Daily Projections, 5-22-2019: Miracle In The Rain (1956)

Title: Miracle In The Rain
Director: Rudolph Maté
Country of Origin: USA
Year: 1956
Screening format: TV (TCM)
Setting: home
First viewing? yes

Aired following Minnelli’s The Clock. Recorded for later viewing because people on Twitter kept going on about how good it was. Miracle In The Rain begins like a standard wartime romance. A soldier (Van Johnson) in the city on a pass meets a girl (Jane Wyman) and wriggles his way into her life (sounds a lot like The Clock so far), they fall in love and promise to get married after the war. Miracle In The Rain continues to play like standard romance until midway through the picture Van Johnson is killed in action. From which point, Ruth (Wyman) becomes despondent and fixated on a statue of St. Andrew in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It’s different, certainly. Van Johnson is Van Johnson, but the more impressive performance is turned in by Wyman (only a few years before the oldish maiden aunt in Pollyanna) as an always demuring Ruth finally allowing herself a bit of happiness only to have it dashed away. If anything, Miracle In The Rain (novella, story and script by Ben Hecht) is proof that Hecht could make the occasional foray away from biting cynicism, though he never really seems at home in this melodrama. Or does he? Ruth’s fixation on St. Andrew eventually leads to her becoming dangerously ill. And yet, St. Andrew is, among other things, the patron saint of protection against sore throats…and fever.

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