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
(at around 5 mins) When the piano is played the sounds we hear are an octave lower than the hand-positions shown. See more »
Down here we have a strange custom. We drink the last drink as a toast. That's to prove that the Southerner's always on his feet for the last drink.
[later he admitted to making that up for the occasion]
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Bette Davis stars as Regina Giddens in this film version of Lillian Hellman's smash hit play (which starred Tallulah Bankhead). This tale of the pre-industrial south of 1900 pits Regina against her greedy brothers as they scheme to open a textile mill that will make them rich. Great performances here from Davis, Herbert Marshall, Teresa Wright, Richard Carlson, Charles Dingle, Patricia Collinge, Dan Duryea, Jessie Grayson, and Carl Benton Reid. Sort of a modern King Lear, but Hellman had a wicked ear for acid dialog and her characters each have moments of grandeur as they spit and snarl. Collinge is very good as pitiable Birdie. Wright and Carlson are especially good as the young lovers, and Duryea gives a wonderfully slimy performance. Dingle has his best role as the smart brother, and Marshall--always underrated in Hollywood--is splendid as Horace. Bette Davis gives a controlled and icy performance as the woman who never gets what she wants. Her final scene from the window as she watches her daughter leave in the rain is a classic. Great film about a dysfunctional family before there even WAS such a thing!
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