Rain just makes everything so much more dramatic in movies… so when I saw this Wet Blog-a-thon open invitation at Andrew’s blog, I knew I just had to take part. Of course the first thing that came to mind is something romantic, which is what I did a couple of years ago with the Jane Austen’s beautiful rain scenes.
The power of rain isn’t just limited to the romantic sense of course, and in this poll by LOVEFILM earlier this year, action apparently won over romance. The brutal and beautifully-filmed Battle of Helm’s Deep scene in The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers was voted best rain scene and I must stay it’s one of the best scenes of the entire trilogy. You can view the very scene here.
So this year, I’m going to list ten memorable and powerful rain/wet scenes used to great effect to signify everything from passion, tenderness, healing, vengeance, bravery, and defiance. It’s by no means a comprehensive list of course, just some I could think of at the top of my head today. So here we go:
Road to Perdition – Ambush in the rain
This atmospheric scene is sooo beautifully-filmed by Conrad L. Hall. It’s intense, brutal and incredibly poignant. The most heart-wrenching scene is when Paul Newman said to Tom Hanks character just before he entered the car… “I’m glad it was you” in his final surrender to an employee he loved as his own son.
Ben-Hur – Cleansing water from heaven
The redemptive quality of this film never fails to move me. On the eve of Christ’s crucifixion, as His body still hangs on the cross, Judah’s mother and sister were miraculously healed from their leprosy.
The Guns of Navarone – Cliff climbing in the rain
One of the most intense action scenes in this movie involve a massive amount of water. They’re both filmed in the studio, but I thought the special effects were pretty good for the day and it signifies just what an impossible mission this team of six had to go through.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find the exact scene I was referring to, but here’s a trailer of the film that shows a snippet of it:
Casino Royale – Shower Scene
Bond shows his tender side here as Vesper is traumatized by the brutal killing she unwittingly got involved in. There is nothing erotic or sexual in this scene, instead it packs an emotional wallop that makes Bond/Vesper relationship one of the best and most convincing romances in a Bond movie.
Titanic – Rose Dawson arrives in New York
This is apparently Nick’s favorite rain scene and I could see why. It’s a hopeful scene as Rose finally arrives in America, but more importantly, it signifies Rose’s defiance to her ‘fate’ and her undying love for lowly Jack Dawson.
300 – “It does look like rain.”
I like the stylized way Zack Snyder shot this scene. The music is cool, a modern take of a war theme that captures the optimistic and euphoria the Spartans feels watching Xerxes’ army destroyed by the storm. It also has one of my favorite quotes from the movie: Only one among us keeps his Spartan reserve. Only he. Only our king. Gerry Butler’s Leonidas is at his at his most solemn and dignified.
Blade Runner – Tears in the rain
It’s no wonder this scene is always present in most people’s favorite rain scenes. It’s undoubtedly Rutger Hauer’s most famous scene that he’ll always be known for. I just realized recently that the scene was unscripted! According to Wiki, Hauer wrote the speech himself and when he’s done with that scene, the cast and crew actually applauded and some even cried. Isn’t that cool or what?
Shawshank Redemption – Taste of Freedom
One of the best prison film ever and definitely one of those movies everyone must see, as Fogs astutely pointed out. The taste of freedom has never looked so gut-wrenching than the moment Tim Robins’ Andy came out of the sewer pipe and feels the taste of rain water for the first time in 20 years. Powerful stuff.
The Truman Show – the curiously isolated rain shower
This scene is whimsical but also tremendously sad at the same time. Truman has been suspicious of his surrounding for a while, but nothing quite prepares him for what’s really been done to him. Truly one of Jim Carrey’s best work and one of my all time favorites.
V for Vendetta – Evey is reborn
Undoubtedly one of Natalie Portman’s bravura performances even before Black Swan, this is a pivotal scene involving her character Evey being liberated from the fear that’s controlling her. Whether or not one agrees with V’s radical method, it certainly makes for an intriguing piece of cinema. As she stands in the pouring rain with outstretched arms, the scene is intercut with scenes of ‘V’ himself escaping from the burned down prison of the totalitarian regime.
Well, these are just ten I can think of right now. What are some of your favorite wet/rainy movie scenes?