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The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936)

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:
Melissa Tolliver
Buddie Tolliver
Otto Fries ...
Clayt Tolliver
Margaret Armstrong ...
Tolliver family member
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 »


Remake of The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1916) See more »


The Trail of the Lonesome Pine
Music by Harry Carroll
Played during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent Golden Era Film
12 April 2002 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

`In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, on THE TRAIL OF THE LONESOME PINE,' a young woman discovers love, but no respite from the violent feud which has torn apart two families.

Full of good performances & boasting excellent production values courtesy of Paramount Studios, this fine drama brings to its viewers a not-so-subtle message of peace & tolerance. The vividly depicted consequences of mindless, violent behavior give the film a real punch.

The film's romantic triangle consists of barefoot mountain lass Sylvia Sidney, her decent, uncomplicated cousin Henry Fonda, and mining executive Fred MacMurray, who, as a newcomer to the backwoods, rebels against the traditions of violence & revenge he finds there. All three deliver compelling performances, with a slight advantage going to the gentlemen, as their roles do not require as much shrill, fickle behavior as does Miss Sidney's.

The marvelous character actress Beulah Bondi appears as Miss Sidney's mother, one of the first in a decades-long line of stubborn, proud old women she would play; her eyes tell of the world of trouble her character has seen on the mountain. Cuddly Nigel Bruce is MacMurray's associate - gruff & grumbly, but with a heart of gold.

Special mention should be made of seven-year-old Spanky McFarland, who plays Miss Sidney's little brother. Already the star of numerous OUR GANG comedies, the tiny tyke here displays the talent that placed him in the front rank of child movie stars. Precocious & poignant, Spanky's character is quite unforgettable.

Fred Stone & Robert Barrat play the heads of the two feuding clans, one gentle - the other fierce. Movie mavens will recognize Clara Blandick as a frightened landlady and Samuel S. Hinds as the Gaptown sheriff.

The film is stitched together by the evocative, nostalgic singing of Fuzzy Knight, who introduces ‘Twilight On The Trail' & ‘A Melody From The Sky,' (both by Louis Alter and Sidney D. Mitchell). The tune for the chorus of ‘The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine,' by Ballard MacDonald & Harry Carroll, can be briefly heard during the opening credits; viewers will need to watch Laurel & Hardy's WAY OUT WEST (1937) to hear this fine old song actually sung.

Famous as the first outdoor film produced in full Technicolor, THE TRAIL OF THE LONESOME PINE benefits greatly from its location filming near Cedar Lake, in California's San Bernardino Mountains.

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