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Raintree County (1957)

 -  Drama | Romance | War  -  20 December 1957 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 2,293 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 3 critic

A graduating poet/teacher falls in love with a Southern woman, and then the Civil War and her past create problems.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: Raintree County (1957)

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
John Wickliff Shawnessy
...
...
Nell Gaither
Nigel Patrick ...
Prof. Jerusalem Webster Stiles
...
Orville 'Flash' Perkins
...
Garwood B. Jones
...
Ellen Shawnessy
...
T.D. Shawnessy
Jarma Lewis ...
Barbara Drake
Tom Drake ...
Bobby Drake
...
Ezra Gray
Russell Collins ...
Niles Foster
...
Southern Officer
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Storyline

An abolitionist John Wickliff Shawnessy drifts away from his high school sweetheart Nell Gaither and enters into a passionate love affair with a wealthy New Orleans belle Susanna Drake but is tricked into marrying her when she falsely tells him that she is pregnant. But even after Susanna tells him the truth his still stays with her out of love. But John soon learns that Susanna is hiding a dark secret which leads her into madness. This madness causes Susanna to flee to the South during the Civil War taking their son with her. John leaves home and enlisting in the Northern Army as his only means to pursue Susanna. Written by Matt Patay

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In The Great Tradition Of Civil War Romance

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War | Western

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 December 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El árbol de la vida  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original) | (Turner Library Print)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the time of its release, it held the (dubious) honor of being the most expensive film ever made. See more »

Goofs

After Lincoln wins the election, John and Nell say good night in front of John's house. The same wagon with the same people in it pass by them twice in the background. See more »

Quotes

Susanna Drake: That 4th of July race... what happens when you win?
John Wickliff Shawnessy: Well, according to a friend of mine, if I win, a beautiful girl will place a garland of oak leaves on my sun-colored locks.
Susanna Drake: I'd like to be that girl.
John Wickliff Shawnessy: Maybe it can be arranged?
Susanna Drake: Oh, it can be arranged, all right. *I'll* arrange it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Montgomery Clift (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Cry of Freedom
Written by George Frederick Root
(1862)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Susanna Drake is among Taylor's most colorful and intelligent characterizations…

Liz is a disturbed New Orleans belle with a vision that she's part black… She's the beautiful femme fatale to Eva Marie Saint's inevitable cowardly heroine… As in "A Place in the Sun," Liz is used as the symbol of a particular social class and a particular kind of woman… She sets her mark on an idealistic young man John Wickliff Shawnessy (Montgomery Clift) who's looking for the mythical rain tree that contains the secret of the meaning of life…

Trapping him into marriage with the lie that she's pregnant, and then proceeding to lose her hold on her sanity, Susanna detains the good and helpless John for eight years… He is released, able to return to his magnificent dream and to his pure childhood sweetheart, only after tragic events…

Retaining the essence of Ross Lockridge, Jr. best-seller, the movie states the equality of the unhappy romance with the Civil War: the personal drama is therefore a reflection of the nation's wounds… According to the top-heavy symbolism, Susanna Drake represents the South, corrupting and dragging down the North; she's the Body contaminating the poet's Soul…

Taylor plays Susanna Drake's character with an intensity that exceeds all her earlier work… Montgomery Clift as the unlucky poet and Eva Marie Saint as his high school sweetheart and true love are on the remote side, but the scenes with Liz strike fire in a wonderfully brilliant way…

With its battles and its formal balls, its magnificent riverboats and decayed mansions, its bordellos and madhouses, its childbirth and deathbed scenes, and its evacuation of Atlanta, Edward Dmytryk's "Raintree County," like its source, has undeniable epic dimension…


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