Saturday, September 19, 2020

On This Day...The Howards of Virginia (1940)

The Howards of Virginia was Cary Grant's 37th full length feature film  and was released today, back in 1940.

Cary Grant plays Matt Howard, whose friendship with Thomas Jefferson (Richard Carlson) leads him into a life of aristocracy, politics and family.

"Obviously miscast, Cary Grant meets the exigencies of a difficult role with more gusto than persuasion."
- Newsweek

"The Howards of Virginia, based on Elizabeth Page's The Tree of Liberty, defies anyone not to believe in the struggles of the colonists before and during the revolution."
- Philip T. Hartung, The Commonweal.

The source material was The Tree of Liberty, a 985 page novel, by Elizabeth Page. On its release in Britain, the film title was changed to the book title. 

With Paul Kelly.

With Alan Marshal, Martha Scott and Cedric Hardwicke.


Matt Howard                 Cary Grant
Jane Peyton-Howard     Martha Scott
Fleetwood Peyton         Cedric Hardwicke
Roger Peyton                Alan Marshal
Thomas Jefferson          Richard Carlson
Captain Jabez Allen      Paul Kelly
Tom Norton                  Irving Bacon
Aunt Clarissa                Elizabeth Risdon
Mrs. Norton                  Ann Revere
James Howard at 12     Richard Alden
Peyton Howard at 18    Phil Taylor
Mary Howard at 17       Rita Quigley
Dicey                             Libby Taylor
Patrick Henry                Richard Gaines
George Washington      George Huston

Peter Cushing made an appearance as Leslie Stephens.

Behind the Scenes:

Some scenes were filmed on location at Williamsburg, the historic city which was reconstructed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. as a $20,000,000 project to perpetuate America's past.

On location with some fans.

Lobby Cards:

A newspaper advertisement.

Directed by Frank Lloyd.
Produced and distributed by Columbia.
Running time: 117 minutes.

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