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The Little Foxes (1941)

Passed  -  Drama | Romance  -  29 August 1941 (USA)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 6,347 users  
Reviews: 99 user | 24 critic

The ruthless, moneyed Hubbard clan lives in, and poisons, their part of the deep South at the turn of the 20th century.

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(stage play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Little Foxes (1941)

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Nominated for 9 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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This 'prequel' to The Little Foxes tells how the ruthless members of the old-South Hubbard family got that way.

Director: Michael Gordon
Stars: Fredric March, Dan Duryea, Edmond O'Brien
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Herbert Marshall ...
...
...
David Hewitt
Dan Duryea ...
Patricia Collinge ...
Charles Dingle ...
Carl Benton Reid ...
Jessica Grayson ...
Addie (as Jessie Grayson)
John Marriott ...
Cal
Russell Hicks ...
Lucien Littlefield ...
Manders
Virginia Brissac ...
Mrs. Hewitt
Terry Nibert ...
Julia
Henry 'Hot Shot' Thomas ...
Edit

Storyline

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 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:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 August 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La vipère  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Hewitt, the character played by Richard Carlson, does not appear at all in the play. He was added to provide a love interest for Alexandra Giddens (Teresa Wright's character), and to add another sympathetic male character to the film besides Horace Giddens (played by Herbert Marshall). See more »

Goofs

When Regina returns home to find Horace in her part of the house, she clearly takes her left glove off before walking towards the staircase. Seconds later, after Horace tells her about the investment in the cotton mill, she turns around at the bottom of the staircase and takes her left glove off again. See more »

Quotes

Ben Hubbard: Regina, you're a fool! How many times did Mama tell you it's unwise for a good-lookin' woman to frown? How many times have I told you that softness and a smile will do more to the hearts of men?
Regina Giddens: I'll do things in my own way, Ben. I know what I'm doing.
Ben Hubbard: I hope you do, Regina.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Myra Breckinridge (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Never Too Weary to Pray
(1941) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson
Sung off-screen by an unidentified group during the opening and closing credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
1941 Bette Davis is Lillian Hellman's Shrewd Protagonist (2001 DVD)
18 October 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Superb playwright, Lillian Hellman (1905-84) wrote this screenplay for "The Little Foxes," saying that she "wrote her 'angry comedy' based on her own family's biannual dinner at which people drew lots for a diamond that had been left in her great-grandmother's estate." Hellman's first play for Samuel Goldwyn was "The Children's Hour." She was in lover with & influenced by author & screenplay writer, Dashiel Hammett. This later became a hit book, script & film based upon a 19th century case of two girls' school mistresses whose reputations were ruined when one of their pupils accused them of lesbianism. Hellman was not afraid to be controversial or write about the unspeakable truths of the day.

After a poor showing of Hellman's "Days to Come" in 1936, about labor struggles in an Ohio town, Hellman said she "was so scared {that she} wrote "Little Foxes, 1939, nine times." This is the script that made her reputation as a playwright famous. (Jane Fonda plays Lillian Hellman in the movie "Julia" a true story about her best friend, played by Vanessa Redgrave; Jason Robards plays Dashiel).

"The Little Foxes" is a vivid portrayal of sibling rivalry, Southern plantation slavery & most of all, greed in the Hubbard family of Alabama. The story takes place at the turn of the 19th-20th century, in the deep South of Alabama where the Hubbard siblings are involved in their own brand of a power-hungry uncivil war. Who better to play the reigning schemer Regina than Bette Davis, the Hubbard sibling who commands ownership of a cotton mill that exploits slaves while yielding millions of dollars on their bent backs? Davis gives another Oscar worthy performance, leading a near perfect cast through a major screen achievement that is a page in US history.

The DVD is almost 2 hours long & in black and white, with English, French & Spanish subtitles. The story is a bone chilling indictment of Alabaman slave plantation white corruption & greed.

No one should ever say that Lillian Hellman wasn't a controversial & highly political playwright! The film is not rated probably because anyone could watch it. Though I imagine it would bore little children since the play's basic themes are quite complex for adults.


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