The Howards of Virginia

Overview

Hollywood films about the Revolutionary War almost invariably lost money at the box office, and The Howards of Virginia was no exception, despite the presence of Cary Grant in the lead. Most of the story takes place in the colonial capital city of Williamsburg, Virginia, where Matt Howard (Cary Grant) dedicates himself to the cause of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Remaining faithfully at Matt's side through his early years as a frontiersman and on into his life among the "landed gentry" is his wife ...
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Overview

Hollywood films about the Revolutionary War almost invariably lost money at the box office, and The Howards of Virginia was no exception, despite the presence of Cary Grant in the lead. Most of the story takes place in the colonial capital city of Williamsburg, Virginia, where Matt Howard (Cary Grant) dedicates himself to the cause of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Remaining faithfully at Matt's side through his early years as a frontiersman and on into his life among the "landed gentry" is his wife Jane Peyton Howard (Martha Scott), the daughter of unregenerate Royalist Roger Peyton (Alan Marshall). Most of the high points of the Revolution are herein recreated, including the Stamp Act riots, the Boston Tea Party, and Patrick Henry's "Give me Liberty" speech. Curiously, however, director Frank Lloyd stages these scenes in a flat, near-throwaway fashion; even the inflammatory Henry (Richard Gaines) is hampered by unimaginative camera angles. Other historical personages parading through the film include Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, played respectively by Richard Carlson and George Houston. Though it's rather rough sledding in its feature-length version, The Howards of Virginia plays quite well in the half-hour abridgement prepared by Columbia for schoolroom showings.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Digitally mastered audio and video; Remastered in high definition; Full screen presentation; Audio: English; Subtitles: English, French, Japanese; Bonus trailers; Interactive menus; Scene selections
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
The movies have never produced a more talented leading man than Cary Grant, but as The Howards of Virginia regrettably demonstrates, not even Grant could do everything. This may imply that Grant is bad in Howards, but that's not necessarily the case: he's merely miscast. The audience is asked to accept that Grant is an unsophisticated, Revolutionary War era man of the people, but Grant's debonair quality still comes through. It's curious exactly why he can't keep this under control in Howards, for there are one or two other films in which he more convincingly portrays a man of simple means, but for whatever reason, it's beyond him here. That said, Grant's enormous charm is still present, so even though his performance is at odds with the character, it's still pleasant company. There's no problem with Martha Scott, who plays his soul mate as if she were born to the role, and Cedric Hardwicke is equally at home as her loyalist father. Unfortunately, Sidney Buchman's screenplay comes across as rather tired and requires the viewer to make an effort to follow it, and Frank LLoyd's merely okay direction doesn't help matters.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/25/2003
  • UPC: 043396077645
  • Original Release: 1940
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:55:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cary Grant Matt Howard
Martha Scott Jan Peyton-Howard
Cedric Hardwicke Fleetwood Peyton
Alan Marshal Roger Peyton
Richard Carlson Thomas Jefferson
Paul Kelly Captain Jabez Allen
Irving Bacon Tom Norton
Elizabeth Risdon Aunt Clarissa
Anne Revere Mrs. Betsy Norton
Richard Alden James Howard
Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor Peyton Howard at 18
Rita Quigley Mary Howard at 17
Libby Taylor Dicey
Richard Gaines Patrick Henry
George Houston George Washington
Ralph Byrd James Howard
Dick Jones Matt Howard at Age 12
Buster Phelps Thomas Jefferson at Age 11
Wade Boteler Uncle Reuben
Mary Field Susan Howard
Charles Francis Mr. Douglas
Lane Chandler Major
Peter Cushing
Tom Drake James Howard at Age 16
J. Anthony Hughes Tidewater Representative
Brandon Hurst Wilton
Olaf Hytten Gentleman
Alan Ladd Neighbor
Sam McDaniel Uncle Robert, the Butler
Virginia Sale Neighbor
Pat Somerset
Emmett Vogan Representative
James Westerfield Friend
Technical Credits
Frank Lloyd Director, Producer
Howard Bristol Set Decoration/Design
Sidney Buchman Screenwriter
Bert Glennon Cinematographer
John B. Goodman Art Director
Richard Hageman Score Composer
Irene Saltern Costumes/Costume Designer
Waldo Twitchell Consultant/advisor
Slavko Vorkapich Special Effects
Paul Weatherwax Editor
Jack Whitney Sound/Sound Designer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start [1:23]
2. Reuben's News [3:05]
3. Gentlemen Pursuing the Classics [3:13]
4. A Talk With a Rebel [2:55]
5. On His Way to Ohio [3:39]
6. The Flower of Society [4:21]
7. Jane Peyton [2:01]
8. Surveying the Boundaries [3:43]
9. The Governor's Ball [3:36]
10. Asking for Jane's Hand [3:22]
11. Jane's Answer [8:04]
12. Welcoming Party [9:24]
13. Custom of the Country [3:38]
14. Born to Resemble Fleetwood [3:34]
15. Uncle Thomas Pays a Visit [1:38]
16. Mr. Howard Goes to Williamsburg [6:45]
17. Return to Elm Hill [1:07]
18. The Stamp Act Resolutions [3:16]
19. A Stupid Political Quarrel [4:27]
20. House of Burgesses Disbanded [2:12]
21. News of an Indian Uprising [4:21]
22. Going North to War [4:34]
23. An Audience With His Excellency [6:09]
24. "Pack Your Things and Get Out!" [2:54]
25. "We Came to Join the Army." [3:26]
26. Like Father, Like Son [6:02]
27. Carrying Dispatches to Lafayette [4:04]
28. Homecoming [2:41]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Subtitles
      English
      Japanese
      French/Fran├žais
      Subtitles Off
   Scene Selections
   Trailers
      His Girl Friday
      Lawrence of Arabia
      Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
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