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The Little Foxes (1941)

18 | | Drama, Romance | 29 August 1941 (USA)
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1:23 | Trailer
The ruthless, moneyed Hubbard clan lives in, and poisons, their part of the deep South at the turn of the twentieth century.

Director:

William Wyler

Writers:

Lillian Hellman (by), Lillian Hellman (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 9 Oscars. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bette Davis ... Regina Giddens
Herbert Marshall ... Horace Giddens
Teresa Wright ... Alexandra Giddens
Richard Carlson ... David Hewitt
Dan Duryea ... Leo Hubbard
Patricia Collinge ... Birdie Hubbard
Charles Dingle ... Ben Hubbard
Carl Benton Reid ... Oscar Hubbard
Jessica Grayson Jessica Grayson ... Addie (as Jessie Grayson)
John Marriott ... Cal
Russell Hicks ... William Marshall
Lucien Littlefield ... Manders
Virginia Brissac ... Mrs. Hewitt
Terry Nibert Terry Nibert ... Julia
Henry 'Hot Shot' Thomas Henry 'Hot Shot' Thomas ... Harold
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Storyline

The ruthless, moneyed Hubbard clan lives in, and poisons, their part of the deep South at the turn of the 20th century. Regina Giddens née Hubbard has her daughter under her thumb. Mrs Giddens is estranged from her husband, who is convalescing in Baltimore and suffers from a terminal illness. But she needs him home, and will manipulate her daughter to help bring him back. She has a sneaky business deal that she's cooking up with her two elder brothers, Oscar and Ben. Oscar has a flighty, unhappy wife and a dishonest worm of a son. Will the daughter have to marry this contemptible cousin? Who will she grow up to be - her mother or her aunt? Or can she escape the fate of both? Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

...the film version of the stage hit, as the ruthless beauty whose ambition spelt the doom of three men

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

18 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 August 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hyena's See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

According to Samuel Goldwyn Jr., the reason Jack L. Warner loaned Bette Davis to RKO for this movie was to settle a $300,000 gambling debt Warner had with Samuel Goldwyn. It has been said that all of the studio moguls (Jack L. Warner, Samuel Goldwyn, Harry Cohn, Louis B. Mayer, Darryl F. Zanuck and Carl Laemmle) would gather and play cards after work, after having "stabbed each other in the back" during the day. See more »

Goofs

In the final scene, just before Alexandra leaves Regina, in the shot when Regina climbs the stairs, and asks Zan if she would "like to sleep in her room tonight", we see a chair in the background (which earlier in the scene, Regina had sat in). The chair seat is empty. Two shots later, when Alexandra collects her hat and coat to leave, they have suddenly appeared on the chair. See more »

Quotes

Regina Giddens: [about marrying Horace] It didn't take me long to find out my mistake. Then it was just as if I couldn't stand the sight of you. I couldn't bear to have you touch me. I thought you were such a soft weak fool, you were so understanding when I didn't want you near me. The lies and excuses I used to make to you, and you believed them. That was when I began to despise you.
Horace Giddens: [starts looking agitated] Why didn't you leave me?
Regina Giddens: Where was I to go? What money did I have? I didn't think about it much, if I ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: "Take us the foxes, The little foxes, that spoil the vines:

For our vines have tender grapes." The Song of Solomon 2:15

Little foxes have lived in all times, in all places. This family happened to live in the deep South in the year 1900. See more »

Connections

Featured in Five Came Back: The Price of Victory (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Rosen aus dem Süden
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
See more »

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User Reviews

Magnificent adaptation of Hellman's hit play
17 February 2003 | by willowgreenSee all my reviews

As the greedy, conniving Regina Giddons, Bette Davis gives a fascinating performance which ranks with her very finest. Tallulah Bankhead had her greatest stage success playing Regina on Broadway in 1939. Wyler wanted Davis to portray Regina with a more sympathetic "hot house" flavour, but Bette was adamant that the character was a witch in spades: the resulting performance is striking. Regina Giddons is a classic example of a character movie viewers love to hate. Carl Benton Reid is great as the equally greedy brother and Dan Duryea is fine as Leo the crumb. As Alexandra, Teresa Wright is almost annoyingly innocent in the beginning, but she wisens up considerably towards the end of the film: "Why, Alexandra, you have spirit after all. I used to think you were all sugar-water" says a frankly impressed Regina. As the alcoholic flibbertigibbet Birdie, Patricia Collinge is perfection personified: a truly memorable portrait brilliantly enacted. Herbert Marshall is fine as the tragically deceived Horace who shouldn't depend on his "lovely" wife to fetch his heart medicine for him. A magnificent example of a great play transferred to film, Wyler's guiding hand is patent throughout: they definitely don't make films like this anymore - no matter what the cost.


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