Henry, the Rainmaker


1h 4m 1949

Film Details

Release Date
Feb 13, 1949
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 9 Feb 1949
Production Company
Mayfair Productions, Inc.; Monogram Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Monogram Distributing Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "The Rainmaker" by D. D. Beauchamp in Collier's (23 Apr 1949).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 4m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,741ft

Synopsis

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.

Film Details

Release Date
Feb 13, 1949
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 9 Feb 1949
Production Company
Mayfair Productions, Inc.; Monogram Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Monogram Distributing Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "The Rainmaker" by D. D. Beauchamp in Collier's (23 Apr 1949).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 4m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,741ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The viewed print was missing most of its production credits. A April 27, 1949 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that writers Howard J. Green and Raymond Goldman filed suit against the producers, claiming that the picture had plagiarized their play The People's Choice. The final disposition of the suit is not known. This film marked film editor Peter Scully's debut as producer.
       Henry, the Rainmaker was the first in a five-picture series, known as "The Latham Family" (sometimes called the "Henry" series), in which Raymond Walburn and Walter Catlett played the characters of "Henry Latham" and "Mayor Colton," respectively. Gary Gray played Henry's son "David" in all five films, and Barbara Brown played "Mrs. Edna Latham" in all five. Scully produced the entire series, which was made by Mayfair Productions for Monogram. The last picture in the series was Father Takes the Air (1951). For more information on the series, consult the Series Index.