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Henry, the Rainmaker

Henry, the Rainmaker(1949)

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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Angered by the poor garbage collection service in the town of Riverside, Henry Latham, a lawyer and influential citizen of the town, decides to solve the problem by running for mayor. In the hopes of unseating Mayor George Colton, who has been awarding city contracts in exchange for promises of kickbacks, Henry ignores the advice of his family and hires his friend, Steve Richards, to be his campaign manager. A short time later, Henry's daughter Barbara becomes engaged to Steve's son Charlie, who is awaiting his appointment to the job of city engineer. Henry's campaign gets off to a strong start, and he easily wins the support of many of the city's residents. When Henry begins a campaign to discredit Colton, Colton urges him to drop out of the race and threatens to run him out of town. Colton later attempts to strike back at Henry by assigning his aide, Mr. Seton, to find something in Henry's past with which to wage a smear campaign. Seton, however, advises Colton to drop his smear campaign idea. Later, Steve discovers the extent of Colton's corruption when the mayor tells him that he will approve Steve's water conservation plans only if Steve agrees to persuade his father to stop working for Henry's election campaign. Steve refuses to abide by the mayor's demand, and, as a result, the mayor instructs Seton to reject Steve's proposal. Realizing that he will lose the election unless he changes his style, Colton ends his kickback scheme and signs a legitimate garbage contract. Henry then withdraws his candidacy, but returns to the race when the townspeople label him a quitter. In desperate need of a new platform, Henry comes up with a plan to control the weather in the city. Steve refuses to be associated with Henry's absurd plan, and Charlie worries that Henry's re-entry into the race will end his chance for a city job. After promising to end the drought in Riverside, Henry meets with Professor Peabody, an "expert" in rain-producing devices, and the two put on a rain-making ceremony for the town. The townspeople are skeptical about the rainmaker until Peabody's explosive device produces a rainstorm. Henry's accomplishment soon turns into a disaster, however, when the rain results in flooding. Unable to face the angry residents of Riverside, Henry leaves town and takes his family on a vacation to Yellowstone Park. As the flooding continues, Colton is left with no alternative but to hire Charlie and use his expertise to save the town from ruin. When Barbara learns of the appointment, she thanks her father for helping Charlie get the job, which will allow them to marry.