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Shenandoah (1965)

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During the Civil War, a Virginia farmer and his family vow to remain neutral, but one of the sons is captured by Union soldiers, sending the farmer to his rescue.

Director:

Andrew V. McLaglen
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Stewart ... Charlie
Doug McClure ... Sam
Glenn Corbett ... Jacob
Patrick Wayne ... James
Rosemary Forsyth ... Jennie
Phillip Alford ... Boy
Katharine Ross ... Ann
Charles Robinson Charles Robinson ... Nathan
Jim McMullan ... John (as James McMullan)
Tim McIntire ... Henry
Gene Jackson ... Gabriel (as Eugene Jackson Jr.)
Paul Fix ... Dr. Tom Witherspoon
Denver Pyle ... Pastor Bjoerling
George Kennedy ... Col. Fairchild
James Best ... Carter - Rebel Soldier
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Storyline

In Shenandoah, Virginia, widower farmer Charlie Anderson lives a peaceful life with his six sons - Jacob, James, Nathan, John, Henry and Boy, his daughter Jennie, and his daughter-in-law and James' wife Ann Anderson. Charlie does not let his sons join the army to fight in the Civil War that he does not consider their war. Jennie marries her beloved Lieutenant Sam, but they do not have a honeymoon since Sam has to return to the front. Charlie's youngest son Boy is mistakenly taken prisoner by soldiers from the North so Charlie rides with his sons to rescue Boy, while James and Ann stay on the farm. It is time of violence and war, and tragedy reaches the Anderson family. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Two Mighty Armies Trampled Its Valley... A Fighting Family Challenged Them Both! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 June 1965 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Fields of Honor See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$17,268,889, 31 December 1965
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening battle scenes are taken from Raintree County (1957) and are printed as a mirror image of the original footage. The same scenes can also be seen in, amongst other films, How the West Was Won (1962). See more »

Goofs

The locomotive on the train that gets burned is equipped with air brakes, which were not invented until 1872. Although the locomotive is mostly filmed at such an angle that the air brake equipment is not visible, a connecting air hose can be seen on the front when the train is stopping for the fire on the track, and whenever the train is stopped, hissing noises from the air compressor can be heard. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jacob Anderson: They come closer every day, Pa.
Charlie Anderson: They on our land?
Jacob Anderson: No, sir.
Charlie Anderson: Then it doesn't concern us... does it?
See more »

Connections

Edited from Raintree County (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Yellow Rose of Texas
(uncredited)
Traditional American
[Played at the Confederate camp]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
It Never Gets Old
1 December 2006 | by aimless-46See all my reviews

It is intriguing how some comments confidently classify "Shenandoah" (1965) as an anti-war film and others see it as pro-war propaganda (insert Vietnam here). The anti-war advocates must be basing their position on the film's similarity to "Friendly Persuasion" while the propaganda pundits appear to have been influenced by the fact that screenwriter James Lee Barrett would write the script for "The Green Berets" a couple years later. But given that the screenplay was written in 1963 and actual production completed by late 1964, it is unlikely that Vietnam (pro or con) was much of a factor. National consciousness was a couple years away from regarding that little adventure as something of real significance.

I think the real strength of "Shenandoah" is that it maintains the same kind of uneasy neutrality that the Anderson family holds to throughout the film. It shows good and bad people on both sides as the family attempts to just distance themselves as much as possible from the conflict. That they are not entirely successful in doing so hardly sends a clear message of either pacifism of patriotism.

Director Andrew V. McLaglen's films are some of the least political you are likely to find, the exception being his frequent focus on strong women. In "Shenandoah", neither Charlie Anderson (James Stewart) nor his six sons are a match for daughter Jennie (Rosemary Forsyth). The father-daughter dynamic purposely gets a disproportionate amount of screen time as Jennie is shown to be the child most like the father and the only one who routinely stands up to him. This merits the most attention if one is looking for subtle political messages in the film.

Stewart is the only cast member with more screen time than Forsyth. Her romantic scenes with Doug McClure are also first rate, with a touch of comic relief as you begin to realize that he has little idea what he is getting himself into. And their reunion scene at the prisoner of war train is handled extremely well.

Civil war buffs will generally enjoy this film as it presents the war from the (until then unprecedented) point of view of a southern family who did not buy into the frenzy for secession in 1861 and remains resolute even as their property is overrun with union troops. It wouldn't be until "Cold Mountain" that another film would present the reality of a not so united southern home front. Eastern Tennessee and western Virginia remained pro-union, and Winston County, Alabama seceded from the state and attempted to stay in the union.

Of course the buffs will find many inaccurate historical details. At one point the doctor mentions losing a son the year before at Gettysburg, yet much later Carter notes that the besieged troops at Vicksburg are eating rats (the Gettysburg battle ended the day before Vicksburg surrendered). And just after Jennie drives away the federal procurement agents with a single shot rifle, the family rides off equipped with the latest lever action models.

Like McLaglen's "The Rare Breed", "Shenandoah" is somewhat of a chick flick, making it a novelty among historical action adventure films.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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