The first film dealing with dope addiction made with the prior approval of the industry’s self-governing Production Code, A Hatful of Rain is more than a story of a junkie. It touches knowingly and sensitively on a family relationship. Michael V. Gazzo has converted his Broadway play into a provocative and engrossing film drama.
The people involved in this web of narcotics are basically decent human beings. The story revolves about their reactions when one of them turns out to be a junkie. As the pregnant wife of a narcotics addict, Eva Marie Saint handles the emotional peaks and tender moments with sensitive understanding. Don Murray scores, too, as the likeable junkie who desperately attempts to hide his secret from his wife and his obtusely devoted father.
The role of the brother who shares an apartment in a lower east side NY housing project with his dope-addicted relative and his wife is compellingly played by Anthony Franciosa, repeating his original stage assignment. Misunderstood and rejected by his father, Franciosa is moving as ‘his brother’s keeper’ and sister-in-law’s confidante. As the widowed father who left his sons in an orphanage at an early age, Lloyd Nolan turns in a topnotch portrayal. Henry Silva, also repeating his stage role, is convincingly unctuous and contemptible as the dope peddler.
1957: Nomination: Best Actor (Anthony Franciosa)