Friday, June 5, 2015

Raintree County Revisited




"The world is still full of divinity and strangeness"
-John Shawnessy 


Golden French Lilacs





        "Come back to Raintree County,
 wandering child.
 Remember the great deaths
 and the great homecomings.
 Come back, and bring a sprig of lilac.
 For you will always be on trains
 and coming home,
 and the legend that recalled you
 from the City 
 will always be tingling
 along the wires of the Republic."
Excerpt from the novel,
"Raintree County"
By Ross Lockridge Jr.




"So kiss me sweet with your warm wet mouth,
Still fragrant with ruby wine,
And say with a fervor born of the South
That your body and soul are mine.
Clasp me close in your warm young arms,
While the pale stars shine above,
And we'll live our whole young lives away
In the joys of a living love."
-Ella Wheeler Wilcox

                       
Montgomery Cliff romances Elizabeth Taylor in
"Raintree County"
(1957)





Set amid the backdrop of
the American Civil War,
"Raintree County" 
is the story of the
tumultuous and
 tragic romance
 between a
handsome, poetic dreamer
 John Shawnessy,
and a beautiful, yet
tormented, southern belle
 Suzanna Drake


Magnolia Susan






"He may be six kinds of a liar,
He may be ten kinds of a fool,
He may be a wicked high flyer
Beyond any reason or rule;
There may be a shadow above him
Of ruin and woes to impend
And I may not respect, but I love him,
Because-well, because he's my friend."
-Berton Braley




Eva Marie Saint
"Raintree County"
(1957)





John Shawnessy's
tender-hearted
high school sweetheart,
the beautiful and virtuous
Nell Gaither,
is heartbroken over
John's betrayal of her
with Suzanna, but
she still loves him.



Sweet Nellie Azalea







"But who shall break the guards that wait
Before the awful face of Fate?
The tattered standards of the South
Were shriveled at the canon's mouth,
And all her hopes were desolate."
-Will Henry Thompson




Eva Marie Saint, Montgomery Cliff
and Elizabeth Taylor visit the
Windsor Ruins
during the filming of
"Raintree County"




This haunting tale of
passion and betrayal,
 the horror of war, and the
physical and psychological
aftermath, in the wake of 
19th century
America's greatest
national conflict,  
was filmed on location
at the ruins of
the Windsor estate,
an antebellum 
Greek Revival mansion
 and the largest
plantation house
ever built in
the state of
Mississippi.




"Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, 

of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind."

-William Wordsworth

 
The Windsor mansion survived the war
only to be destroyed by fire in 1890.






The Raintree's
"Blossoms of Gold"





Raintree County...
which had no boundaries in time
and space, where lurked musical and
strange names and mythical and lost
peoples, and which was itself only a
name musical and strange."
-Ross Lockridge Jr.
  




"The Song of Raintree County"
Sung by Nat King Cole






"I'd love you in Raintree County,
 and I'd find what we all seek to know.
We shared the golden dream
 when we found our true love
in Raintree long ago,
 for the brave who dare 
there's a Raintree
 ev'rywhere.
We who dreamed
 found it so, long ago." 
"The Song of Raintree County"
Lyrics By
  Paul Francis Webster 
John Waldo Green


Beautiful promotional art for"Raintree County"



 
 



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