The Howards of Virginia (1940)

Approved   |    |  Drama, History, War

The Howards of Virginia (1940) Poster

Just prior to the American War of Independence, aristocratic Virginian Jane Peyton marries unsophisticated rustic farmer and surveyor Matt Howard who takes her to his Shenandoah Valley plantation and later goes to war.


Get More From IMDb

For an enhanced browsing experience, get the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast


Frank Lloyd


Sidney Buchman (screen play), Elizabeth Page (novel)

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review

User Reviews

23 October 2007 | whpratt1
| Unbelievable Cary Grant Film
Never realized that Cary Grant appeared in a film which concerned the American Revolution or that he even was willing to give his talents to this type of film. I later found out that Cary Grant did not like this role he was playing in the film and made it a point to never appear in such a film. Many people felt that Cary Grant was not suited for his role in this film and felt he should have turned down this role. There are great supporting actors in this film which are Martha Scott, (Jane Peyton Howard) and Cary Grant, ( Matt Howard) and also Cedric Hardwicke,(Fleetwood Peyton). This film deals with the Boston Tea Party which means that the British were enacting a tax on the people of Boston and the people of Boston were very rebellious against such legislation and made the statement, "No Representation with out Taxitation." You must agree this is not really a Cary Grant film, he was placed in a film which he should never had appear in.

Critic Reviews

Did You Know?


Cary Grant considered himself to be miscast.


There are several inconsistencies in the chronology of Matt Howard's life and the progression of the American Revolutionary milestones presented in the film. Matt's father is killed in the early years of the French and Indian War, which would place his death no earlier than 1754 (in fact, more likely no earlier than 1756). The film then shows a title card indicating that twelve years had passed, thus placing the timeline of the film in the mid- or late-1760s. Matt, however, learns of the recent passage of the Stamp Act and England's taxation measures toward the colonies. The Stamp Act was instituted in 1756, making it impossible for Matt's father to have died in the French and Indian War and for twelve years to have passed. As an adult, Matt then meets, courts, and marries Jane Peyton (presumably in 1766 or 1768 according to the date of his father's death) and moves to Western Virginia to homestead and father three children. Matt learns of the Boston Tea Party (December 1773) and the Intolerable Acts of 1774 near the time that his family visits the Peyton home in Virginia. At this time, Matt's three children are an unspecified age, but Peyton (the oldest) appears no more than four or five years of age, and James (the youngest) is just a baby. The male children, however, join their father in the Colonial Army. It is strongly inferred that the young men join Matt during the lean Winter of 1777-1778 and it is clear that they are seasoned soldiers by the Battle of Yorktown (1781). The film depicts the sons as teenagers, slightly under the age of eighteen when they join their father and presumably older than eighteen by the Battle of Yorktown. However, using news of the Boston Massacre, Boston Tea Party, and Intolerable Acts as points of reference, the oldest boy would have been no older than eleven and the youngest no older than nine by the date of the Battle of Yorktown (presumably they would have been even younger unless Jane conceived each child almost immediately after giving birth.) In short, throughout much of the movie, the Howards' family history does not match the chronology of the political and military events depicted in the film.


Yankee Doodle
(ca. 1755) (uncredited)
Traditional music of English origin
In the score during a war scene


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Drama | History | War

Contribute to this page

Picks for "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" Fans

Here are some titles inspired by "The Falcon and the Winter Solider" that bring back Peggy Carter, explore mysteries with a few MCU mainstays, and feature a buddy-cop duo who clash as hard as Sam and Bucky.

Watch the video

See Your Favorite '90s Stars, Then and Now

Take a look at your favorite stars from the 1990s and how they've changed in the last three decades.

See the full list

Around The Web


Powered by Taboola

More To Explore

Search on