Young Matt Howard’s father goes off to help the British fight the French and Indian Warsin Ohio, apparently in the cause of liberty, and is killed. Years later, Matt has grown up into CaryGrant (hellishly miscast and looking utterly ridiculous in his Daniel Boone getup). He becomesa surveyor, still imbued with his father’s political ideals and marries into an aristocratic andconservative family. Tensions rise and decisions must be made once the War of Independencebegins. Th…s is the kind of ham-fisted period drama that makes The Patriot look like a model ofsubtlety by comparison. Virtually every line of dialogue is a propaganda groaner, and Grant’strademark double-takes and hesitancies, so appropriate to his matinee-idol charm, are wildly out-of-place here.
The soundtrack is mono, and Columbia TriStar has left it alone, not forcing it into unnaturalstereo. The mono is good: clean, warm, distortion-free.
The film gets off to a rough start, with bad speckling, grain and other signs of print damage.The picture improves shortly, and the black and white looks very nice thereafter. Some graindoes remain, however, and there is some edge enhancement visible. The format is the originalfullscreen.
Effectively nothing: trailers for His Girl Friday, Lawrence of Arabia, and Mr. Smith Goes toWashington, but nothing to do with The Howards of Virginia at all.
A weak film, from quite early in Columbia’s history. Of interest to Cary Grant completistsperhaps.
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