Thursday, March 21, 2013
MIRACLE IN THE RAIN
Ruth Wood (Jane Wyman) lives with her mother (Josephine Hutchinson), and hasn't seen her father (William Gargan), who walked out on the family for another woman, in many years. One day she meets a soldier, Arthur (Van Johnson) on leave, and the two begin dating, but Ruth's mother is wary of all men since her divorce and is afraid her daughter will be hurt. Instead Ruth and Art fall in love, even as Ruth's father, who works in a restaurant the couple dine at, tries to build up his courage to get in touch with the daughter he hasn't spoken to in years. Then Art is called back to service ... While the extreme religiosity of the picture may be a turn-off to many, Miracle in the Rain works quite well as a romance, and boasts excellent performances, especially from a wonderful Wyman. Although the story line has some silly digressions, the movie has interesting elements, including the sub-plot with the father, and the New York City locations are well-served by Russell Metty's crisp cinematography. Franz Waxman turned in a superlative score as well. Barbara Nichols and Alan King play honeymooners in the park; Eileen Heckart scores as Ruth's co-worker and friend; and Fred Clark and Peggie Castle (Beginning of the End) are fine as Ruth's boss and an employee he is having an affair with. Arte Johnson is nice as another sympathetic co-worker of Ruth's. The church sequences go on a bit too long and the ending seems a mite dragged out. Whether you buy the "miracle" of the storyline or not, the picture is poignant and you can't help but pity poor Ruth.
Verdict: Well-mounted romance with a superior cast. ***.