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Virginia (1941)

A New York chorus girl (Madeleine Carroll) comes home to claim her family plantation and must choose between two men (Fred MacMurray, Sterling Hayden), one rich, one not.


Edward H. Griffith


Virginia Van Upp (screenplay), Edward H. Griffith (story) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview:
Madeleine Carroll ... Charlotte Dunterry
Fred MacMurray ... Stonewall Elliott
Sterling Hayden ... Norman Williams (as Stirling Hayden)
Helen Broderick ... Theo Clairmont
Carolyn Lee ... Pretty Ellott
Marie Wilson ... Connie Potter
Paul Hurst ... Thomas
Tom Rutherford ... Carter Francis
Leigh Whipper Leigh Whipper ... Ezechial
Louise Beavers ... Ophelia
Darby Jones ... Joseph


A New York chorus girl (Madeleine Carroll) comes home to claim her family plantation and must choose between two men (Fred MacMurray, Sterling Hayden), one rich, one not.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

southern u.s. | See All (1) »


MEET Paramount's newest discovery--STERLING HAYDEN. He's gay, he's handsome...he's six-feet-four. (0riginal poster) See more »


Drama | Romance


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Did You Know?


The first film project of Sterling Hayden. See more »


Charlotte Dunterry: Stoney, why do you resent northerners so? I mean, the ones that come down here, after all they didn't fight the Civil War.
Stonewall Elliott: Cos' they only come down here to play, without any thought of the land. They play at being gentlemen farmers for a while and then go somewheres else; wherever it's the fad to go. One year it's the lowlands of Carolina, another year it's old farmhouses in Pennsylvania. This year it happens to be the smart thing to buy a place in Virginia.
Charlotte Dunterry: Hm, Virginia means more to you than ...
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User Reviews

Ah, The Good Old Days With Stephen Foster Music
8 July 2019 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Madeleine Carroll is broke and alone, so she comes back to the Virginia plantation she was born on and now owns, where she meets neighbor Fred MacMurray. His family plantation was repossessed by the bank when he was ten, and now is owned by rich Yankee Sterling Hayden (in his first movie) as a vacation home. As the movie progresses, Miss Carroll learns about the proud tradition of the decayed gentry of Virginia, and she and MacMurray fall in love. He, however, has a wife who fled Virginia five years earlier, leaving him to care for their daughter. Everyone in Virginia and Europe, whither she fled, knows about her and her wild ways, made the worse for never being specified.

The copy I saw was a poor one, derived from what I guess is an old VHS tape, and the undoubtedly once handsome Technicolor colorwork by Bert Glennon and William Skall has faded to blocky wisps. What remains is a typical romantic romantic comedy.

I could not watch this without thinking of the recent controversy over the University of Bowling Green deciding that Lilian Gish's participation in D.W. Griffith THE BIRTH OF A NATION rendered her name unfit to be placed on the Film scholarship and building she endowed when alive and in her will -- although there's been no mention of returning the money; as Vespasian said of the urine tax, "pecunia non olet". This one made my teeth clench, with Louise Beavers saying that freedom meant being alone, while slavery meant people cared; and blind Leigh Whipper creeping back from the prison he had been in for three quarters of a century, for killing a Yankee who was trying to kill Miss Carroll's grandfather, so he could die at home. Even the Civil War gets a calm consideration; when asked about slavery, Mr. MacMurray insists that the Emancipation Proclamation was simply a shrewd move in international politics.

As far as I can tell, everyone involved in this movie is dead, even Carolyn Lee, who played Mr. MacMurray's daughter. Good thing, too, considering what's happened to Miss Gish's name. No one in the movie seems to disapprove of the social situations of Virginia in what is offered as a contemporary portrait in the neighborhood of Manassas, except for Marie Wilson, and she's present as the comic, vulgarly rich Yankee who bought herself an aristocratic southern husband who's drinking himself to death for the shame of it. I suppose that's what happens when your standards are higher than those of an emperor.

It's a highly competently made movie intended to tread in the profitable footsteps of GONE WITH THE WIND. There's little doubt in my mind that it played very well in the Whites-Only downtown movie palaces that Paramount owned throughout the South.

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Release Date:

4 July 1941 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

En ladys hjärta See more »

Filming Locations:

Charlottesville, Virginia, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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