6.4/10
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Raintree County (1957)

A student falls in love with a Southern belle, but their relationship is complicated by her troubled past and the onset of the Civil War.

Director:

Edward Dmytryk

Writers:

Millard Kaufman (screenplay), Ross Lockridge Jr. (novel)
Reviews
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Montgomery Clift ... John Wickliff Shawnessy
Elizabeth Taylor ... Susanna Drake Shawnessy
Eva Marie Saint ... Nell Gaither
Nigel Patrick ... Professor Jerusalem Webster Stiles
Lee Marvin ... Orville 'Flash' Perkins
Rod Taylor ... Garwood B. Jones
Agnes Moorehead ... Ellen Shawnessy
Walter Abel ... T.D. Shawnessy
Jarma Lewis ... Barbara Drake
Tom Drake ... Bobby Drake
Rhys Williams ... Ezra Gray
Russell Collins ... Niles Foster
DeForest Kelley ... Southern Officer
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Storyline

It's the mid-nineteenth century in Freehaven, Raintree County, Indiana. John Shawnessy has just graduated from high school at the top of his class, with a promising career as a writer. He is a romantic, principled, and an idealist, believing the story of the golden raintree - after which the county is named - growing somewhere, most likely in the county's swamp area, searching for and locating it which would provide all the answers to one's life questions. An idea passed down from his father, John also has a strong sense of place as belonging, and as such there is much anticipation in the probable marriage between John and his sweetheart Nell Gaither, a born and bred Raintree girl. However, there is an undeniable mutual attraction on first sight between John and Susanna Drake, a visiting southern belle. Despite Susanna's temporary stay in Raintree County which means that she and John may not have a future, they eventually do marry out of circumstance, leaving behind a heartbroken Nell... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

M-G-M's Mighty Motion Picture Spectacle! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 December 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El árbol de la vida See more »

Filming Locations:

Danville, Kentucky, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,830,000, 31 December 1957

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,080,000, 31 December 1957
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original) | (Turner Library Print)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Montgomery Clift's first film in two years. Never one for the trappings of Hollywood, he had deliberately taken time out following the success of From Here to Eternity (1953), his biggest hit. See more »

Goofs

After Lincoln's 1860 election, the crowd sings "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". However, Julia Ward Howe wrote the poem, on which the song was based, for the Atlantic Monthly in 1861. See more »

Quotes

John Wickliff Shawnessy: To see the Raintree is not nearly as important as what you find looking for it.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The longer Roadshow version was released on VHS by Warner, where it was labeled as Reconstructed Original Version. It has also been shown on Turner Classic Movies cable channel. This version contains nearly 15 minutes of additional material not found on the General Release Version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gods and Monsters (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Cry of Freedom
(uncredited)
Written by George Frederick Root
(1862)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Muddled Mess
24 November 2012 | by wc1996-428-366101See all my reviews

I feel really guilty because my partner of 40 years, who is an avid film collector, fished this tape out of his vast repository (5000 films) and set it up so I could watch it. Since his media center is in one room and our eating space in another (the kitchen)I was running back and forth between the movie and my breakfast lasagne waiting breathlessly for La Liz's entrance which I caught just in time between bites of food and of course she was ravishing as always and utterly the center of attention in every shot, everyone else fading into the woodwork - there will never be a star to equal her! But alas the script is a muddled mess and there is no question the studio (MGM)could not have found a worse writer than they did - I looked him up here and he did nothing to warrant being asked to adapt Raintree County from the book which he did along with the book's author. Right off the bat both the story and the central character (The Professor) are just plain silly with heartthrob Clift running off into a swamp in his Sunday Best for absolutely no reason and the professor running off with some man's wife. What all this has to do with the main storyline is anyone's guess, but after reading the synopsis of the story here I realized that poor MGM in its quest to film a sequel to GWTW failed miserably with this pathetic attempt. As the old saying says, you can't go home again!


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