Just a few weeks ago I did a Phenomenal 5 list on movies storms. This list probably sounds similar but I’m actually going for something quite different. Today I’m looking at specific movie scenes where the rain helped make it memorable. There are so many great rainy scenes that immediately come to mind. And with so many, I would never consider this the definitive list. Still, I have no problem calling these five rainy movie scenes phenomenal.
#5 – “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers”
Throughout Peter Jackson’s ambitious and invigorating Lord of the Rings trilogy you will find one memorable scene after another. There is one particular moment taken from the second film that is perfect for this list. Our heroes, a small group of elven soldiers, and a host of innocents find themselves seeking refuge in the fortress of Helm’s Deep. With nowhere else to go, they watch as a huge army of orcs gather outside their walls. In the brief calm before the storm, Jackson uses a brilliant little touch. While panning the massive orc army, Jackson shuts off the music and slowly drops of rain begins to falls. It slowly gets heavier and heavier and we hear the raindrops as they hit the metal helmets and armor. It’s an amazing set up to an epic battle.
#4 – “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”
If there are any of you who haven’t seen the darling “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” you may want to stop reading and skip down to the next movie. This particular rainy movie scene happens at the very end of the film. The adorable Audrey Hepburn runs out in the pouring rain after George Peppard who loves her but is fed up with her behavior. Instead she finds her cat down a wet New York City alley shuttering from the rain. She takes the cat in her arms, turns around, and there stands Peppard. In a true romantic fashion, the two embrace and kiss with the cat huddled between them and the rain pouring down. Simply lovely.
#3 – “Inception”
Christopher Nolan’s science fiction mindbender “Inception” was my favorite movie of 2010. This incredibly unique heist film takes place in the subconscious of different people. In the first level of an elaborate shared dream, Leonardo DiCaprio and his team find themselves on the sidewalks of a busy big city in the pouring rain. We get intense car chases, shootouts, and even a freight train storming down a city street. All of this happens in cool, mood-setting rain. But the real funny bit comes when we find out why the rain was so prevelent in the dream. It’s such a cool sequence laced with a touch of humor.
#2 – “Seven Samurai”
Akira Kurosawa was a brilliant filmmaker who not only told good stories but also used groundbreaking techniques which gave his films a special flare. “Seven Samurai” could possibly be his crowning achievement. Perhaps the signature scene for me is the showdown between the ronin and the bandits in a soaking rain. The battle takes place in a muddy village and Kurosawa uses the rain to create an amazing visual canvas. He incorporates all sorts of cool things including wide shots and jump cuts to capture the intensity of this battle. But for me, the rain gives it a grittier feel and a unique look that I still love to this day.
#1 – “Singin’ in the Rain”
It’s simply impossible to put together a list like this and not include Gene Kelly’s iconic dance sequence from the 1952 classic “Singin’ in the Rain”. After Kelly walks the beautiful Debbie Reynolds to her door he shares a kiss with her under his umbrella. After she closes the door he turns around with a lovesick look in his eyes. He closes his umbrella and begins his memorable dance and song in the rain. I’ve never been a big fan of musicals, but Kelly’s films have always pleased me. This particular number is one of his very best. It’s beautifully choreographed and absolutely unforgettable. Kelly was terribly sick when filming the scene, but you would never know it. It became one of the most well-known scenes in movie history.
So there you have my five phenomenal rainy movie scenes. I know many others will probably come to mind. Please take time to share them in the comments section. I would love to hear your choices.