The Howards of Virginia is a 1940 film released by Columbia Pictures and based on the book The Tree of Liberty written by Elizabeth Page. The Howards of Virginia live through the American Revolutionary War, with Cary Grant starring as Matt Howard, Martha Scott starring as his wife Jane Peyton Howard, and Alan Marshal and Sir Cedric Hardwicke starring as Jane’s brothers Roger and Fleetwood Peyton. Fleetwood Peyton is both Jane’s eldest brother, the patriarch of his family, and a member of the Tidewater aristocracy. The film includes a look at the young Matt Howard, Thomas Jefferson, and Jane Peyton.
Much of the film was shot at Colonial Williamsburg, much of which had only been recently restored or reconstructed at the time of the production. The Capitol, Raleigh Tavern and Governor’s Palace are prominently featured.
Against the backdrop of the events leading up to the American Revolution, Matt Howard (Cary Grant) builds a fine plantation, Albemarle, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia out of love for his wife (Martha Scott), only to see it crumble under the strain of events and differences in their upbringing.
* Cary Grant as Matt Howard
* Martha Scott as Jane Peyton Howard
* Sir Cedric Hardwicke as Fleetwood Peyton
* Alan Marshal as Roger Peyton
* Richard Carlson as Thomas Jefferson
* Paul Kelly as Captain Jabez Allen
* Irving Bacon as Tom Norton
* Elisabeth Risdon as Aunt Clarissa
* Anne Revere as Mrs. Betsy Norton
* Tom Drake (as Richard Alden) as James Howard at 16
* Phil Taylor as Peyton Howard at 18
* Rita Quigley as Mary Howard at Age 17
* Libby Taylor as Dicey
* Richard Gaines as Patrick Henry
* George Houston as George Washington
* Ralph Byrd as James Howard
* Dickie Jones as Matt Howard at 12
* Buster Phelps as Thomas Jefferson at 11
* Wade Boteler as Uncle Reuben
* Mary Field as Susan Howard
* R. Wells Gordon as Colonel Jefferson
* Charles Francis as Mr. Douglas
* Burton McEvilly as Alexander Hamilton
* Peter Cushing as Leslie Stephens (uncredited)
* Walter “Boots” Fannin as wedding groom
* Vernon Downing as John Walker
* Leyland Hodgson as British Officer
* 1940 Academy Awards: 2 Nominations: for Best Original Score (Richard Hageman) and Best Sound Recording (Jack Whitney).