Set at the beginning of monsoon season in the fictitious state of Ranchipur, India, The Rains Came is filled with sahibs, memsahibs, Indian royalty, servants in turbans, high-caste Indians in saris and tuxedos, elephants, monkeys, British Empire dignitaries, and American missionaries.
The Rains Came released during one of the richest years in cinematic history (ten 1939 films got Best Picture nominations), is best-remembered for its spectacular special effects, Nominated for five academy award including Best Cinematography (Black and White), Best Art Direction--Set Decoration, Best Sound, Best Original Score, Best Editing and won f0r Best Special Effects ( beat out both Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz for the Oscar.)
Take a look at the earthquake clip here and see how special effect still impressive .
Did you know??
- Initially budgeted at $2,500,000, an additional $100,000 was added to film a new ending. $500,000 was allotted for the sets, and $500,000 for the flood and earthquake scenes. 350 grips, carpenters and laborers worked for more than a month on those scenes.
- To create the flood effects, a 50,000-gallon tank of water was built on a studio sound stage.
- Bert Glennon started the movie as director of photography, but became ill and was replaced by Arthur C. Miller, who received the onscreen credit.
- Modern sources list Harry Revel as co-writer of the title song; however, he is not listed on the published sheet music or in the ASCAP database for the song.
- This movie was a monumental undertaking for the studio. Of the 100 shooting days, almost half were spent filming the man-made rain and floods, for which 33 million gallons of water were used.
- The Ranchipur of novelist Louis Bromfield was built on 18 acres of the back lot. The maharajah's palace, which was wrecked room by room in the earthquake, cost $75,000. The breaking of the dam was shot in two nights using 14 cameras.
- The studio had difficulty finding enough light-gray, black-faced monkeys for the shoot, so the makeup artists actually made up more common-looking monkeys to "fit the part".
- The first movie to win an Oscar for Best Visual Effects.