Just prior to the American War of Independence, aristocratic Virginian Jane Peyton marries unsophisticated rustic farmer and surveyor Matt Howard who takes her to his Shenandoah Valley plantation and later goes to war.
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
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 »
(ca. 1755) (uncredited)
Traditional music of English origin
In the score during a war scene See more »
CARY GRANT insisted that he would never do another costume film after THE HOWARDS OF VIRGINIA and it's easy to see why after viewing the film tonight on TCM. Except for a couple of well played scenes with his sons (TOM DRAKE and PHIL TAYLOR), Grant's performance is way too broad to be acceptable as part of a serious historical epic.
Director Frank Lloyd never once tones down Grant's performance and lets the hyperactive Grant overact at any given moment in a role he clearly doesn't know how to play. At least we do get more restrained work from MARTHA SCOTT as Grant's aristocratic wife and SIR CEDRIC HARDWICKE as her snobbish brother who sides with the British during the Revolutionary War period.
Obviously a lot of expense went into creating the right atmosphere for this story of the turmoil surrounding America's independence among the colonies, and there are times when you wish even more had been spent to produce the film in the gorgeous Technicolor of that era. But the script is a weak one, never able to maintain the sort of interest it should have had over a running time of two hours.
The banal dialog that closes the film is about as jingoistic as you can get and enough to make anyone wince. The story was probably chosen because the producers hoped to make another DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK or GONE WITH THE WIND--but they failed utterly to do so.
Summing up: Sad to see Grant so badly miscast and not given proper direction.
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