The Howards of Virginia (1940)

Approved  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  19 September 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 752 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 7 critic

Beautiful young Virginian Jane steps down from her proper aristocratic upbrining when she marries down-to-earth surveyor Matt Howard. Matt joins the Colonial forces in their fight for ... See full summary »



(screen play), (novel)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »


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Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Cary Grant, Ann Sheridan, Marion Marshall


Cast overview, first billed only:
Jane Peyton-Howard
Fleetwood Peyton (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Alan Marshal ...
Roger Peyton
Paul Kelly ...
Captain Jabez Allen
Irving Bacon ...
Tom Norton
Elisabeth Risdon ...
Aunt Clarissa (as Elizabeth Risdon)
Mrs. Norton
Tom Drake ...
James Howard at 16 (as Richard Alden)
Phil Taylor ...
Peyton Howard at 18
Rita Quigley ...
Mary Howard at 17
Libby Taylor ...
Richard Gaines ...


Beautiful young Virginian Jane steps down from her proper aristocratic upbrining when she marries down-to-earth surveyor Matt Howard. Matt joins the Colonial forces in their fight for freedom against England. Matt will meet Jane's father in the battlefield. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Vivid Drama Of A Nation's Birth !


Drama | History | War


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 September 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pasión de libertad  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A modern source lists Sam McDaniel in the role of Robert the Butler, but that part was played by Jesse Graves. See more »


During a scene where Matt Howard (Cary Grant) is in his room shaving, with shaving soap on his face, and having a conversation with Thomas Jefferson (Richard Carlson) - A knock on the door is heard - Fleetwood Peyton (Sir Cedric Hardwicke) enters, Matt Howard turns to Fleetwood and the shaving soap has disappeared from his face. See more »


Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes
(1616) (uncredited)
Music by R. Melish (1780 ?)
Played in the score at the wedding
See more »

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User Reviews

this was MUCH better than I expected
3 February 2006 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Despite rather mediocre reviews here on IMDb and in Leonard Maltin's guide, I really liked this movie. Unlike the few other American Revolution films Hollywood has made, this one was both interesting and did an excellent job in conveying WHY the Colonists were rebelling and didn't paint the British as total buffoons or Nazis (like in THE PATRIOT). Plus, the main character's father-in-law is a loyalist, so the real tensions that existed within families was given decent treatment. As an American History teacher, I must point out that despite coming from Hollywood in 1940, the realism in spirit is quite surprising and I could recommend this to kids, as they'd learn a lot.

It was odd to see Cary Grant as a bit of a rag-tag outdoorsman, but he carried it off better than I'd expected. Plus, his British accent really wouldn't have been out of place in the Colonies at that time.

Another big plus for the film was the relationship between Grant and his sons. Yes, it's a bit manipulative, but I really liked the way the writers dealt with this relationship in the movie. All in all, an excellent film.

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