Blu-ray Review: Baby the Rain Must Fall

STUDIO: Twilight Time | DIRECTOR: Robert Mulligan | CAST: Steve McQueen, Lee Remick, Don Murray, Josephine Hutchinson, Paul Fix, Ruth White, Glenn Campbell
RELEASE DATE: May 19, 2019 | PRICE: Blu-ray $29.95
BONUSES: theatrical trailer
SPECS: NR | 99 min. | Drama | 1.85:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 1.o | English subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio | Video | Overall

The 1965 drama Baby The Rain Must Fall comes from the same team that mounted 1962’s highly lauded To Kill a Mockingbird—writer Horton Foote, producer Alan J. Pakula (Love with the Proper Stranger) and director Robert Mulligan (The Man in the Moon). Like Mockingbird, Baby is a solid, downbeat drama that’s not without some emotional oomph, though it doesn’t add up to the sum of its very respectable parts.

Said parts are led by leading man Steve McQueen (who at the tie was looking to stretch beyond Great Escape image of action and thrills), alongside Lee Remick who, coming off the forgettable comedy The Wheeler Dealers, was looking for a solid dramatic turn a la 1962’s Days of Wine and Roses.

McQueen stars as rockabilly hopeful Henry Thomas, who’s newly paroled from prison after stabbing a man and is now looking to gain a foothold towards stardom in the roadhouses of his small Southeastern Texas hometown. Lee Remick is Henry’s estranged wife Georgette, who travels to town and gingerly reconnects with her husband, who doesn’t even seem to be aware that the six-year-old girl who’s accompanying her is the couple’s daughter.

Based on his play The Traveling Lady, Horton’s screenplay adjusts the focus of the tale on McQueen’s character, giving more dimension to his bad boy character and back story than was offered in the original text. McQueen was definitely up to the task and he looks and acts well, with his work at its most affecting when he plays opposite Remick.

Hyped by Columbia Pictures as “The Love Story of a Born Loser,” Baby The Rain Must Fall offers other indulgences–crisp black-and-white cinematography by Ernest Laszlo (Inherit the Wind), a lovely score by the great Elmer Bernstein (Sudden Fear) and even a quick glimpse of a young Glen Campbell (True Grit) as one of the guitarists in McQueen’s band. Twilight Time’s presentation is outstanding, as usual, as is Julie Kirgo’s accompanying contextual essay.

Buy or Rent Baby the Rain Must Fall

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.