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The Vanishing Virginian (1942)

Passed | | Biography, Comedy, Drama | February 1942 (USA)
Biography of Robert Yancey, long-term district attorney in Lynchburg, Virginia.


Frank Borzage


Jan Fortune (screenplay), Rebecca Yancey Williams (based on the book by)


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Complete credited cast:
Frank Morgan ... Robert Yancey
Kathryn Grayson ... Rebecca Yancey
Spring Byington ... Rosa Yancey
Natalie Thompson Natalie Thompson ... Margaret Yancey
Johnny Mitchell ... Jim Shirley (as Douglass Newland)
Mark Daniels ... Jack Holden
Elizabeth Patterson ... Grandma
Juanita Quigley ... Caroline Yancey
Scotty Beckett ... Joel Yancey
Dickie Jones ... Robert Yancey Jr.
Leigh Whipper Leigh Whipper ... Uncle Josh
Louise Beavers ... Aunt Emmeline
J.M. Kerrigan ... John Phelps
Harlan Briggs ... Mr. Rogard
Katharine Alexander ... Marcia Marshall


Biography of Robert Yancey, long-term district attorney in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Heart-Throbs, Laughs, Thrills in an American Masterpiece!


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

February 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mr. Yancey of Virginia See more »


Box Office


$499,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film was a modest success for MGM at the box office earning a profit of $63,000 ($983,000 in 2017) according to studio records. See more »


Referenced in Fingers at the Window (1942) See more »


The World Was Made for You
(1942) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss, adapted by Earl K. Brent
Lyrics by Earl K. Brent and Minnaletha White
Music played on a record and sung by Kathryn Grayson
See more »

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User Reviews

Is You or Is You Ain't Ma Ol Virginny?
9 October 2011 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

"This is the story of a vanishing era when simple men so loved their country, their families that America became a better place to live." The setting is 1913 Lynchburg, Virginia. There, popular prosecuting attorney Frank Morgan (as Robert "Cap'n Bob" Yancey) resides with his large family. Likewise "old-fashioned" wife Spring Byington (as Rosa) is the mother. The couple have five children, led by high-pitched Kathryn Grayson (as Rebecca) and lawyer-like Natalie Thompson (as Margaret). The "girls" are ready to choose mates and careers, which gets to the film's intended sub-textual theme - the changing role of women in the 20th century...

There is a story here, but not the one you're expecting...

The possibility one of the daughters may become an attorney is addressed, although marrying a lawyer is preferable. Women do drive motor vehicles, without hysterics (transportation brackets the decades spanning film artfully); most significantly, a minor female character is portrayed as a relatively positive divorcée. Now contrast the "hints" of freedom permitted women with those afforded ex-slaves and you've got a more interesting film. Beloved family retainers "Aunt" Louise Beavers (as Emmeline) and "Uncle" Leigh Whipper (as Josh) know their place is happily slaving away their lives away for the white master. It's insightfully racist.

****** The Vanishing Virginian (1/23/42) Frank Borzage ~ Frank Morgan, Spring Byington, Kathryn Grayson, Louise Beavers

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