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 »
(at around 5 mins) When the piano is played the sounds we hear are an octave lower than the hand-positions shown. See more »
You don't have to convince me about 'Hubbard Sons.' I'm sure you're the right people for the deal. You want the mill here, I want it here. But it's not my business WHY you want it.
They're to bring the machine to the cotton, and not the cotton to the machine.
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This film fully deserves its reputation as one of the most scorching dramas of greed and corruption ever placed on celluloid. A deceptively slow start soon draws into the machinations of the Hubbard clan whose brazen backstabbings and betrayals even today make our jaws drop. Davis' stunning portrayal of the supremely grasping Regina Giddens leads a stellar cast which does a superb job of delineating a finely drawn group of characters. Charles Dingle's deceptively warm smile masks the cooly intelligent deviousness of Ben Hubbard. Carl Reid's Oscar Hubbard is just as malicious but his inferior intelligence makes him yield to his brother's and sister's lead. Dan Duryea nicely portrays the imbecilic and immature Leo Hubbard, a characterization which borders on but never crosses over into comedy. Patricia Collinge breaks our hearts as the broken-spirited and alcoholic Birdie, Oscar's wife. Herbert Marshall's performance as the doomed Horace, Regina's husband, delineates the pain, anger, and sense of betrayal burning beneath his deathly illness. The star of the proceedings, however, is clearly Davis. Wyler's superb direction blends all these characters into a masterful whole.
Hellman's skill as a dramatist must be credited for much of this, but her Marxist inclinations clearly peep through the seams of the dialogue.
I'm glad I finally had a chance to see this undoubted classic. Thanks again to that great channel, American Movie Classics.
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