The Virginian

Watch The Virginian

  • Passed
  • 1946
  • 1 hr 30 min
  • 6.4  (1,245)

Joel McCrea stars as the titular character, The Virginian, in this 1946 western classic based on the novel by Owen Wister. The film, directed by Stuart Gilmore, also features Brian Donlevy as Trampas and Sonny Tufts as Steve, rounding out the film's trio of main characters. Set in the late 1800s, The Virginian is the foreman of a Wyoming cattle ranch owned by the stern, yet fair, Judge Henry (Lewis Stone). The Virginian is a stoic force to be reckoned with, renowned for his honesty, integrity, and rugged good looks. His life is upended when he falls in love with schoolteacher Molly Stark Wood (Barbara Britton), who he meets on a trip to the nearest town to sell the ranch's cattle. However, sparks fly when she meets Trampas, a charismatic and dangerous cowboy working on a rival ranch.

The film's plot is largely character-driven, focusing on the relationships, conflicts, and alliances that evolve between the main characters. It explores themes of loyalty, honor, true love, and the struggle between good and evil in a timeless and universal way. The film's realistic portrayal of life on a ranch in the Old West, the breathtaking Wyoming landscapes, and the superb acting from the film's cast all contribute to the film's enduring appeal.

Joel McCrea delivers a standout performance as The Virginian, portraying the character with rugged masculinity and quiet strength. His chemistry with Barbara Britton is palpable, and their scenes together are some of the most memorable in the film. Brian Donlevy is equally impressive as Trampas, bringing depth and nuance to a character that could have easily been one-dimensional. Sonny Tufts rounds out the trio of main characters as Steve, The Virginian's best friend and loyal ally.

The supporting cast, including Louis Stone as Judge Henry, Fay Bainter as Mrs. Taylor, and Tom Tully as the old cowboy Stovepipe, are also noteworthy for their strong performances. Additionally, the film's cinematography by Harry Hallenberger is stunning, showcasing the natural beauty of Wyoming's landscapes and adding depth to the film's themes.

Overall, The Virginian is a classic western that has stood the test of time. It is an entertaining and thought-provoking film that explores timeless themes with genuine heart and a skilled sense of storytelling. Fans of the western genre will not be disappointed.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 30 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (1,245)