14 December 2010 | bkoganbing
The team that brought you To Kill A Mockingbird has also given us Baby The Rain Must Fall another southern based drama though the protagonist is hardly as admirable as Atticus Finch. Steve McQueen and Lee Remick star in this film as a married couple trying to make a new start in life after McQueen is released on parole from prison.
McQueen is a musician/singer of sorts and while I doubt he could have a career in big time country music, he doesn't have the talent to make the really big time. You won't see McQueen at the Grand Ole Opry, but he could make a respectable living doing the honky-tonks if it weren't for an ungovernable temper. In the few instances we see it displayed we never do see exactly what sets him off, the film might have been better if we had, we might understand McQueen more.
But the temper is a given and he's on parole. A wife and a daughter who the people of his Texas home town have never met and don't know the existence of, have come to join him. Lee Remick is the patient and loving wife, but she's coming slowly to the realization that this just isn't going to work.
Don Murray plays the local sheriff and a childhood friend who does what he can for McQueen. It's interesting to speculate whether Remick and Murray will get together afterward. Paul Fix has the same kind of part he did in To Kill A Mockingbird as a kindly judge.
If James Dean had lived this would have been a perfect role for him. But McQueen who had a background of foster care, who was a product of the social welfare system raising him, had a lot to draw on for his performance.
Steve McQueen did his own vocals though country singer Glenn Yarborough had a hit from the title song. Better that way then to have a real singer doing it lest the viewer think this guy has the talent to make it big.
Although this is not as good as To Kill A Mockingbird, writer Horton Foote and director Robert Mulligan did a bang up job in Baby The Rain Must Fall.