This is the story of David Marshall 'Marsh' Williams, the real life inventor of the world famous M-1 Carbine automatic riffle used in WWII. It all started when Marsh, who was one to do ... See full summary »
This is the story of David Marshall 'Marsh' Williams, the real life inventor of the world famous M-1 Carbine automatic riffle used in WWII. It all started when Marsh, who was one to do things his way, was caught distilling moonshine, and was accused and convicted of shooting a federal officer in the process. This at first placed him in the chain gang which labeled him as a hard case. Later, to make room for those more deserving, he was moved to a prison farm, where he came under the direction of Captain H.T. Peoples. The Captain was a mild mannered warden, who did not shy from discipline when necessary, but also believed that given the opportunity, most men will respond to good. Believing that Marsh was just such a person, the Captain gave him every opportunity to reform, so much so, that he eventually allowed Marsh to work in the tool shop on his spare time to develop and build by hand, a working riffle, inside the prison farm itself. Written by
Bill Walch <TheWalchs@aol.com>
James Stewart actively sought the lead role, despite being too old for it, because the film reflected his right-wing views. See more »
At the beginning of the film - The March, 1951 issue of Reader's Digest published an article in its series. "The Most Unforgettable Character I've Met." That character is David Marshall Williams - and this is his story. He lived it. See more »
Jimmy Stewart plays real-life inventor Marsh "Carbine" Williams, a not-so-very-nice guy, really. Which is mostly the reason why Stewart wanted to take the part. Marsh Williams is convicted of murder although there was really never any proof. He is a bitter man, proud, trying to spare his family the heartache of seeing him in prison, but they stick by him anyway.
I enjoyed this movie; my favorite part probably being the friendship that slowly develops between inmate Williams and Captain Peoples ("Cap"). Watch for a good scene towards the end where Cap makes his friendship for Williams loud and clear - a true symbol of the trust he had in the alleged killer.
The story of the man, his family, and his friends, is the real story here. The fact that he invented a new kind of gun is a side-note. Interesting, though, the ability he had to build things with bare essentials and his own two hands.
Good movie. Not the typical "everyman" Stewart, but he does a great job in the part.
Jean Hagen (perhaps best known for her role as the ditzy silent-movie star opposite Gene Kelly in "Singin' in the Rain") plays Stewart's wife in the movie.
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