Civil War Wiki
Raintree County
Theatrical poster
Directed by Edward Dmytryk
Produced by David Lewis
Written by Millard Kaufman
Starring Montgomery Clift
Elizabeth Taylor
Eva Marie Saint
Lee Marvin
Rod Taylor
Music by Johnny Green
Cinematography Robert Surtees
Editing by John D. Dunning
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Release date(s) December 20, 1957 (1957-12-20)
Running time 182 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Raintree County is a 1957 Technicolor film drama about the American Civil War. It was directed by Edward Dmytryk.

It was adapted from the novel of the same name by Ross Lockridge, Jr. In the credits for the film, the author's name is misspelled as Ross Rockridge Jr.

Raintree County was shot at various locations, including Dunleith, an antebellum mansion in Natchez, Mississippi, and two locations in Kentucky, one of which was at the Liberty Hall Historic Site on Wilkinson Street in Frankfort and the other in and around Danville.

During filming, Montgomery Clift had an automobile accident which almost killed him. After several weeks of recovery, he returned to finish the film, but the left side of his face had been partially paralyzed.


Idealist John Wickliff Shawnessy (Montgomery Clift) drifts away from his high school sweetheart Nell Gaither (Eva Marie Saint) and enters into a passionate, yet loveless, marriage with a woman named Susanna Drake (Elizabeth Taylor), a rich New Orleans girl. John later learns that Susanna's mother died in a lunatic asylum and it becomes apparent that Susanna has inherited her family's curse for she tricked him into marriage. Frustrated with life, John flees home when enlisting in the Northern Army and fights in Tennessee and Georgia during the American Civil War where he does some soul searching for himself and explores his path in life to what may lay in store for him should he return home.


  • Montgomery Clift as John Wickliff Shawnessey
  • Elizabeth Taylor as Susanna Drake
  • Eva Marie Saint as Nell Gaither
  • Nigel Patrick as Prof. Jerusalem Webster Stiles
  • Lee Marvin as Orville 'Flash' Perkins
  • Rod Taylor as Garwood B. Jones
  • Agnes Moorehead as Ellen Shawnessy
  • Walter Abel as T.D. Shawnessy
  • Jarma Lewis as Barbara Drake
  • Tom Drake as Bobby Drake
  • Rhys Williams as Ezra Gray
  • Russell Collins as Niles Foster
  • DeForest Kelley as Southern officer

Awards and nominations[]

Elizabeth Taylor was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. The film was also nominated for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (William A. Horning, Urie McCleary, Edwin B. Willis, Hugh Hunt), Best Costume Design and Best Music, Scoring. [1] The film was shot in a 65 millimeter widescreen process called MGM Camera 65, which was also used for MGM's 1959 version of Ben Hur.


External links[]


de:Das Land des Regenbaums es:El árbol de la vida fr:L'Arbre de vie it:L'albero della vita (film 1957) nl:Raintree Country ja:愛情の花咲く樹 (映画) pl:W poszukiwaniu deszczowego drzewa pt:Raintree County fi:Sadepuun maa