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 Giddons née Hubbard has her daughter under her thumb. Mrs. Giddons 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
Bette Davis and William Wyler fought a great deal during filming. Disagreements ranged from Davis's interpretation of the character (Wyler thought she should be more sympathetic) to the appearance of the house (Davis thought it was far too opulent for a family struggling financially), to her appearance (Wyler thought her white makeup made her look like a Kabuki performer.) Davis eventually walked out of production, but returned when she heard rumors she was going to be replaced by Katharine Hepburn or Miriam Hopkins. See more »
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 »
You're a good loser, Ben. I like that.
Well, I say to myself, what's the good? You and I aren't like Oscar. We're not sour people. I think that comes from a good digestion.
Until one loses today, and wins tomorrow. I say to myself, years of planning, and I get what I want. And then I don't get it... But I'm not discouraged. The world's open for people like you and me. There's thousands of us all over the world. We'll own the country some day. They won't try to stop us. We'll get...
[...] 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 »
"I hope you die! I've been waiting for you to die!"
The Little Foxes is as entertaining today as it was in 1941. Lillian Hellman's theatrical hit with Tallulah Bankhead is magnificently brought to the screen by William Wyler with Bette Davis in the TB role. Davis received her fourth straight Oscar nomination (her sixth over all at that point in her career) for portraying Regina Giddons. It is a performance that rates among the best ever created by Davis, or any other actress for that matter.
Greg Toland's deep focus photography rivals that of his work on Citizen Kane.
It's nine Oscar nominations include Teresa Wright's for best supporting actress.
This was the third and last time Davis and Wyler worked together. During the shoot the two did not get along -- Davis even walked off the set and was almost replaced by Goldwyn. She was loaned to Goldwyn as part of a trade out for Warner Bros to have Gary Cooper for Sgt. York -- he took home the Oscar for best actor.
Dorothy Parker translated the theatrical script for the screen adding more location scenes for Wright.
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