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Carbine Williams (1952)

Unrated | | Biography, Crime, Drama | May 1952 (USA)
David Marshall Williams is sent to a prison farm where he works in the tool shop and eventually develops the precursor of the famous M-1 Carbine automatic rifle used in World War II.

Director:

Richard Thorpe

Writers:

Art Cohn (screenplay), Art Cohn (story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Stewart ... Marsh Williams
Jean Hagen ... Maggie Williams
Wendell Corey ... Capt. H.T. Peoples
Carl Benton Reid ... Claude Williams
Paul Stewart ... 'Dutch' Kruger
Otto Hulett ... Mobley
Rhys Williams ... Redwick Karson
Herbert Heyes ... Lionel Daniels
James Arness ... Leon Williams
Porter Hall ... Sam Markley
Fay Roope Fay Roope ... District Attorney
Ralph Dumke ... Andrew White
Leif Erickson ... Feder
Henry Corden ... Bill Stockton
Frank Richards ... Truex
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Storyline

This is the story of David Marshall 'Marsh' Williams, the real life inventor of the world famous M-1 Carbine automatic rifle used in WWII. It all started when Marsh, who was one to do things his way, was caught distilling moonshine, and was accused and convicted of shooting a federal officer in the process. This at first placed him in the chain gang which labeled him as a hard case. Later, to make room for those more deserving, he was moved to a prison farm, where he came under the direction of Captain H.T. Peoples. The Captain was a mild mannered warden, who did not shy from discipline when necessary, but also believed that given the opportunity, most men will respond to good. Believing that Marsh was just such a person, the Captain gave him every opportunity to reform, so much so, that he eventually allowed Marsh to work in the tool shop on his spare time to develop and build by hand, a working rifle, inside the prison farm itself. Written by Bill Walch <TheWalchs@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is my Story

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jean Hagen and Wendell Corey re-created their roles in a production of Lux Radio Theatre on 3.22.54. Ronald Reagan portrayed Marsh. See more »

Quotes

Marsh Williams: But there isn't enough time Maggie. You can have enough of everything else. You can enough food, you can enough land, you can even have enough money, but you never can have enough time, because it's the only thing you can't save.
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Crazy Credits

At the end of the film - Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer gratefully acknowledges the cooperation of the North Carolina prison authorities and wishes to state that the penal system existing in North Carolina today has been improved immeasurably over conditions depicted in this picture. See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

User Reviews

Mr. Not-So-Nice Guy
20 November 2000 | by k_jasmine_99See all my reviews

Jimmy Stewart plays real-life inventor Marsh "Carbine" Williams, a not-so-very-nice guy, really. Which is mostly the reason why Stewart wanted to take the part. Marsh Williams is convicted of murder although there was really never any proof. He is a bitter man, proud, trying to spare his family the heartache of seeing him in prison, but they stick by him anyway.

I enjoyed this movie; my favorite part probably being the friendship that slowly develops between inmate Williams and Captain Peoples ("Cap"). Watch for a good scene towards the end where Cap makes his friendship for Williams loud and clear - a true symbol of the trust he had in the alleged killer.

The story of the man, his family, and his friends, is the real story here. The fact that he invented a new kind of gun is a side-note. Interesting, though, the ability he had to build things with bare essentials and his own two hands.

Good movie. Not the typical "everyman" Stewart, but he does a great job in the part.

Jean Hagen (perhaps best known for her role as the ditzy silent-movie star opposite Gene Kelly in "Singin' in the Rain") plays Stewart's wife in the movie.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

May 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Story of David Marshall Williams See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,111,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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