Virginia


1h 50m 1941

Film Details

Also Known As
The Southerner
Release Date
Feb 21, 1941
Premiere Information
New York premiere: 22 Jan 1941
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Albermarle County, Virginia, United States; Charlottesville--University of Virginia, Virginia, United States; Elk Hill, Virginia, United States; Howardsville, Virginia, United States; Monticello, Virginia, United States; Pomona, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 50m
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
12 reels

Synopsis

Charlotte Dunterry returns to her family home in Fairville, Virginia after having lived in New York City most of her life. "Charlie," a city sophisticate who is ignorant of Southern ways, is appalled at the rundown condition of her family home, a 150-year-old mansion built by Thomas Jefferson, which she has inherited and plans to sell. She becomes reacquainted with Stonewall Jackson Elliott, a former family friend who, having lost his ancestral home, now lives in a modest cottage with his cousin Theo Clairmont and his little daughter, Pretty Elliott, while his wife leads the life of an adventuress abroad. Through the influence of Stoney and Joseph, a former black servant who has returned to the Dunterry estate so that he can die at home, Charlie comes to appreciate Southern customs and history, and she reworks her land as a farm so that she can earn income rather than sell the house. Charlie is assisted by Joseph, and Ophelia and Ezechial, kindhearted descendants of slaves who chose to remain at the Dunterry estate. Charlie and Stoney fall in love, but when he rebuffs her because he is married, she accepts the marriage proposal of Norman Williams, a handsome Northerner who is her next-door neighbor and has been wooing her. Stoney nevertheless continues to work Charlie's farm. One day during a horse race, Charlie's horse accidentally kicks Pretty in the head, but Charlie gives her own blood for a transfusion for Pretty and the child recovers. The near-tragedy cements Stoney and Charlie's love and, in time, Charlie believes that Stoney will marry her. She becomes embittered, however, when Stoney receives word that his wife is returning home for good, and Charlie then returns to New York. Stoney's wife returns in a coffin, however, and Norman withholds the news of her death from Charlie so that there will be no obstacles to their marriage. Charlie hears the news on the day of her wedding and is deeply touched when Stoney arrives to "give the bride away," since he is the closest thing she has to a relative. Standing before the altar, Norman is swayed by Stoney's goodwill, and he releases Charlie from their engagement so that she and Stoney can marry. With this union, Charlie finally embraces her Southern heritage.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Southerner
Release Date
Feb 21, 1941
Premiere Information
New York premiere: 22 Jan 1941
Production Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Albermarle County, Virginia, United States; Charlottesville--University of Virginia, Virginia, United States; Elk Hill, Virginia, United States; Howardsville, Virginia, United States; Monticello, Virginia, United States; Pomona, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 50m
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
12 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was The Southerner. This film marks the acting debut of Sterling Hayden, whose first name was changed temporarily to "Stirling" by the studio. Hollywood Reporter called Hayden's debut "amazing." According to his autobiography, Hayden's debut in this picture was dependent upon the approval of his co-star, Madeleine Carroll, who had the right of cast approval. Carroll and Hayden married in 1942 and were married for four years.
       According to Paramount press information, Virginia was shot on location in Albermarle County near Charlottesville, VA. The exteriors of the following historical homes were used in the film: "Monticola," near Howardsville, VA, as the "Dunterry" estate; "Bremo," the home of General Cocke, co-founder along with Thomas Jefferson of the University of Virginia, as the "Williams" estate; "Estouteville," the home of the Randolphs of Virginia; and the Farmington Country Club. Scenes of Jefferson's home, "Monticello," and the rotunda of the University of Virginia appear behind the title credits. Hollywood Reporter news items reported the following: Some scenes were filmed on location at Elk Hill, VA; trotting races were filmed in Pomona, CA; barn-style dances were led by Mr. and Mrs. Elswood Graham, who were "exponents of old-fashioned barn dances"; Cleo and Edward, a Creole New Orleans ballroom dance team, were to appear in the film; Lucy Ville Sommers was "discovered" by director Edward H. Griffith in Virginia and signed to a contract. Her appearance in this film has not been confirmed. While the Hollywood Reporter review called this film "one of the truly fine pictures of this or any year," New York Times noted that it depicted "a wholly incredible someplace where little Confederate flags still hang under family portraits, where a Yankee is a person to be watched and the colored folks all behave as though there never had been any 'freedom.'" A Hollywood Reporter news item noted that a print of the film was shipped to Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, a Virginia native who was a friend of director Griffith, at Little America, Antarctica.