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The Rainmaker is a 1956 film directed by Joseph Anthony and adapted by N. Richard Nash from his play of the same name. The film tells the story of a middle-aged woman, suffering from unrequited love for the local town sheriff; however, she falls for a con man who comes to town with the promise that he can make it rain. It stars Burt Lancaster, Katharine Hepburn, Wendell Corey, Lloyd Bridges and Earl Holliman.

It was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Katharine Hepburn) and Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture. Earl Holliman won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor.

The Rainmaker was remade as Der Regenmacher in 1980 for Germanmarker television. This version was directed by Ludwig Cremer and stars Rolf Becker, Cornelia Froboess and Götz George.It was also made for American television in 1982, directed by John Frankenheimer and starring James Cromwell, Tommy Lee Jones, William Katt and Tuesday Weld.


Set in a drought-ridden rural town in the West in Depression era America, the film tells the story of a pivotal hot summer day in the life of spinsterish Lizzie Curry. Lizzie keeps house for her father and two brothers on the family cattle ranch. As their farm languishes under the devastating drought, Lizzie's family worries about her marriage prospects more than about their dying cattle. Even the town sheriff, File, for whom she harbors a secret yen, won't take a chance on plain Lizzie. The arrival of a charming con man named Starbuck, promising to bring rain in exchange for $100, sets off a series of events which enable Lizzie to see herself in a new light.


  • The Rainmaker was a one-hour television production in 1953 before being expanded into the play.

  • Elvis Presley took his first screen test for this movie, which led to reports that he was considered for a role as his movie debut. At least one source (the book Elvis: His Life from A to Z by Fred Worth and Steve Tamerius) says that this was not the case, although in an interview in 1956, Elvis did say that this was going to be his first movie.

  • In 1975, country music star Tanya Tucker had a #1 hit with "Lizzie and the Rainmaker", a song based on the film.

  • The film was an inspiration for the Indonesian film Bintang Kejora.

  • The film was an inspiration for the Hindi film Thodasa Roomani Ho Jaayen.

  • Charles Hatfield, a man who claimed to be a rainmaker with 500 successes, was invited to the premier of this film.


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