Raintree County (Film)
Has anyone here ever seen the 1950's
film called `Raintree County ' starring
Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift?
It's a really interesting film in the `Tragic
Mulatto' theme is (sort of) examined.
If you plan to rent or buy the film and don't want to know
the plot, the secret or the end -- please do not scroll down.
Elizabeth Taylor's character, 'Susan', who is a beautiful,
raven-haired and "exotic"-looking rich Southern-Belle,
is also rumored, among her family members and close
friends of the family, to possibly be the daughter of the
now-deceased plantation owner and a free-Mulatto
woman who worked in the house as a maid / nanny
to the child rather than the daughter of his wife.
Eventually the character (who is fully aware of the rumors
concerning her lineage) goes insane (and it's never clear
as to whether it's due to the shock of the Civil War taking
place or the burden of possibly being of Mulatto-lineage)
and the man she was married to ends up married to
'Nell', the blue-eyed, blonde, alabaster-hued woman
who everyone in town views as being of full, known
and confirmed mono-racial White ancestral lineage.
The film 'Raintree County' was based on a
book written by author, Ross Lockridge, Jr.
Susannah Duke (1844-77)
The photo above is said to be the individual on
whom the author of the novel 'RainTree County'
based the "possibly Mulatto ancestry" character.
In 1861, John Shockley, then twenty-two,
married Susannah Duke, just approaching
seventeen--the fictional counterpart in the
novel 'Raintree County' is Susanna Drake.
Vernice Baker, the author's wife,
----- in 1928, aged fourteen.
In " Raintree County " she would
inspire the portrait of Nell Gaither.