Cinema: New Picture, Dec. 31, 1956

The Rainmaker (Hal Wollis; Paramount). Most modern audiences seem to enjoy a good sermon—as long as it preaches what they practice. They are also increasingly symbol-minded—provided the symbols do not excite the mental so much as the sentimental faculties ("It isn't enough that boy meets girl," one playwright complained. "Now they want to know what he metaphor"). They also have a kindly feeling of superiority for an old maid—if she isn't too old. And everybody loves a cowboy picture.

All of these old-hat tricks were cleverly combined by Playwright N. Richard Nash in The...

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