July 19, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT
We gave it a C+

With her keen mind and Bryn Mawr accent, Katherine Hepburn seems out of place on the drought-stricken Southwest ranch she shares with her dim brothers and unworldly papa in The Rainmaker. Burt Lancaster, flashing his choppers more than usual, is the lively con man who promises rain while offering Kate’s hopeless spinster a sprinkling of romance. Director Joseph Anthony, who also oversaw the popular Broadway production, sorely lacks the flair of, say, frequent Hepburn collaborator George Cukor, who could give crowded, word-filled rooms breath and sparkle. Here, scene after scene is mounted with a stage-bound blandness that exposes vigorous overacting and dated, cornpone dialogue. When the skies finally open up, it’s more a washout than a miracle. EXTRAS None.

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