Raintree County ()

Reference View | Change View

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.

  • Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 4 nominations.
  • See more »

Photos and Videos

Cast verified as complete

John Wickliff Shawnessy
Susanna Drake Shawnessy
Nell Gaither
Professor Jerusalem Webster Stiles
Orville 'Flash' Perkins
Garwood B. Jones
Ellen Shawnessy
T.D. Shawnessy
Barbara Drake
Bobby Drake
Ezra Gray
Niles Foster
Southern Officer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ruth Attaway ...
Parthenia (uncredited)
Jake - Bartender (uncredited)
Nesdon Booth ...
Spectator (uncredited)
Henry Brock ...
Minor Role (uncredited)
Tom Conway (uncredited)
Spectator (uncredited)
Starter (uncredited)
Soona - Susanna's Maid (uncredited)
Josephine Cummins ...
Woman (uncredited)
Jack Daly ...
Photographer (uncredited)
Jesse Gardner (uncredited)
Bartender (uncredited)
Phyllis Douglas ...
Undetermined Secondary Role (uncredited)
Michael Dugan ...
Nat Franklin (uncredited)
Cousin Sam (uncredited)
Pantomimist (uncredited)
Sue George ...
Undetermined Secondary Role (uncredited)
Madame Gaubert (uncredited)
Mr. Gray's Searching Companion (uncredited)
Myrna Hansen ...
Lydia Grey (uncredited)
Union Lieutenant (uncredited)
Rosalind Hayes ...
Bessie (uncredited)
Townsman (uncredited)
Townsman (uncredited)
Judi Jordan ...
Undetermined Secondary Role (uncredited)
Frank Kreig ...
Spectator (uncredited)
Janet Lake ...
Undetermined Secondary Role (uncredited)
Luana Lee ...
Undetermined Secondary Role (uncredited)
Donald Losby ...
Jim Shawnessy - Age 2 (uncredited)
Mickey Maga ...
Jim Shawnessy - Age 4 (uncredited)
Townsman (uncredited)
Blind Man (uncredited)
Bearded Soldier (uncredited)
Bummer - Union Soldier (uncredited)
Ralph Moratz ...
Spectator at footrace (uncredited)
Old Gent with 'Flash' (uncredited)
Milicent Patrick ...
Undetermined Secondary Role (uncredited)
Christopher Riordan ...
Oldest Version of John's Son (uncredited)
Rebel Soldier (uncredited)
Eileen Stevens ...
Miss Roman (uncredited)
Spectator (uncredited)
Old George (uncredited)
Charles Watts ...
Party Guest (uncredited)

Directed by

Edward Dmytryk

Written by

Millard Kaufman ... (screenplay)
Ross Lockridge Jr. ... (novel "Raintree County")

Produced by

Millard Kaufman ... associate producer
David Lewis ... producer
Thomas D. Tannenbaum ... associate producer (uncredited)

Music by

Johnny Green

Cinematography by

Robert Surtees ... director of photography

Film Editing by

John D. Dunning ... (as John Dunning)

Editorial Department

Charles K. Hagedon ... color consultant

Art Direction by

William A. Horning
Urie McCleary

Set Decoration by

Hugh Hunt
Edwin B. Willis

Costume Design by

Walter Plunkett

Makeup Department

Sydney Guilaroff ... hair stylist
William Tuttle ... makeup creator

Production Management

Edward Woehler ... unit manager (uncredited)

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Ridgeway Callow ... assistant director
Hank Moonjean ... assistant director (uncredited)
Carl 'Major' Roup ... assistant director (uncredited)

Art Department

Matty Azzarone ... construction (uncredited)
Mentor Huebner ... production illustrator (uncredited)
Frank Wesselhoff ... painter (uncredited)

Sound Department

Wesley C. Miller ... recording supervisor (as Dr. Wesley C. Miller)
Van Allen James ... sound editor (uncredited)
Lowell Kinsall ... sound (uncredited)
Burdick S. Trask ... sound recordist (uncredited)

Special Effects by

Warren Newcombe ... special effects

Camera and Electrical Department

Dale Deverman ... camera operator (uncredited)
Fred J. Koenekamp ... assistant camera (uncredited)
Charles Rosher Jr. ... film loader (uncredited)
Robert Willoughby ... special still photographer (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Joan Joseff ... costume jeweller (uncredited)

Location Management

Eben Henson ... location assistant

Music Department

Victor Arno ... musician: violin (uncredited)
Georgie Auld ... musician: clarinet (uncredited)
Alexander Courage ... composer: additional music (uncredited) / orchestrator (uncredited)
Sidney Cutner ... composer: additional music (uncredited) / orchestrator (uncredited)
George Fields ... musician: harmonica (uncredited)
Robert Franklyn ... composer: additional music (uncredited) / orchestrator (uncredited)
Johnny Green ... conductor (uncredited)
Bronislau Kaper ... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Virginia Majewski ... musician: viola (uncredited)
Max Rabinowitz ... musician: piano (uncredited)
Uan Rasey ... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
Milton Raskin ... musician: piano (uncredited)
Conrad Salinger ... composer: additional music (uncredited) / orchestrator (uncredited)
Albert Sendrey ... composer: additional music (uncredited) / orchestrator (uncredited)
Albert Woodbury ... composer: additional music (uncredited) / orchestrator (uncredited)
Si Zentner ... musician: trombone (uncredited)

Script and Continuity Department

Grace Dubray ... script supervisor (uncredited)

Other crew

Vi Wilmont ... production secretary
Wayne Fitzgerald ... title designer (uncredited)
Marguerite Lamkin ... dialogue coach (uncredited)
Alex Romero ... choreographer (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

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. As their relationship progresses, differences in their life outlooks mirroring the differences between the north and south start to emerge, and which are brought to the forefront both personally and on a global level with the onset of the American Civil War. Their relationship issues are also exacerbated by secrets, both facts and beliefs, Susanna is keeping about her family history, with her parents and her black nanny being killed in a mysterious house fire when Susanna was a child. Written by Huggo

Plot Keywords
Taglines In The Great Tradition Of Civil War Romance See more »
Parents Guide Add content advisory for parents »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • L'arbre de vie (France)
  • El árbol de la vida (Spain)
  • Det gyldne træ (Denmark)
  • Ţinutul Raintree (Romania)
  • Hayat Ağacı (Turkey, Turkish title)
  • See more »
  • 160 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $5,000,000 (estimated)

Did You Know?

Trivia On the evening of May 12, 1956, during the shooting of this film, Montgomery Clift was involved in a serious car accident on his way back home from a party at the house of Elizabeth Taylor. He apparently fell asleep at the wheel of his car while driving and smashed his car into a telephone pole. His friend Kevin McCarthy witnessed the accident from his car, drove back and informed Taylor and her then husband Michael Wilding, who immediately drove to the location together with Rock Hudson. Taylor entered the car through the back door, crawled to the front seat and removed the two front teeth from Clift's throat that threatened to choke him. Hudson finally managed to pull him out of the wreck and together they protected him from being photographed until the ambulance arrived. This was necessary because soon after the emergency call had come in to the local police station, reporters were already on their way and arrived at the scene when Clift was still in the car. The accident was well publicized. After nine weeks of recovery and with plastic surgery, Clift returned to the movie set and finished the film, but with considerable difficulties. His dashing looks, though, were gone forever. In some scenes throughout the movie, despite the cinematographer's skill, Clift's nose and chin look different, and the entire left side of his face is nearly immobile. 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 »
Movie Connections Edited from Gone with the Wind (1939). See more »
Soundtracks Raintree County See more »
Quotes Susanna Drake: That 4th of July race... what happens when you win?
John Wickliff Shawnessy: Well, according to a friend of mine, if I win, a beautiful girl will place a garland of oak leaves on my sun-colored locks.
Susanna Drake: I'd like to be that girl.
John Wickliff Shawnessy: Maybe it can be arranged?
Susanna Drake: Oh, it can be arranged, all right. *I'll* arrange it.
See more »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed