The Virginian (1946)

85-87 mins | Western | 5 April 1946

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HISTORY

The title card on the viewed print reads: "Owen Wister's American Classic The Virginian ." According to SAB, E. Edward Paramore, Jr. was added to the screenplay credits in early Jan 1946; he is not credited on the screen or in reviews, however, and the extent of his contribution to the released film has not been determined. This film contains what Par News called "The best-known rejoinder in Western literature"--"When you call me that, smile ," as spoken by The Virginian. Portions of the film were shot in Placerita Canyon, where 1,200 feet of tracks had already been laid for a train used in Cecil B. DeMille's film Union Pacific . Earlier screen versions of Wister's novel include the 1914 Jesse L. Lasky-Cecil B. DeMille silent, starring Dustin Farnum, who also starred in the Broadway play in 1904 (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.4748) and the 1929 Paramount Famous Lasky Corp. "talkie," directed by Victor Fleming and starring Gary Cooper, the first "Virginian" to utter the famous "smile" line, and Walter Huston (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.6055). NBC's television presentation of The Virginian , starring James Drury as the title character, ran from 1962 to 1970. The show was then revised as The Men from Shiloh , which ran from 1970 to ... More Less

The title card on the viewed print reads: "Owen Wister's American Classic The Virginian ." According to SAB, E. Edward Paramore, Jr. was added to the screenplay credits in early Jan 1946; he is not credited on the screen or in reviews, however, and the extent of his contribution to the released film has not been determined. This film contains what Par News called "The best-known rejoinder in Western literature"--"When you call me that, smile ," as spoken by The Virginian. Portions of the film were shot in Placerita Canyon, where 1,200 feet of tracks had already been laid for a train used in Cecil B. DeMille's film Union Pacific . Earlier screen versions of Wister's novel include the 1914 Jesse L. Lasky-Cecil B. DeMille silent, starring Dustin Farnum, who also starred in the Broadway play in 1904 (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20 ; F1.4748) and the 1929 Paramount Famous Lasky Corp. "talkie," directed by Victor Fleming and starring Gary Cooper, the first "Virginian" to utter the famous "smile" line, and Walter Huston (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.6055). NBC's television presentation of The Virginian , starring James Drury as the title character, ran from 1962 to 1970. The show was then revised as The Men from Shiloh , which ran from 1970 to 1971. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
26 Jan 1946.
---
Daily Variety
25 Jan 46
p. 3.
Film Daily
28 Jan 46
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Nov 44
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Nov 44
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Nov 44
p. 30.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Dec 44
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Dec 44
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jan 46
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Apr 46
p. 10.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 Dec 44
p. 2242.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
26 Jan 46
p. 2817.
New York Times
18 Apr 46
p. 22.
Variety
30 Jan 46
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
Prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d cam
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
Spec eff asst
Spec eff asst
Spec eff asst
Spec eff asst
DANCE
Dance seq
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Virginian by Owen Wister (New York, 1902) and the play of the same name by Owen Wister and Kirk La Shelle (New York, 5 Jan 1904).
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Owen Wister's American Classic The Virginian
Release Date:
5 April 1946
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 17 April 1946
Production Date:
6 November--late December 1944
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
29 January 1946
Copyright Number:
LP316
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
85-87
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
10516
SYNOPSIS

In 1885, Molly Wood, who is from a prominent Bennington, Vermont family, decides that she wants more from life than her socially acceptable but static existence can offer. Leaving behind her family and boyfriend, Samuel Bennett, Molly takes a post as a schoolteacher in Bear Creek, Wyoming, outside of Medicine Bow. On the way, her train is stopped by the Box H Ranch cattle, which are being herded by a foreman known as "The Virginian" because of his home state. As he is moving his cattle, the Virginian hears a familiar whistle and greets his friend, Steve Andrews, whom he has not seen in three years. Steve is happy to see his old pal, but tells him that he has saved enough money to move to New York and will be departing the next morning. Upon arriving in town, Molly is frightened by a docile steer, but when the Virginian rescues her by pulling her onto his horse, she becomes infuriated at him. Despite the rebuff, he later defends her against Trampas, a rustler who insults her character. The Virginian then asks Judge Henry to give Molly one of his horses as a gift, and organizes a welcoming party for her. Molly stubbornly refuses to befriend the Virginian, but her hostess, Mrs. Taylor, encourages her, and when she finds out that her horse was from him, she agrees to go riding with him. Soon, the Virginian has fallen in love with Molly, but she is reluctant to accept his proposal because of the differences between them. Before he leaves for a cattle round-up, he asks that she give him her answer when ... +


In 1885, Molly Wood, who is from a prominent Bennington, Vermont family, decides that she wants more from life than her socially acceptable but static existence can offer. Leaving behind her family and boyfriend, Samuel Bennett, Molly takes a post as a schoolteacher in Bear Creek, Wyoming, outside of Medicine Bow. On the way, her train is stopped by the Box H Ranch cattle, which are being herded by a foreman known as "The Virginian" because of his home state. As he is moving his cattle, the Virginian hears a familiar whistle and greets his friend, Steve Andrews, whom he has not seen in three years. Steve is happy to see his old pal, but tells him that he has saved enough money to move to New York and will be departing the next morning. Upon arriving in town, Molly is frightened by a docile steer, but when the Virginian rescues her by pulling her onto his horse, she becomes infuriated at him. Despite the rebuff, he later defends her against Trampas, a rustler who insults her character. The Virginian then asks Judge Henry to give Molly one of his horses as a gift, and organizes a welcoming party for her. Molly stubbornly refuses to befriend the Virginian, but her hostess, Mrs. Taylor, encourages her, and when she finds out that her horse was from him, she agrees to go riding with him. Soon, the Virginian has fallen in love with Molly, but she is reluctant to accept his proposal because of the differences between them. Before he leaves for a cattle round-up, he asks that she give him her answer when he gets back. During the round-up, Trampas and his men cause a stampede and steal two hundred head of cattle from the Box H herd. While searching for the rustlers, the Virginian and his cowboys catch Steve among Trampas' men, and the Virginian regretfully must give orders to have his friend hanged. Later, the Virginian is shot in the back by Trampas and brought to the Taylor home, where he is to be nursed back to health. Molly diligently nurses him until she finds out that he caused Steve's death, then decides to return East. On her way out of town, however, Andy, the stagecoach driver, convinces her she is in love and must return to the Virginian. The day before their wedding, Trampas publicly accuses the Virginian of starting a rumor that he was the boss of the rustlers who were hanged, and orders him out of town by sundown. Despite Molly's protests, the Virginian searches for Trampas at the appointed time, and shoots him after Trampas attempts to shoot him when he is not looking. The Virginian and Molly then leave on their honeymoon to begin their new life together. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.