Starring Madeleine Carroll, Fred MacMurray, Sterling Hayden, Helen Broderick, Carolyn Lee,
Directed by Edward H. Griffith
Runtime: 110 min.
Print Quality: B
If Selznick could make a Gone With the Wind, reasoned Paramount Pictures in 1941, anyone
can. Paramount's own spin on Scarlet and Rhett was Virginia, starring British actress
Madeleine Carroll as Southern belle Charlotte Dunterry. A first a showgirl, Charlotte arrives
in Fairville, Virginia to take charge of her family plantation. Intending to sell the estate for a
quick turnover, Charlotte is dissuaded when she falls in love with impoverished local
aristocrat Stonewall Elliot (Fred MacMurray). Though devoted to Elliot, she must find a way
to keep herself solvent, and to that she enters into a loveless marriage with wealthy
northerner Norman Williams (Sterling Hayden). The rest of the story finds Charlotte
wavering between Elliot and Williams, while the audience settles in for a good long nap. As
in Gone with the Wind, Virginia is distinguished by the performance of one of its black
supporting players, namely Leigh Whipper as an elderly ex-slave who returns to Fairville to
die (he doesn't sing "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny", but one can hear it anyway).