any other actor might look like he's drawing attention to himself, Lancaster never looks like he's not playing the character honestly. This and his work in Elmer Gantry are the main reasons why he's such a eye-catching and dynamic. Katharine Hepburn is never quite believable as plain Jane Lizzie, but she makes it work and her scenes with Lancaster are the best in the film.
The last scene is confusing, and to avoid giving it away, I'll just say that the reasons why a character makes a decision aren't entirely clear.
Overall, The Rainmaker highlights Lancaster's incredible and vivacious talents.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
I really enjoyed this movie, Hepburn and Lancaster make a good team, and the story is really cool, check it out.
bbcfloridabound
Super Reviewer
May 3, 2010
Burt Lancaster plays a con man, Katharine Hepburn a near old maid. While trying to con the town and having the law chase him, Lancaster starts making promises to Lissy and she thinks her night in shinning armore has arrived. See the movie to know the ending. A 4 star movie,
FilmFanatik
Super Reviewer
March 1, 2009
A welcome surprise in my daily movie diet, The Rainmaker was a sweet desert, to say the least. Burt Lancaster, Katherine Hepburn and Lloyd Bridges star in this adaptation of the stage play of the same name. All of the actors do wonderful work here. Most people would see it as simply over-acting their parts, but I believe the nature of the play itself...well...it couldn't have been played any other way and I enjoyed the performances. Shot in the days of Vistavision by stage play director Joseph Anthony, the film looks very nice and is composed to great effect with the letterbox format. The amazing thing about the movie is that it was essentially shot in one location, leaving out the sherrif's office and the town in the prologue, but yet it never tires because the material and the delivery of it is very strong and very interesting. The score here is peppy and just a delight, not to mention it matches the film so well. It gives it a spirit and a movement that keeps the pace on track. The few complaints I have about the movie ARE very few, so let's get them over with. To me, Burt Lancaster is only in half of this movie, really. He pops up at the beginning and disappears for nearly 30-60 mins in the whole of the story. It does give you a chance to meet and get to know the family of the story, but I think it causes the main narrative to suffer a little bit. I also believe that some of the scenes in the film are FAR too long. To me, the conclusion of some scenes is reached in the audience's mind before the character's actually get there themselves. Some of the dialogue itself feels burdensome for this reason. Build-up and exposition is one thing, fleeting is another. Despite these flaws, this movie was very enjoyable. I really related to it on a level that I can't quite get into here, but trust me when I say that the movie is a good one, and that if you happen to catch it on TCM, do watch and enjoy a great romantic classic.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
April 4, 2007
has the feeling of a play, sometimes that gets in the way but overall a good film
Super Reviewer
December 27, 2007
I identified most with Lloyd Bridges' character and thought he was the most natural actor of the bunch, but he is not the protagonist of the story. Most of the other actors over act their roles. This movie portrays a romanticized country/western town with flat characters who barely have any flesh on them. I've come to expect a lot of hand movement when Lancaster talks, as if he is an untrustworthy salesman like he is in this story, or as if he is a circus performer like he was before getting into movies. It's sad to see Kate Hepburn playing an intelligent, somewhat strong woman, who has to hide those qualities in order to get a man though. The movie is about a battle between faith and broken dreams, tearing people down or building them up, and hoping for miracles versus being practical. I think most of the movie and the ending dwell on a very unrealistic platform. I had seen another version of this story that had a different ending before seeing this movie, so this was a let-down in comparison.
Super Reviewer
½ February 18, 2014
Lancaster is too corny to pull this off effectively. HIs attempts to bring out the glamour in Hepburn seem forced.
Super Reviewer
March 19, 2008
Lancaster shines again. Now give me my hundred bucks!
April 2, 2010
An old-old school classic a bit on the obscure side. A great pairing of Hepburn and Lancaster. Director Joseph Anthony somehow generates chemistry out of Hepburn who was rumored to be such a shrew that her on-set kissing looked like she was making out with a 2X4. A fun old movie to watch on AMC at 3 am when you're bored, stoned or just feel like watching a movie with your grandmother.
½ September 21, 2008
A very atypical role for Hepburn, playing a spinster desperate for a man. But she pulls it off, despite the baggage she brings from all her previous, more feminist portrayals. Burt Lancaster is very cool, and kinda hot. The movie is based on a play, and like so many other adaptations, it feels like a filmed stage performance. I like the fact that it largely takes place over the course of one evening, and that we spend most of the movie with the same four characters -- it's intimate. But I couldn't believe the romantic relationships the movie started building, and in the end, there isn't much to help this movie translate well for modern audiences.
February 16, 2008
God, the only thing that kept this from being a great movie was Burt Lancaster's lackluster performance. And I hate to say that becuase Lancaster is such a great actor. except this time...
½ November 20, 2007
Yeesh, Lancaster can lay it on thick -- but he's mesmerizingly sincere, even when playing the mountebank.
July 6, 2007
This is such a great movie! Romantic, moving, and a unique story...Burt Lancaster and Katherine Hepburn's characters are so believable...Love it! And I just purchased it on DVD! On my "My 5 Star Classic Dramas" list. DVD.
½ May 14, 2007
Great drama transferred to the screen without much cinemagic. The actors: Lancaster and Hepburn are supply the special effects
July 25, 2006
Obviously Kate Hepburn and Burt Lancaster are intense in this. But to my mind Cameron Prud'homme and Lloyd Bridges run away with the picure. They are soooo perfect in their roles.
½
Although both Lancaster and Hepburn are a little long in the tooth for their roles, it is worth watching these masters at work.
½ November 18, 2015
True passion for this 1956 wonder.
hunterjt13
Super Reviewer
June 2, 2015
A con artist arrives in a drought-ridden town claiming he can bring rain.
Burt Lancaster is a force. Perfectly cast as Starbuck, Lancaster chews the scenery with aplomb, and whereas any other actor might look like he's drawing attention to himself, Lancaster never looks like he's not playing the character honestly. This and his work in Elmer Gantry are the main reasons why he's such a eye-catching and dynamic. Katharine Hepburn is never quite believable as plain Jane Lizzie, but she makes it work and her scenes with Lancaster are the best in the film.
The last scene is confusing, and to avoid giving it away, I'll just say that the reasons why a character makes a decision aren't entirely clear.
Overall, The Rainmaker highlights Lancaster's incredible and vivacious talents.
September 3, 2014
Lancasters character is wonderfully flamboyant and Hepburn is Hepburn so without fault.
June 26, 2014
I love this story as a play, but somehow its theatricality comes across a little bit corny on screen. And despite Katharine Hepburn being a great actress, she is way too old for her role and has little chemistry with Burt Lancaster.
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