Rainmakers [1935]

This 1950s classic is based on the N. Richard Nash play of the same name (and not to be confused with the John Grisham novel and subsequent film). It's drought time in the Southwest; things are so bad that when a con man (Burt Lancaster) comes to town promising he can make rain, a rancher takes him up on it. But the rancher's spinster daughter (Katharine Hepburn) is skeptical--until Lancaster makes lightning strike her heart, with the unexpected consequence of the rainmaker falling in love with her. Lancaster is charismatic and funny and finds his match in Hepburn (with Earl Holliman providing comic relief as her impulsive younger brother). Think Harold Hill and Marian the Librarian on a farm, minus the music (though Rainmaker later was made into the Broadway musical 110 in the Shade). --Marshall Fine

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