Carbine Williams

Carbine Williams is a 1952 American drama film directed by Richard Thorpe and starring James Stewart. The film follows the life of its namesake, David Marshall Williams, who invented the operating principle for the M1 Carbine while in a North Carolina prison. The M1 Carbine was used extensively by the U.S. military during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

Carbine Williams
Directed byRichard Thorpe
Written byArt Cohn
Based onThe Most Unforgettable Character I've Met
1951 Reader's Digest
by Capt. H. T. Peoples
Produced byArmand Deutsch
StarringJames Stewart
Jean Hagen
Wendell Corey
CinematographyWilliam C. Mellor
Edited byNewell P. Kimlin
Music byConrad Salinger
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • May 1952 (1952-05)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$2,589,000[1]

Originally filmed in black-and-white, it is also shown in a computer-colorized version.[2]


The film follows the life of David Marshall Williams (James Stewart), who was a member of the Winchester team that invented the semi-automatic M1 Carbine used in World War II. Williams was found distilling illegal moonshine, and was held responsible for the death of a sheriff's deputy during a raid on his still. He was sentenced to thirty years' hard labor. He cycled through the prison system until a firm but compassionate warden, H.T. Peoples (Wendell Corey), allowed him to work in a prison tool shop. There, he invented the gas system for his famous rifle. Williams was released from prison in 1929 and worked with Winchester Firearms on development of the M1 Carbine.



According to MGM records the film earned $1,787,000 in the US and Canada[3] and $802,000 elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $575,000.[1]

Comic book adaptationEdit


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. ^ Maltin, Leonard, ed. (2007). Leonard Maltin's 2008 Movie Guide. New York: Signet. p. 211. ISBN 978-0-451-22186-5.
  3. ^ See also 'Top Box-Office Hits of 1952', Variety, January 7, 1953
  4. ^ "Fawcett Movie Comic #19". Grand Comics Database.

External linksEdit