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
This was a surprisingly good movie - for me, not people who like Bette Davis and melodramas. They got what they hoped for, another solid film with her starring in it. I don't particularly care for Davis or "soaps," but I liked this film and see it more of a straight drama, anyway, especially because of the crisp dialog.
It's a story about money and how to use it or how to acquire more of it through deceit and greed. Davis, as "Regina Gidden," is the most greedy of the Gidden clan, vying for more money with her brothers who aren't exactly trustworthy people themselves. Among the three, there wasn't anyone to root for since the family shared in their lust for money. Davis does her normal excellent acting job but I enjoyed Charles Dingle as "(Uncle) Ben Hubbard" best. I liked his lines more than anyone's and the way he delivered them. Carl Benton Reid played the other greedy Hubbard brother, "Oscar" and Dan Duryea was interesting as Oscar's dumb son, 'Leo."
Herbert Marshall was good, too, as Regina's husband "Horace." He was an honest, principled man and thus, the black sheep in that household. Unfortunately, he was dying and his death played a big part in this story.
The sub-plot in this tale is the coming-of-age of Hubbard daughter "Alexandra" played by Teresa Wright. Her "coming of age" translates to finally standing up to her domineering mother. Richard Carlson plays her reluctant boyfriend "David Hewitt" who, in the end, is won over when "Alexandra" grows up.
So, this excellent cast, complemented by an outstanding director in William Wyler and world-class cinematographer Gregg Toland all adds up to a solid, memorable film.
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