Cass Timberlane

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Cass Timberlane
Cass Timberlane poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by George Sidney
Produced by Arthur Hornblow, Jr.
Written by Sinclair Lewis (Novel)
Donald Ogden Stewart (Adaptation)
Sonya Levien (Adaptation)
Starring Spencer Tracy
Lana Turner
Zachary Scott
Music by Roy Webb
Cinematography Robert Planck
Edited by John Dunning
Distributed by MGM (1947, original) Warner Bros. (2010, DVD)
Release date
  • November 1947 (1947-11)
Running time
119 mins.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2,733,000[1]
Box office $5,186,000[1]

Cass Timberlane is a romantic drama film starring Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner and Zachary Scott, directed by George Sidney, and released in 1947. It was based on the 1945 novel Cass Timberlane: A Novel of Husbands and Wives by Sinclair Lewis, which was Lewis' nineteenth novel and one of his last.


Former Congressman and now Judge Cass Timberlane is a middle-aged, incorruptible, highly respected man who enjoys good books and playing the flute. He falls for Jinny, a much younger girl from a lower class in his small Minnesota town. At first, the marriage is happy, but Jinny becomes bored with the small town and with the judge's friends. She leaves him for an affair with a lawyer, Timberlane's boyhood friend. Eventually abandoned by her lover, Jinny returns to her husband and becomes the good wife. The novel is Lewis' examination of marriage, love, romance, heartache and trust.


Spencer Tracy, George Sidney and Lana Turner on the set of Cass Timberlane


Though it received tepid critical reviews, the film was a box office hit, earning $3,983,000 in the U.S. and Canada and $1,203,000 elsewhere, but because of its high production cost, it only returned a profit of $746,000.[1][2]

Radio adaptation[edit]

Cass Timberlane was presented on Theatre Guild on the Air February 15, 1953. The one-hour adaptation starred Fredric March and Nina Foch.[3]

Cultural references[edit]

Wolcott Gibbs spoofed the novel in The New Yorker as "Shad Ampersand." The song "Cleo the Cat" by the band Benton Harbor Lunchbox was inspired by the novel Cass Timberlane: A Novel of Husbands and Wives.


Cass Timberlane was released to DVD by Warner Home Video on July 6, 2010 via Warner Archives as a DVD-on-demand disc available through Amazon.


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .
  2. ^ "Top Grossers of 1948", Variety 5 January 1949 p 46
  3. ^ Kirby, Walter (February 15, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 42. Retrieved June 21, 2015 – via  open access publication – free to read

Further reading[edit]

  • Monder, Eric (1994). George Sidney:a Bio-Bibliography. Greenwood Press. ISBN 9780313284571. 

External links[edit]