ⓘ A Hatful of Rain


ⓘ A Hatful of Rain

A Hatful of Rain is a 1957 American drama film about a young married man with a secret morphine addiction, based on a 1955 Broadway play of the same name. It is a medically and sociologically accurate account of the effects of morphine on an addict and his family. The frank depiction of drug addiction in a feature film was a rarity for its time.

The film stars Eva Marie Saint, Don Murray, Anthony Franciosa, Lloyd Nolan, and Henry Silva. It was adapted by Michael V. Gazzo, Alfred Hayes, and Carl Foreman from the play by Gazzo. Foreman was blacklisted at the time of the films release. The Writers Guild of America added his name to the films credits in 1998, 14 years after his death. It was directed by Fred Zinnemann and features a strong musical score by Bernard Herrmann. Herrmann was asked by 20th Century Fox to rescore his prelude for the film as the original was considered "too terrifying".

Franciosa was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role.


1. Plot

In a housing project apartment in New York City near the Brooklyn Bridge, Johnny Pope Don Murray lives with his pregnant wife Celia Eva Marie Saint and his brother Polo Anthony Franciosa. Johnny is a veteran recently returned from the Korean War, in which he sustained an injury while surviving for days trapped in a cave. His survival made him a hero in the newspapers, but his ensuing recuperation in a military hospital left him secretly addicted to the painkiller morphine, with Polo his only family member aware of his condition.

Johnny and Polos father, John Sr. Lloyd Nolan arrives in New York from his home in Florida to briefly visit his sons, and to pick up $2500 that Polo had saved and promised to him whenever he wanted it. John Sr. has just fulfilled his dream of quitting his job and buying his own bar, and needs the money to pay for repairs and remodeling to the new business. However, Polo tells his father that he spent the money and refuses to say what he spent it on. John Sr. becomes angry and refuses to speak to Polo, continuing his lifetime pattern of praising Johnny and putting down Polo.

Later on, John Sr. expresses his pride in Johnnys war service and that he has married a fine wife, is starting a family, and lives in a nice apartment for which he has even built much of the furniture by hand, while Polo by contrast is renting a room from his brother, is not married and works in a bar that his father considers low-class. Unbeknownst to their father and Celia, Polo gave the money to Johnny, who spent it all on his $40-a-day drug habit. John Sr. is also unaware that Johnny has lost four jobs in a row due to his habit and that Johnny and Celia are on the verge of divorce because Johnny ignores her and is gone for hours, including overnight. Celia thinks he is seeing another woman but in reality he is looking for drugs, which are becoming harder to find as the police are arresting many dealers.

While John Sr. is visiting, Johnnys dealer "Mother" Henry Silva comes to the Popes apartment with his henchmen Apples and Chuch, ready to beat Johnny badly because he owes Mother $500 and has no money to pay. Johnny begs for enough dope to last him until his father goes back to Florida the next day, and Mother gives him one dose, but warns him that he needs to pay at least $300 by the next day or they will put him in the hospital. Mother gives Johnny a gun and suggests he commit robbery to get the money. After arguing with Celia, Johnny leaves and spends the night walking the streets. He tries to rob several people at gunpoint, but is unable to go through with it. Meanwhile, Polo and Celia are home alone in the apartment John Sr. having returned to his hotel and Polo, who has been drinking, confesses his love for Celia, who in her loneliness and desperation is almost ready to return his love. Despite their mutual feelings for each other, they fall asleep in separate rooms.

When Johnny returns in the morning, he is starting to suffer withdrawal again and needs to meet a dealer for a fix, but his father expects to spend the day with him. Johnny tries to get his father to spend the day with Polo instead. but his father doesnt even want to talk to Polo, causing an emotional confrontation. John Sr. finally agrees to attend the football game with Polo. Johnny next coerces Polo into driving him to meet the dealer by threatening to throw himself out of the car in traffic, but when he arrives at the meeting place, the dealer is being arrested. Johnny goes into severe withdrawal and begins to hallucinate, just as Mother and his gang arrive to collect Johnnys debt payment. Upon learning that Johnny doesnt have the money, they give him one dose in exchange for the twelve dollars Polo has in his wallet, and tell Polo to sell his car to cover Johnnys $500 debt. Polo tells Johnny to tell Celia the truth, that he is a junkie.

The fix temporarily cures Johnnys withdrawal symptoms and he tries to make up with Celia by preparing a romantic dinner, only to have her tell him when she gets home from work that she no longer loves him and wants a divorce. But when he confesses that he is a junkie, and that his habit has caused his absence and inattention to her, she reacts supportively. His father and Polo then arrive for dinner and Johnny informs his father that he is a junkie and that Polos $2500 was spent on drugs for him. His father gets angry, causing Johnny, who is going into withdrawal again, to run out of the apartment. Celia then becomes ill and has to be rushed to the hospital to make sure she will not lose the baby. When Johnny returns, he is menaced by Mother, but is saved by Polo who pays Mother the $500 he obtained by selling his car. Johnny announces his intention to get clean, even throwing a package of dope back to Mother. John Sr. and Celia who has not lost the baby return, and Celia takes charge, reassures Johnny, and calls the police to come get the sick Johnny and put him in the hospital.


2. Critical Reception

Bosley Crowther of The New York Times hailed this productions emotional nakedness in its depiction of addiction and its terrible costs. A Hatful of Rain is a tremendously taut and true description of human agony and shame, of solicitude and frustration and the piteousness of tangled love.

  • Hatful of Rain may refer to: A Hatful of Rain a 1957 film, or the play that it is based on Hatful of Rain album an album by Del Amitri Hatful of Rain
  • Hatful of Rain an acoustic music group from Brighton and Shoreham - by - Sea, Sussex, England, perform original material that combines English folk sounds
  • Hatful of Rain The Best of Del Amitri is an album by Del Amitri, released in September, 1998. It is a compilation of their greatest hits. The single
  • Actor - Anthony Franciosa - A Hatful of Rain Best Actress - Eva Marie Saint - A Hatful of Rain San Giorgio Prize Something of Value Richard Brooks FIPRESCI
  • films, were held on February 22, 1958. The Bridge on the River Kwai A Hatful of Rain Sayonara 12 Angry Men Witness for the Prosecution Les Girls Don t Go
  • Tony Sirico. He authored a gritty Broadway play about drug addiction, A Hatful of Rain which ran for 389 performances in 1955 and 1956. It starred Ben Gazzara
  • stage actor. He began as a successful stage actor, gaining a Tony Award nomination for the drug - addiction play A Hatful of Rain After relocating to Hollywood
  • which earned him a nomination for Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Murray s other theatrical films include A Hatful of Rain 1957 Shake Hands
  • Wind Ben Gazzara A Hatful of Rain Boris Karloff The Lark Michael Redgrave Tiger at the Gates Edward G. Robinson Middle of the Night Distinguished
  • Men The Spirit of St. Louis The Rising of the Moon Albert Schweitzer Funny Face The Bachelor Party The Enemy Below A Hatful of Rain A Farewell to Arms