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Miracle in the Rain

Miracle in the Rain(1956)

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Voice-over narration is heard at the beginning of the film, introducing the setting as New York City, May 1942. At the end of the film, the narrator says, "That's the way we heard it. We'd like to believe it's true!" Ben Hecht's onscreen credit reads: "Novel and screenplay by Ben Hecht." A condensed version of author Ben Hecht's 1943 novel, Miracle in the Rain, appeared in the April 3, 1943 Saturday Evening Post. According to a February 1944 Hollywood Reporter news item, Hecht was planning to write, direct and produce a film version of his story with the help of cameraman Lee Garmes and assistant director Harold Godsoe. July 1947 Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles Examiner news items reported that Benedict Bogeaus purchased the property for his company, Arcadia Productions, which he co-owned with actress Ida Lupino. According to the Los Angeles Examiner news item, Lupino and Bogeaus planned for Lupino to star in the film and King Vidor to direct.
       In January 1953, Los Angeles Herald Express reported that, prior to Bogeaus and Lupino's acquisition, the property had belonged to M-G-M and afterward changed hands several times: The Arcadia producers sold it to Raphael Hakim and a year later Alfred Guarini bought it as a starring vehicle for his wife, Italian actress Isa Miranda. Charles Feldman next bought the property, planning to produce it with Vittorio de Sica. An April 1952 Variety news item reported that De Sica and Feldman planned to produce the property under a different title and that the script, which Thornton Wilder and Orin Jennings would write, would be set in Chicago.
       A May 1954 Daily Variety news item announced that Frank P. Rosenberg acquired the film rights to the property and was at one time negotiating with Audrey Hepburn for the lead role. Neither Sal Mineo, who was reported to be cast by a May 1955 Hollywood Reporter news item, nor Biff Elliott, who tested for the lead, according to an April 1955 Hollywood Reporter news item, appeared in the released film. Although their appearance in the film has not been confirmed, Hollywood Reporter news items add the following actors to the cast: Kathleen O'Malley, Harry Harvey, Jr., Anna Dewey, Chalo Alvarado, Darlene Fields and Eddie Foy III. Actress Eileen Heckart's name is misspelled as "Hackart" in the Variety review. Although June 1955 Hollywood Reporter news item added Paul Maxey to the cast, he did not appear in the viewed print. Miracle in the Rain marked the final film of long-time character actor Halliwell Hobbes, who died in 1962.
       Portions of the film were shot in various locations in New York City, among them Central Park and St. Patrick's Cathedral. According to an undated, but contemporary, Hollywood Citizen-News article found in the file for the film at the AMPAS library, Miracle in the Rain marked the first time the interior of the cathedral appeared in a commercial film. According to a February 1956 Hollywood Reporter news item, a special screening of the film was held for New York City's cardinal, Francis J. Spellman, who was interested in seeing the scenes filmed there. As noted in a March 1955 Daily Variety news item, a marquee advertising Miracle in the Rain appears in a street scene in the film Illegal, which was also produced by Frank P. Rosenberg.