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The Vanishing Virginian

(1941 b 97')

En: 6 Ed: 6

A prosecuting attorney and his interesting family are portrayed during the suffragette era.

In 1913 in Lynchburg, Virginia at breakfast the family of Bob Yancey (Frank Morgan) learns that he made a speech against Prohibition. Servant Josh (Leigh Whipper) asks Yancey to help Aunt Mandy and Jefferson Brown. Rosa Yancey (Spring Byington) gets her husband Yancey to promise not to run again. Jack Holden (Mark Daniels) is going away and asks Margaret Yancey (Natalie Thompson) to wait for him. Yancey tells Aunt Mandy he must prosecute Jefferson but says he'll get him a good lawyer. Yancey tells James Rogard that Prohibition can't be enforced. Yancey asks James Shirley (Johnny Mitchell) to defend Jefferson. Yancey and James find Rebecca Yancey (Kathryn Grayson) fighting with Joel Yancey (Scotty Beckett). Robert Yancey Jr. (Dickie Jones) got a bloody nose. Joel smokes, gets sick, and starts a fire. At dinner Rosa reads a letter from James' mother Marcia to Yancey. Rebecca sings to two black girls, and James applauds but walks in the garden with Margaret. Yancey learns that Rosa is jealous of Marcia.

In court Yancey prosecutes Jefferson and puts ink on his face. He refuses to pay a fine and goes to jail for contempt. Yancey comes home, and Rebecca defends James; but Rosa takes the family to Yancey's mother (Elizabeth Patterson). Yancey meets with his campaign committee and learns from James that Rogard is going into bootlegging; so Yancey decides to run again. Josh helps Caroline Yancey (Juanita Quigley) escape from a bull; but Yancey does not whip Josh and Caroline for not keeping their word. Yancey tells Rosa why he has to run, and they recall when he proposed to her. The family sings "Bill Bailey."

Jack returns in a Stanley Steamer and tells Margaret that she can be a lawyer. Jack drives the family to church; but Yancey does not go and finds Josh dead. At his funeral Yancey speaks as his friend. Rebecca drives the car and with James meets his mother Marcia (Katharine Alexander), who is a suffragette and greets Yancey and Rosa before she takes her train. Margaret prepares to wed Jack.

Yancey is re-elected several times; but in 1929 Rosa is worried he may lose and writes to their children. Yancey is defeated, and the family gathers. Yancey makes jokes and finds the dining room has been moved back near the kitchen. Outside Yancey is cheered and makes a speech, counting his blessings.

This charming family portrait depicts a variety of characters being human but surviving by loving each other. Yancey shouts at those he loves, but in the end he lets love have its way.

Copyright © 2002 by Sanderson Beck

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