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6.2/10
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20 user 12 critic

The Howards of Virginia (1940)

Just prior to the American War of Independence, aristocratic Virginian Jane Peyton marries unsophisticated rustic farmer and surveyor Matt Howard who takes her to his Shenandoah Valley plantation and later goes to war.

Director:

Frank Lloyd

Writers:

Sidney Buchman (screen play), Elizabeth Page (novel)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cary Grant ... Matt Howard
Martha Scott ... Jane Peyton-Howard
Cedric Hardwicke ... Fleetwood Peyton (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Alan Marshal ... Roger Peyton
Richard Carlson ... Thomas Jefferson
Paul Kelly ... Captain Jabez Allen
Irving Bacon ... Tom Norton
Elisabeth Risdon ... Aunt Clarissa (as Elizabeth Risdon)
Anne Revere ... Mrs. Norton
Tom Drake ... James Howard at 16 (as Richard Alden)
Phil Taylor Phil Taylor ... Peyton Howard at 18
Rita Quigley ... Mary Howard at 17
Libby Taylor Libby Taylor ... Dicey
Richard Gaines ... Patrick Henry
George Houston ... George Washington
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Storyline

Beautiful young Virginian Jane steps down from her proper aristocratic upbrining when she marries down-to-earth surveyor Matt Howard. Matt joins the Colonial forces in their fight for freedom against England. Matt will meet Jane's father in the battlefield. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Vivid Drama Of A Nation's Birth !

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 September 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pasión de libertad See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Elizabeth Page's book, The Tree of Liberty, served as the source material for this film. Adapting the screenplay from Page's book to the film's 116 minute run-time proved quite a task, as Page's novel was 985 pages long. See more »

Goofs

During a scene where Matt Howard (Cary Grant) is in his room shaving, with shaving soap on his face, and having a conversation with Thomas Jefferson (Richard Carlson) - A knock on the door is heard - Fleetwood Peyton (Sir Cedric Hardwicke) enters, Matt Howard turns to Fleetwood and the shaving soap has disappeared from his face. See more »

Soundtracks

Drink to Me Only with Thine Eyes
(1616) (uncredited)
Music by R. Melish (1780 ?)
Played in the score at the wedding
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very good, overall

I was a bit surprised to see so many other reviewers panning this film, since I had seen it once before and thought it was quite good. I watched it again, and I still believe it's a far better-than-average costume drama.

Several people thought Cary Grant was miscast, and even criticized his British accent. Well, what accent do you think a British citizen from the 1760s WOULD have? His character was a "low-born" British colonist, for crying out loud! I thought he did well, definitely playing against type, and I thought his actual British origins, hardly high-born, made him an excellent choice for the part. His character's progression over time, in this film, was believable and, I thought, well done. I suspect it parallels, in some ways, Grant's life changes from humble British kid to acclaimed Hollywood star.

The film itself, with its use of the colonial Williamsburg settings and attention to detail about frontier life, was refreshing, as of course was the excellent casting overall. I also thought the very realistic historical treatment was commendable, laying out clearly many of the controversies and issues facing the colonies during these times. I'd recommend it for kids, especially, since what they get for American history class about this period of time is truly awful -- what little there is.

I'd give it a solid 8, easily.


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