Format: Movies! Channel on rockin’ flatscreen.
I know it’s not true that it’s been awhile since I watched a film I really liked, but it feels like it sometimes. I genuinely go into each film expecting to like it or at least hoping that I will. That’s certainly the case with The Rainmaker from 1956. Considering that it stars Katharine Hepburn, Burt Lancaster, and Lloyd Bridges, I thought that hope was not unfounded. What I got instead was a movie with a pretty dumb plot, loaded with multiple instances of wild overacting, and that was badly miscast to boot.
We’re first introduced to Bill Starbuck (Burt Lancaster), a con man in the Western states and the Midwest, who travels around on a horse-driven carriage selling a variety of items and services that don’t really work. He initially sells small devices that are designed to prevent tornadoes from striking houses. He gets run out of town and ends up in a small town in Kansas that is hard-hit by drought. While this doesn’t pop out immediately, it’s not a stretch (based on the title) that Starbuck is going to pass himself off as a rainmaker for the drought-stricken town. They’re ripe for picking because the cattle are starting to die off.