Rain (1932) Poster



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  • A ship on its way to Apia, Samoa is forced to make an unscheduled stop in nearby Pago Pago due to a possible outbreak of cholera on board. Five passengers -- missionary Alfred Davidson (Walter Huston), his wife Martha (Beulah Bondi), Dr. McPhail (Matt Moore) and his wife (Kendall Lee), and Miss Sadie Thompson (Joan Crawford) -- find temporary boarding at a general store that doubles as a hotel run by Joe Horn (Guy Kibbee) and his native wife Ameena (Mary Shaw). Trouble ensues when the Davidsons find that they cannot tolerate Sadie's evil ways, i.e., fraternizing with soldiers and dancing on Sunday, so Mr Davidson sets out to 'save' her. Edit

  • Rain is adapted from the 1923 play Rain by American playwrights John Colton and Clemence Randolph, which was based on British playwright W. Somerset Maugham's short story 'Miss Thompson' (later retitled 'Rain'). The story and play were adapted for the movie by American playwright Maxwell Anderson. Other movie versions of the short story include Sadie Thompson (1928) (1928) and a 1953 musical, Miss Sadie Thompson (1953). Edit

  • The Samoan Islands are located in the South Pacific, east of Australia. Apia is the capital city of Upolu (Western Samoa), and Pago Pago is the capital of Tutuila (American Samoa). Edit

  • No explanation is offered in the movie nor in Maugham's story (that scene isn't even in the story) as to why Sadie should have a complete turn around when Davidson begins to recite the Lord's Prayer, so it's up to the viewer to theorize what happened. One theory is that Sadie harkened back to her Christian upbringing, realized how far she had strayed, and repented her ways, just as Davidson hoped. Another theory is that she faked it, knowing how much power he and his mission held over her and convinced that her only means of getting any leniency at the penitentiary was to have him on her side. A third theory is that she was fashioning a plan to expose him in his hypocrasy, put him in his place, and show him that even HE has sin in his heart and that he shouldn't be judging her. Edit

  • Thus Spoke Zarathusa (1885) is a four-part treatise written by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche [1844-1900]. The book is in the public domain and can be obtained for free here, courtesy of Project Gutenburg. Edit

  • The morning that Sadie is slated to leave Pago Pago and return to San Frnacisco to do her time in the penitentiary, the villagers pull in Davidson's body in their fishing net...his throat cut. The police call it suicide. Meanwhile, back at the general store, music can be heard coming from Sadie's room. Having heard of Davidson's death, Sergeant 'Handsome' O'Hara (William Gargan) drops by to make sure that she is all right. Joe knocks on Sadie's door to let her know that O'Hara is here. Sadie comes out dressed in her pre-conversion clothes, smoking a cigarette, her face thick with makeup. O'Hara tries to get her to turn off the music, but she replies only that men are pigs. He then tells her that Davidson committed suicide, and she crumbles against the wall, finally allowing Joe to turn off the music. She tells O'Hara that she's going to Sydney with him if the invitation still holds. In the final scene, he wordlessly loops his arm through hers, and they leave the store together. As they walk out, Mrs McPhail and Mrs Davidson are returning, presumably from identifying the body. Mrs Davidson tells Sadie how sorry she is for Sadie as well as for her husband. Sadie replies, 'I'm sorry for everyone in the world, I guess,' Then she and O'Hara keep walking. Edit

  • Yes. One of the sites on which you can read Maugham's story is here. Edit



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