Friday, August 14, 2015

Miracle in the Rain

Miracle in the Rain  by Ben Hecht   52 pages

When I was a kid back in the late 1960s-early 1970s, I loved to watch old black-and-white movies on Sunday afternoons. One of those films that stuck with me was Miracle in the Rain, a rather sappy WWII romance. I hadn’t seen it again until recently when it aired on TCM.

The 1956 movie starred Van Johnson and Jane Wyman. Really I only remembered the final scene; it had stuck with me for all those years. 

Watching the credits, I saw that the movie was based on a “novel” by Ben Hecht, who also wrote the screenplay. I was excited to learn that the St. Louis Public Library had a copy.

The “book” turned out to be a short story---or as one is defined in 2015---of only 52 pages. The genre was current fiction when it was written in 1943, but now I would consider it historical fiction.

The film was true to the story. A lonely woman living in New York, caring for her mother, meets a lonely solider about to be sent overseas when she stops to wait out a rainstorm. He, Art Hugenon, inserts himself into her, Ruth Wood, into her life. And lickety-split, they are in love.

The movie had to add scenes to stretch it out but that didn’t take away from the storyline. It’s still a sappy WWII romance, but the plot is strong, the character well-developed, and the perfect amount of details.

I have to admit, I loved watching the old movie again, and reading Hecht’s story. It’s a great way to kill a couple of hours. Sentimentally, I give Miracle in the Rain, five out of five stars.

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