Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"The Rains Came" with Myrna Loy and Tyrone Power (1939)

When an Indian nobleman returns to his homeland after studying medicine in the United States, Rama Safti, played by Tyrone Power, seeks to use his training to make the life of his people better through his education and training. But things are not as easy as they appear to be in the fictional city of Ranchipur, which is undergoing a prolonged drought. The citizens there pray for relief in the form of rain.

Myrna Loy plays the part of Edwina Esketh, a young lady who finds herself stranded in India and quickly becomes the target of the affections of both Major Safti and Tom Ransome, played by George Brent, an aristocratic womanizer. Their friendship is further strained by the flirtatious Fern Simon, played by Brenda Joyce, the daughter of American missionaries.

As these relationships become entangled in a web of lies, deceit and mistrust, the monsoons arrive, along with a devastating earthquake. These events force all of the main characters to re-evaluate their own lives, as well as the society in which they live, bringing the movie to an astonishing conclusion about life, love and all that really matters.

Although there is not much “real” history in this film it is interesting to note that the character of Edwina is supposedly based on Edwina Mountbatten (wife to Lord Mountbatten, a known homo-sexual.) Lady Mountbatten was known to prefer "men of color", just as the character in the film does. In real life, Lady Mountbatten had a long term affair with a Jamaican cabaret singer. Pretty good movie, and as always, Myrna Loy is a pleasure to watch.

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