The Rainmaker (1956)

Joseph Anthony directs Burt Lancaster, Katharine Hepburn and Wendell Corey in this Western romance where an old maid falls for a travelling conman who offers hope with his zealous overconfidence.

The above plot description is a little unfair as I get the feeling Hepburn is supposed to be playing a plain girl in her early twenties. Casting a striking star rubbing against 50 years old in the role creates a jarring awkwardness that the film never really overcomes. It is colourful filmed stage play aiming for somewhere between Oklahoma and The Chase. A lively, inhibited star turn by Lancaster saves this. His untrustworthy charm electrifies his scenes with boyish machismo.


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