Janet Leigh makes an impressive debut alongside Van Johnson in this historical romance in which a farmer's daughter falls in love with a man who fought against her family in the Civil War. ...
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Janet Leigh makes an impressive debut alongside Van Johnson in this historical romance in which a farmer's daughter falls in love with a man who fought against her family in the Civil War. Into a Missouri farming community living in a state of constant tension due to conflicting pro-North and pro-South sentiments ambles ex-Union soldier Henry Carson (Van Johnson), who briefly camps out at the farm of unforgiving Confederate sympathizer Gill MacBean (Thomas Mitchell). Suspecting that Carson is up to no good, MacBean is outraged when the handsome stranger begins courting MacBean's daughter Lissy Anne (Leigh). Things come to a head dramatically when the heretofore easygoing Carson comes face to face with a band of hooded, night-riding barn burners who've been fomenting discord among the farmers.
Said on TCM that Van Johnson was responsible for her stage name. He suggested she shorten her first name to Janet; and he though that since the film they were doing was a civil war drama; lee would go well. But then he suggested she spell it Leigh. She was concerned there might a problem with confusion with Vivian Leigh; but then Van Johnson reminded her of Van Heflin. He said "there's two Van's and it hasn't hurt either of us". See more »
I'd rather have the crops rot in the ground than neighbor up with a Northerner.
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"The Romance of Rosy Ridge" surprised me a bit. While I assumed it would be a pretty good film given its cast, it turned out to be even better. It's a wonderful little film and I strongly recommend you see it.
The film is set in Missouri 1965--just after the Civil War. Rosy Ridge is a sad community because it was a divided town in a border state and folks fought on both sides during the war. Because of this, there is still a lot of acrimony among the locals--with someone burning barns of the ex-Confederates. One guy, Gill MacBean (Thomas Mitchell) has vowed NEVER to have anything to do with anyone who fought for the Union.
One day, a stranger, Henry Carson (Van Johnson) wanders by the MacBean farm. While Gill isn't very friendly, the rest of the family invites the man in for dinner and soon he ends up staying for some time. Now this stranger isn't a freeloader--he works very hard around the place and he's also very likable. However, when it comes to politics, he says very little and Gill cannot figure out which side this young man might have fought for in the war. If he is a Yankee, this is a serious problem for Gill, as his daughter, Lissy (Janet Leigh--in her first film) is falling for Henry. There is MUCH more to the film than this--but frankly it's better if you just see it for yourself. Suffice to say, there isn't much not to like about this film. The acting is very nice (particular by Johnson), the script superb (offering lots of twists and a wonderful surprise ending) and it's a nice look at American history. Exceptional.
By the way, although it's not the same, you do wonder if the film was the inspiration for the "Andy Griffith Show" episode "A Stranger in Town" as there are some similarities.
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