The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936)

 |  Drama, Romance  |  13 March 1936 (USA)
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A feud, the origins of which can barely be remembered, has been boiling for decades between two sheltered mountain families, the Tollivers and the Falins. With plans to build a railroad ... See full summary »



(screen play), (based on the novel by), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Fred Stone ...
Melissa Tolliver
Robert Barrat ...
Buddie Tolliver
Fuzzy Knight ...
Otto Fries ...
Samuel S. Hinds ...
Alan Baxter ...
Clayt Tolliver
Margaret Armstrong ...
Tolliver family member
Ricca Allen ...
Tolliver family member
Fern Emmett ...
Lena Tolliver


A feud, the origins of which can barely be remembered, has been boiling for decades between two sheltered mountain families, the Tollivers and the Falins. With plans to build a railroad through both families' land and mine coal deposits beneath it, enterprising outsider Jack Hale (Fred MacMurray) inadvertently becomes entangled in the region's politics. He soon captures the attention of the beautiful June Tolliver (Sylvia Sidney) and quickly becomes involved in a love triangle with her and her cousin Dave (Henry Fonda) Written by tonyman

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

feud | train | remake | based on novel | See All (4) »


Drama | Romance

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 March 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La fille du bois maudit  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Nominated for an Oscar for Best Song - 'A Melody From the Sky' in 1937. See more »


The mud on June Tolliver changes thickness and shape between shots. It also changes from wet to dry and then back to wet. See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits (except for the Paramount logo) all appear as if they had been printed on tree barks. See more »


A Melody from the Sky
Music by Louis Alter
Lyrics by Sidney D. Mitchell
Sung by Fuzzy Knight, with Henry Fonda (whistling)
See more »

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User Reviews

Well-balanced and beautiful technicolor story of a feud in them thar hills
1 August 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" (1936) is a relatively unknown Hollywood classic. Technicolor always has been a unique color film process, and this film again shows how magnificent a technicolor film could look. No matter what the story is, a technicolor movie makes an emotional impact on the basis of its color alone. It's as if we are drawn into the screen, even though the colors are by no means how we actually see colors. This particular DVD gets rave reviews for its color. Sound quality is also excellent. The subtitles have only a few small mistakes, hard to catch but easy to correct. I personally do not like 3 short lines of subtitles. I rearranged them myself so that none is more than 2 lines.

This story is well-balanced in the sense of being an effort by the entire cast. Some have larger roles than others, but all have significant parts and all fill out their characters very, very well indeed. I suppose credit has to go too to director Henry Hathaway for achieving this result.

The script is literate, showing another aspect of balance, which is the balance between emotion, rationality and moral standards. Although two sides are feuding, they do so in a restrained way that limits their private war. This is not all-out war intended to obliterate the opponent by any means. These standards are critical in several parts of the story, and when they are breached the resulting pangs of conscience, guilt and expected ostracism for inhumanity are what help lead to a reconciliation.

The story is a tearjerker for sure in the best sense, but mainly it conveys a number of hopeful messages about our human potential combined with its messages about our failings and the resulting tragedies.

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