Rains of Ranchipur, The (1955): Jean Negulesco’s Oscar Nominated Version of Louis Bromfield’s Romantic Novel

As directed by Jean Negulesco, Fox’s second version of author Louis Bromfield’s romantic novel is not as lush or involving as the first one, “The Rains Came,” in 1939, though both films were nominated for the Special Effects Oscar.

Playing the Myrna Loy part, Lana Turner stars as Lady Edwina Esketh, the spoiled, hedonistic wife of Lord Esketh (Michael Rennie), a British royal.  Planning to buy horses, the Eskeths travel to the Indian city of Ranchipur, where Edwina meets and unsuccessfully attempts to seduce Dr. Safti (the young Richard Burton), a handsome Hindu doctor and the Maharani’s chosen heir.

While in Ranchipur, Edwina also encounters old acquaintance Tom Ransome (Fred MacMurray), who has become the town’s drunk and laughing stock, but is still interested in her.  However, when the doctor succumbs to her charms, it leads to a torrid affair.

But, in the end, it’s the devastating earthquakes and huge floods that steal the show from the stars, most of whom are miscast or unmotivated to turn in compelling performances, particularly Burton.

Oscar Nomination: 1

Special Effects

Oscar Awards: None

 

Oscar  Context:

The winner of the Special Effects Oscar was the war film, “The Bridges of Toko-Ri.”

Though technology was much more advanced in 1955, the special effects of the 1939 version were much more impressive.