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Shenandoah (1965)

aka Shenandoah

"Two Mighty Armies Trampled Its Valley... A Fighting Family Challenged Them Both!"

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 105 mins · English


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Small Charlie Anderson
Small Lt. Sam
No_movie_poster Jacob Anderson
Small James Anderson
No_movie_poster Jennie Anderson
No_movie_poster Boy Anderson
Small Mrs. Ann Anderson
Small Nathan Anderson
No_movie_poster John Anderson
No_movie_poster Henry Anderson
No_movie_poster Gabriel
Small Dr. Tom Witherspoon
Small Pastor Bjoerling
Small Col. Fairchild
Small Carter, Rebel Soldier


No_movie_poster James Lee Barrett Writer
No_movie_poster Andrew V. McLaglen Director
No_movie_poster Robert Arthur Production
No_movie_poster Otho Lovering Editing


"Two Mighty Armies Trampled Its Valley... A Fighting Family Challenged Them Both!"


Set in the state of Virginia during the American Civil War, James Stewart plays the role of family patriarch, Charlie Anderson. He and his six sons run the family farm, while his daughter Jennie (Rosemary Forsyth) and daughter-in-law Ann (Katharine Ross) take care of the housework. Charlie's oldest son Jacob (Glenn Corbett) wants to join the war, but Charlie repeatedly tells his family that they won't join the war until it concerns them. Although a few of the boys want to join, they respect their father's wishes and remain on the farm.

Charlie's daughter Jennie is courted by a young soldier named Sam (Doug McClure). He wants to marry Jennie, and when Charlie gives his permission, the wedding occurs a few days later. As soon as the vows are said, a young corporal rides up and announces that Sam is wanted back immediately. Sam leaves, much to the sorrow of his new bride.

While out hunting raccoon, Charlie's youngest son Boy (Phillip Alford) and his friend Gabriel (Eugene Jackson) stumble onto a Confederate ambush. They run away and stop for a drink at a pond. Boy is wearing an old rebel soldier kepi cap that he found at the river. When a union patrol comes on them, Boy is taken as a prisoner of war. Gabriel runs to tell the Andersons what happened. When Charlie hears the news, he and his sons and daughter Jennie leave to look for Boy, leaving James (Patrick Wayne) and his wife Ann at the farm with their young baby.

Meanwhile, Boy is taken to a prisoner of war camp. He is befriended by rebel soldier Carter (James Best) who plans to escape and decides to let Boy come along. They and a few other men successfully make it out of the camp and start heading south. Not long after, they come onto a Confederate camp, and are soon involved in a skirmish. Carter is killed, and Boy himself is shot in the leg. When a Union soldier comes along about to kill him, he looks up into the face of his friend, Gabriel. Gabriel helps him off into a bush to hide until after the battle.

Charlie Anderson, still looking for Boy, overpowers the Union soldiers on a train carrying prisoners. He looks through the boxcars, searching for his son. When he finds that Boy is not there, he gets on his horse to leave. As he looks up, he sees young Sam coming through the crowd. Jennie is overjoyed to see her husband, and Sam leaves with the Andersons, telling the soldiers to burn the train and go home.

Back at the farm, scavengers raid the place, killing both James and Ann. On their way back home, the Andersons run across a Confederate patrol. The young sentry, startled by the sound of horses, stands up and takes a shot at Jacob, killing him instantly. Charlie starts to kill the sentry, but stops to ask him his age. The sentry replies, "sixteen, sir." Charlie stops, remembering that his youngest son is sixteen. He emotionally tells the sentry that he wants him to live and be an old man and have many sons. He wants him to know what it feels like to lose one of them. When the Andersons return home, the doctor tells them what happened to James and Ann. Their young child Martha is still alive, and Charlie takes her in his arms.

The following day at the breakfast table, Charlie begins his standard prayer, but is so heartbroken that he can't finish it. He goes out to the family graveyard to see his wife's grave. He sees the graves of James, Jacob and Ann alongside his wife, and as he talks to her, he hears church bells ringing in the distance.

Coming back to the farmhouse, he demands to know why no one told him it was Sunday. The whole family gets dressed and ready for church, coming in the door of the church house as the singing is started. As the congregation completes the first song, the pastor, (Denver Pyle), starts to announce the next hymn. As he does so, Boy stumbles through the back door on a crutch. The whole congregation looks, and Charlie Anderson turns to see what is happening. As he sees his son, his face lights up, and he helps him to the pew. The whole church joyously sings in unison as the film ends.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1965-06-03 : United States of America

DVD : 2003-05-06