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So Red the Rose (1935) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
20 December 1935 (USA) See more »
THE FIRE OF THE SOUTH! The fury of love..! ...Romance rides across the pages of history..! See more »
SO RED THE ROSE is King Vidor's quietly affecting Civil War romance, starring Margaret Sullavan as a Southern aristocrat... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Free To Do What? See more (6 total) »


  (in credits order)

Margaret Sullavan ... Valette Bedford

Walter Connolly ... Malcolm Bedford

Randolph Scott ... Duncan Bedford
Janet Beecher ... Sally Bedford
Elizabeth Patterson ... Mary Cherry

Robert Cummings ... George Pendleton
Harry Ellerbe ... Edward Bedford

Dickie Moore ... Middleton Bedford

Charles Starrett ... George McGehee
Johnny Downs ... Yankee boy
Daniel L. Haynes ... William Veal

Clarence Muse ... Cato
James Burke ... Major Rushton
Warner Richmond ... Confederate Sergeant
Alfred Delcambre ... Charles Tolliver
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard Allen ... Confederate Officer (uncredited)
Stanley Andrews ... Cavalry Captain (uncredited)
Leroy Broomfield ... Slave (uncredited)
E.H. Calvert ... Cavalry Major (uncredited)
Stephen Chase ... Soldier (uncredited)
Luke Cosgrave ... Prophet (uncredited)
Hal Craig ... Soldier (uncredited)
Edward Gargan ... Cavalryman (uncredited)
Kid Herman ... Slave (uncredited)
Alex Hill ... Scipio (uncredited)
Lloyd Ingraham ... Officer (uncredited)
John Larkin ... Cato's Companion (uncredited)
Baron James Lichter ... Soldier (uncredited)
Billy McClain ... Servant in Kitchen (uncredited)
Charles Morris ... Officer (uncredited)
David Newell ... Soldier (uncredited)
Paul Parry ... Soldier (uncredited)
Emma Reed ... Old Servant (uncredited)
Oscar Smith ... Slave (uncredited)
Madame Sul-Te-Wan ... Slave (uncredited)
Duke York ... Soldier (uncredited)

Directed by
King Vidor 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Maxwell Anderson 
Edwin Justus Mayer 
Laurence Stallings 
Stark Young  novel

Produced by
Douglas MacLean .... producer
Original Music by
W. Franke Harling 
Cinematography by
Victor Milner 
Film Editing by
Eda Warren 
Art Direction by
Hans Dreier 
Ernst Fegté 
Costume Design by
Travis Banton (uncredited)
Sound Department
Mesenkop Louis H. .... sound recordist
Harold Lewis .... sound recordist
Music Department
Hugo Friedhofer .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Herman Hand .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Friedrich Hollaender .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
John Leipold .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Max Reese .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Adolph Zukor .... presenter

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
82 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)
USA:Approved (PCA #1173)

Did You Know?

One scene, which called for 500 African American extras, was shot on a city-wide "Maid's Day Off" in Los Angeles.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Black Shadows on the Silver Screen (1975) (TV)See more »


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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
Free To Do What?, 11 November 2010
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Based on a novel by southern author Starke Young, So Red The Rose preceded that other southern perspective Civil War novel Gone With The Wind into both print and cinema. There are many reasons why this film never became the classic that Gone With The Wind became, but at least it didn't glorify the Ku Klux Klan like Birth Of A Nation.

The reason why Gone With The Wind enthralled so many people is that it both sustained interest for an almost four hour running time and created an incredible amount of interesting supporting characters, the movie and novel is definitely not just about the four leads. So Red The Rose never was able to do that and it's the difference between a reasonably good film and a screen classic.

The action centers around the Bedford family of Mississippi and it opens just before the firing on Fort Sumter. Walter Connolly is the head of the Bedford clan and wife Janet Beecher, daughter Margaret Sullavan, sons Harry Ellerbe and Dickie Moore. Ellerbe has a guest in Texas boy Robert Cummings. And there's distant cousin Randolph Scott, distant enough for Margaret Sullavan to get interested in. Remember the President and First Lady at the time also had the same last name and were fifth cousins before they married.

Scott's part is a combination of elements of both Rhett Butler and Ashley Wilkes. Like Butler he's reluctant to get involved in the war, but not for Butler's practical reasons. He has friends and relatives in the north and does not relish the idea of a Civil War like Wilkes. But later after the war hits home he rallies to the Confederacy.

The treatment of the slavery issue is what makes most people dislike So Red The Rose and Margaret Sullavan's scene where she talks the slaves into not rebelling and leaving the old plantation. Listen carefully to what she does say if you watch the film. She concedes absolutely that slavery is at an end, but when Sullavan argues and quite persuasively, you're free as soon as the Union Army arrives to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation, but free to do what? It's not like the promised land immediately arrives, freedom means that you are free to work for yourself or for wages. She raises issues that the USA was unable to grapple with during Reconstruction for a whole lot of reasons. In fact the plight of the slaves is dealt with more in So Red The Rose than in Gone With The Wind and better dealt with than in Birth Of A Nation.

In a recent book on Margaret Sullavan author Lawrence Quirk said that Sullavan at one time or another tried to get things going with Randolph Scott, Bob Cummings, Charles Starrett and Johnny Downs who were all in the cast. Rumors were flying so about what was happening off the set that Sullavan's then husband William Wyler asked his colleague King Vidor to step in to which Vidor politely and firmly decided he was not getting involved in any cast member's personal business. Sullavan could be difficult to work with.

She also was not crazy about Randolph Scott either as actor or the fact he declined her offers and maybe one influenced the other. Now Scott was not as good here as the Randy Scott we knew later on in his classic westerns, but as a Virginia born southerner he fit his role fine. Margaret decried his lack of historical knowledge, but from what I've heard about Randolph Scott his favorite reading was the financial page in the newspaper. He invested shrewdly and became one of the wealthiest actors in Hollywood.

So Red The Rose tanked at the box office leading cynical Paramount executives to call it So Red The Ink. The movie-going public just wasn't ready for a Civil War epic. But seen today it isn't as bad as its reputation would have it.

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