Popular and beautiful Fanny Trellis is forced into a loveless marriage with an older man, Jewish banker Job Skeffington, in order to save her beloved brother Trippy from an embezzlement charge, and predictable complications result.
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
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 »
[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.
[starts looking agitated]
Why didn't you leave me?
Where was I to go? What money did I have? I didn't think about it much, if I ...
[...] See more »
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 »
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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