Raintree County (1957)
The 1957 MGM film "Raintree County" is set during the period of the US Civil War.
It was based on best-selling 1948 novel of the same title by Ross Lockridge Jr.
had a long-time friendship with a local girl, Nell Gaither (Eva Marie Saint).
she is pregnant resulting in their marriage. Susanna has some mental problems stemming from her belief
that she is the daughter of her father's black slave mistress.
a footrace that John has entered.
John Shawnessy and Nell Gaither graduate from a small private school in Raintree County, Indiana.
The school is run by Professor Jerusalem Stiles, who knows everything and is very cynical.
The Professor tells his students that somewhere in the county, Johnny Appleseed planted a
Chinese Golden Raintree and encourages his students to look for it.
2. John Shawnessy and Nell Gaither
The have the same beliefs regarding things.
3. Garwood Jones, Flash Perkins, Professor Stiles
John is recruited to run a foot race with Flash, who has been unbeaten for several years.
4. A visitor from Louisiana
Susanna Drake is a distant relative of Garwood, and is a wealthy heiress.
5. The Professor makes a bet
He pours $50 in gold into Flash's hand.
6. Fifty dollars in gold
Apparently gold is not used much there as the locals talk about the unusual money.
The coins look like US five and ten dollar gold pieces.
7. United States $10 1850
An example of a United States ten dollar gold piece from the period.
John wins the race and presented with an award by Susanna.
Later John, Susanna, the Professor, and a girl friend head to a river for a victory picnic.
8. After-race picnic
The Professor counts his winnings from bets.
9. The Professor counts his winnings
The Professor talks about winning $250, a large sum in those days.
John and Susanna leave to be alone.
John and Susanna get married and head to Louisiana for a honeymoon and to visit her relatives.
She is upset at John's anti-slavery politics.
John starts finding out things about Susanna, including that she likes dolls.
10. Susanna's dolls on a bed
They take a steamboat to New Orleans and attend parties there.
11. John and Susanna down South
A woman at a party mentions to John that it was odd that Susanna didn't find a husband "down here".
12. At the old plantation
Susanna tells John about a fire that occured when she was a child.
Her father, father's wife, and the father's black mistress were killed in the fire,
and Susanna implies that she isn't sure which woman was her mother.
where her relatives own a plantation.
He meets fellow soldier Flash and then war-correspondent Jerusalem.
13. Soldiers Flash and John meet a war correspondent
John and Flash fight through several major battles, Chickamauga, Resaca, and arrive in Atlanta with
the Union troops commanded by General Sherman.
14. Flash and John become "Bummers" or Special Forces
John realizes that he is near the Georgia plantation where his son is, and he joins the "bummers",
soldiers which will move independently of units in order to forage throughout the area.
15. John finds his son
John is told by a servant that Susanna is confined in an insane asylum.
He is wounded severely enough in a skirmish that he is discharged from the army and
takes his son back to Indiana.
where she recovers some sanity.
16. John and Susanna back home in Indiana
Susanna decides to look for the raintree, leaves the house, and is followed by the boy into a swamp.
Searchers find Susanna's body the next day and later John and Nell find the son alive.
17. John finds his son and Nell
Montgomery Clift as John Wickliff Shawnessy
Elizabeth Taylor as Susanna Drake Shawnessy
Eva Marie Saint as Nell Gaither
Nigel Patrick as Prof. Jerusalem Webster Stiles
Writers: Millard Kaufman, Ross Lockridge Jr. (novel)