Raintree County, one of the biggest and costliest (estimated at $5 million) productions from Metro since its release of David O. Selznick's Gone with the Wind, was lensed via the Camera 65 process (65 mm negative is used and reduced to 35 mm for release prints). It is a study of emotional conflicts set against the Civil War turmoil, and done with pictorial sweep.

Raintree County, one of the biggest and costliest (estimated at $5 million) productions from Metro since its release of David O. Selznick’s Gone with the Wind, was lensed via the Camera 65 process (65 mm negative is used and reduced to 35 mm for release prints). It is a study of emotional conflicts set against the Civil War turmoil, and done with pictorial sweep.

Story unfolds against a background of historic events – the war, Abraham Lincoln’s election, the Northern abolition movement, Southern secession, etc. Metro shot on location near Danville, Ky, for the most part.

The settings at the start is Raintree County, Indiana, where Montgomery Clift and Eva Marie Saint are blissfully in love and looking ahead to life together. Elizabeth Taylor, whose troubled mind is later revealed, comes as a visitor from New Orleans and woos Clift away from Saint and into marriage.

They take up residence in the Deep South where the slavery issue is exposed to Clift, who abhors it, and the couple return to Raintree. At first distressed by the upheaval of the times, Taylor eventually becomes insane. Taking her young son with her, she runs again to her native Dixie. Clift enters the Union Army.

Under Edward Dmytryk’s direction, this adaption of Ross Lockridge Jr’s novel unfolds fairly interestingly but slowly. Picture lacks highlight material; even the war scenes don’t quite have the necessary impact and the relationship between Taylor and Clift could have been charged up more.

1957: Nominations: Best Actress (Elizabeth Taylor), Costume Design, Art Direction, Score

Raintree County

Production

M-G-M. Director Edward Dmytryk; Producer David Lewis; Screenplay Millard Kaufman; Camera Robert Surtees; Editor John Dunning; Music Johnny Green; Art Director William A. Horning, Urie McCleary

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1957. Running time: 187 MIN.

With

Montgomery Clift Elizabeth Taylor Eva Marie Saint Nigel Patrick Lee Marvin Rod Taylor
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