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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The all-too-brief scenes which Montgomery Clift shot for this picture just before his accident represent the only color footage available of him before he was disfigured. All of his previous movies had been shot in black and white. 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

John Wickliff Shawnessy: [People are gathering in the town center] What's going on here?
Ellen Shawnessy: You haven't heard? They've attacked Fort Sumter. It means war sure as anything.
T.D. Shawnessy: I'm not so sure. Now, say what you will, Americans will never fight each other. We'll settle our difficulties peacefully.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Never Till Now
(uncredited)
Music by Johnny Green
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not nearly as bad as has been said over the years
15 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have always loved this film, mainly because of the hauntingly beautiful score by Johnny Green. For too long "Raintree County" has been compared with "Gone with the Wind". The whole story and concept is very different. I agree with another poster here that Liz Taylor is marvelous in this, playing out her mental illness. How very sad that Monty Clift died so young. There was so much potential in him for older male roles of character years later. Maybe there will be a time when gay actors won't live quiet lives of desperate misery in fear of losing their careers. Also I think the cinematography is quite rich. Perhaps the late MGM work is not all that great but this one is hardly as terrible as so many film critics and historians have told us over the years since it was made in 1957.


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