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Carbine Williams (1952)

Unrated | | Biography, Crime, Drama | May 1952 (USA)
David Marshall Williams is sent to a prison farm where he works in the tool shop and eventually develops the precursor of the famous M-1 Carbine automatic rifle used in World War II.

Director:

Richard Thorpe

Writers:

Art Cohn (screenplay), Art Cohn (story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Stewart ... Marsh Williams
Jean Hagen ... Maggie Williams
Wendell Corey ... Capt. H.T. Peoples
Carl Benton Reid ... Claude Williams
Paul Stewart ... 'Dutch' Kruger
Otto Hulett ... Mobley
Rhys Williams ... Redwick Karson
Herbert Heyes ... Lionel Daniels
James Arness ... Leon Williams
Porter Hall ... Sam Markley
Fay Roope Fay Roope ... Ed - District Attorney
Ralph Dumke Ralph Dumke ... Andrew White
Leif Erickson ... Feder
Henry Corden ... Bill Stockton
Frank Richards ... Truex
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Storyline

This is the story of David Marshall 'Marsh' Williams, the real life inventor of the world famous M-1 Carbine automatic rifle used in WWII. It all started when Marsh, who was one to do things his way, was caught distilling moonshine, and was accused and convicted of shooting a federal officer in the process. This at first placed him in the chain gang which labeled him as a hard case. Later, to make room for those more deserving, he was moved to a prison farm, where he came under the direction of Captain H.T. Peoples. The Captain was a mild mannered warden, who did not shy from discipline when necessary, but also believed that given the opportunity, most men will respond to good. Believing that Marsh was just such a person, the Captain gave him every opportunity to reform, so much so, that he eventually allowed Marsh to work in the tool shop on his spare time to develop and build by hand, a working rifle, inside the prison farm itself. Written by Bill Walch <TheWalchs@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is my Story

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

May 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Story of David Marshall Williams See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,111,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,787,000, 31 December 1952

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,589,000, 31 December 1952
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real David Marshall Williams was convicted of killing a Deputy Sheriff, not a Federal Agent. Also, differing from the film's depiction, the murder was an ambush by Williams and his still workers as the police attempted to transport evidence from the crime scene. See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the film - Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer gratefully acknowledges the cooperation of the North Carolina prison authorities and wishes to state that the penal system existing in North Carolina today has been improved immeasurably over conditions depicted in this picture. See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A gun sent him to prison and a gun freed him
10 July 2014 | by utgard14See all my reviews

This is one of my favorite Jimmy Stewart movies and I feel it's also one of his most under-appreciated. It's a biopic of David Marshall Williams, the inventor of the M1 carbine rifle. Williams was a moonshiner who went to prison for killing a federal agent (a deputy sheriff in reality but changed to a fed here for some reason). While in prison, he works on a new kind of repeating rifle that would be the basis for the carbine invented later.

Stewart dominates the movie and his performance keeps you interested throughout. Jean Hagen and Wendell Corey offer fine support. This is a pretty straightforward and simple biographical movie. There are no bells and whistles. But there's something about it that always appealed to me. Jimmy Stewart fans will love it, I'm sure.


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