The Vanishing Virginian

Last updated
The Vanishing Virginian
The Vanishing Virginian.jpg
Directed by Frank Borzage
Written by Jan Fortune
Based onThe Vanishing Virginian
1940 novel
by Rebecca Yancey Williams
Produced by Edwin H. Knopf (as Edwin Knopf)
Frank Borzage
Starring Frank Morgan
Kathryn Grayson
Cinematography Charles Lawton
Edited by James E. Newcom
Music by David Snell (score)
Earl Brent (adaptation)
Lennie Hayton (director)
Daniele Amfitheatrof (uncredited)
Production
company
Distributed byLoew's Inc.
Release date
  • February 1942 (1942-02)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$499,000 [1]
Box office$905,000 [1]

The Vanishing Virginian is a 1942 American drama film directed by Frank Borzage and starring Frank Morgan and Kathryn Grayson. It is based on the memoirs of Rebecca Yancey Williams and set in Lynchburg, Virginia, from 1913 to 1929.

Contents

Synopsis

Based on the true story of turn-of-the-century Robert Yancey, lawyer and ever-popular politician in Virginia. The film starts with the statement, "This is the story of a vanishing era when simple men so loved their country, their families and their friends that America became a better place in which to live. Such a man was Cap'n Bob Yancey." [2]

The film is based on a 1940 memoir of the same name by Rebecca Yancey Williams. The book's central figure was her father, Robert Davis Yancey, and detailed the story of Cap'n Bob Yancey, his charming and absent‐minded wife and all the Yancey children. [3] The film explores societal roles in plantations of the "Old Dominion" around Lynchburg and their socio-economic implications, as well as the movement for women’s suffrage, among other things. It is also the town's story, and various eminent Virginians cross the pages, including Carter Glass, General Jubal Early, Lady Astor's father, "Chilly" Langhorne, and others. [4] Katharine Alexander portrays an outspoken woman who moved north and got a divorce; the character is held to be loosely based on Nancy Langhorne Astor. [5]

Cast

Box office

According to MGM records, the film earned $589,000 in the U.S. and Canada, and $316,000 elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $63,000. [1]

Trivia

A promotional poster for the film makes the claim that "Millions Read the Book", and also refers to the film as an "American Masterpiece" having "Heart-Throbs, Laughs, [and] Thrills". [6] In addition, a 1942 issue of Photoplay referred to the book as "delightful". [7]

The Vanishing Virginian, the book the film is based on, was published a second time in London in 1941, this time under the title Father Was a Handful. [8] This version was published by Michael Joseph, a British writer and publisher who was part of the publishing company that would later become Penguin Random House. [9]

The story told in The Vanishing Virginian is continued in Rebecca Yancey Williams' second and final novel Carry Me Back, [10] which further chronicles the life of the family, focusing on Rebecca Yancey Williams' experiences during the country summers of 1913-14 in Lynchburg. In addition, some of the content in this novel was adapted from Williams' own diary she kept when she was 15 years of age. [11]

Related Research Articles

Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor First female Member of Parliament to take her seat

Nancy Witcher Langhorne Astor, Viscountess Astor, was an American-born British politician who was the first woman seated as a Member of Parliament (MP), serving from 1919 to 1945.

Lynchburg, Virginia Independent city in Virginia, United States

Lynchburg is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 75,568, estimated to have risen to 82,168 as of 2019. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the banks of the James River, Lynchburg is known as the "City of Seven Hills" or the "Hill City". In the 1860s, Lynchburg was the only major city in Virginia that was not recaptured by the Union before the end of the American Civil War.

Kathryn Grayson American actress

Zelma Kathryn Elisabeth Hedrick was an American actress and coloratura soprano.

The Astor family achieved prominence in business, society, and politics in the United States and the United Kingdom during the 19th and 20th centuries. With ancestral roots in the Italian Alps, the Astors settled in Germany, first appearing in North America in the 18th century with John Jacob Astor, one of the wealthiest people in history.

Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor

Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor, DL was an American-born English politician and newspaper proprietor. He was also a member of the Astor family.

That's Entertainment! is a 1974 American compilation film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to celebrate the studio's 50th anniversary. The success of the retrospective prompted a 1976 sequel, the related 1985 film That's Dancing!, and a third installment in 1994.

Marcia Davenport was an American author and music critic. She is best known for her 1932 biography of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the first American published biography of Mozart. Davenport also is known for her novels The Valley of Decision and East Side, West Side, both of which were adapted to film in 1945 and 1949, respectively.

<i>Cimarron</i> (1960 film) 1960 film

Cimarron is a 1960 Metrocolor western film filmed in CinemaScope, based on the Edna Ferber novel Cimarron, featuring Glenn Ford and Maria Schell. It was directed by Anthony Mann, known for his westerns and film noirs, and by Charles Walters, who was not credited.

<i>Ziegfeld Follies</i> (film) 1945 film

Ziegfeld Follies is a 1945 American musical comedy film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and directed by Lemuel Ayers, Roy Del Ruth, Robert Lewis, Vincente Minnelli, Merrill Pye, George Sidney, and Charles Walters. It stars many MGM leading talents, including Fred Astaire, Lucille Ball, Lucille Bremer, Fanny Brice, Judy Garland, Kathryn Grayson, Lena Horne, Gene Kelly, James Melton, Victor Moore, William Powell, Red Skelton, and Esther Williams.

<i>Thats Entertainment, Part II</i> 1976 film by Gene Kelly

That's Entertainment, Part II is a 1976 American compilation film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and a sequel to That's Entertainment! (1974). Like the previous film, That's Entertainment, Part II was a retrospective of famous films released by MGM from the 1930s to the 1950s.

<i>The Magnificent Ambersons</i> Novel about social status, Pulitzer prize 1919

The Magnificent Ambersons is a 1918 novel by Booth Tarkington, the second in his Growth trilogy after The Turmoil (1915) and before The Midlander. It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and was adapted into the 1925 silent film Pampered Youth. In 1942 it was again made into a movie, this time under its own title, with sound, and to a tightly clipped but effective script by Orson Welles, who also directed. Much later, in 2002, came a TV adaptation based on Welles' screenplay.

<i>Till the Clouds Roll By</i> 1946 film by Richard Whorf

Till The Clouds Roll By is a 1946 American Technicolor musical film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It is a fictionalized biopic of composer Jerome Kern, portrayed by Robert Walker. Kern was originally involved with the production, but died before it was completed. It has a large cast of well-known musical stars of the day who appear performing Kern's songs. It was the first in a series of MGM biopics about Broadway's composers; it was followed by Words and Music, Three Little Words, and Deep in My Heart.

Randolph family of Virginia

The Randolph family is a prominent Virginia political family, whose members contributed to the politics of Colonial Virginia and Virginia after it gained its statehood. They are descended from the Randolphs of Morton Morrell, Warwickshire, England. The first Randolph to come to America was Henry Randolph in 1643. His nephew, William Randolph, later came to Virginia as an orphan in 1669. He made his home at Turkey Island along the James River. Because of their numerous progeny, William Randolph and his wife, Mary Isham Randolph, have been referred to as "the Adam and Eve of Virginia." The Randolph family was the wealthiest and most powerful family in 18th-century Virginia.

Katharine Alexander American actress

Katharine Alexander was an American actress of stage and screen. She appeared in 44 films between 1930 and 1951. Her first name was sometimes spelled Katherine in billing.

Virginia Women in History is an annual program sponsored by the Library of Virginia that honors eight Virginia women, living and dead, for their contributions to their community, region, state, and nation. The program began in 2000 under the aegis of the Virginia Foundation for Women and Delta Kappa Gamma Society International; since 2006 it has been administered by the Library of Virginia.

<i>Lovely to Look At</i> 1952 MGM musical film directed by Mervyn LeRoy

Lovely to Look At is a 1952 American MGM musical film adaptation of the Broadway musical Roberta, directed by Mervyn LeRoy.

So This Is Love is a 1953 film directed by Gordon Douglas, based on the life of singer Grace Moore. The film stars Kathryn Grayson as Moore, and Merv Griffin. The story chronicles Moore's rise to stardom from 1918 to February 7, 1928 when she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera.

For those of a simialr name, see Katherine Kavanagh (disambiguation)

References

  1. 1 2 3 The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. "The Vanishing Virginian" . Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  3. "Rebecca Yancey Williams, Wrote 'Vanishing Virginian'". The New York Times. 1976-04-07. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2019-09-27.
  4. "THE VANISHING VIRGINIAN by Rebecca Yancey Williams - Kirkus Reviews" . Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  5. "'The Vanishing Virginian' (1942)" . Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  6. The Vanishing Virginian , retrieved 2019-09-27
  7. Photoplay Magazine Publishing Company (1942). Photoplay (Jan - Jun 1942). New York The Museum of Modern Art Library. Chicago, Photoplay Magazine Publishing Company.
  8. "Robert Davis Yancey" (PDF). Friends of the Presbyterian Cemetery. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  9. "Michael Joseph". www.penguin.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-09-27.
  10. www.bibliopolis.com. "CARRY ME BACK by Rebecca Yancey Williams on Frey Fine Books". Frey Fine Books. Retrieved 2019-09-27.
  11. CARRY ME BACK by Rebecca Yancey Williams | Kirkus Reviews.