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The Little Foxes (1941)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 29 August 1941 (USA)
The ruthless, moneyed Hubbard clan lives in, and poisons, their part of the deep South at the turn of the twentieth century.

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(by), (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 9 Oscars. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
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Patricia Collinge ...
Birdie Hubbard
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...
Jessica Grayson ...
Addie (as Jessie Grayson)
John Marriott ...
Cal
...
...
Virginia Brissac ...
Terry Nibert ...
Julia
Henry 'Hot Shot' Thomas ...
Harold
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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:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 August 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La loba  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

On the night before Alexandria leaves for Baltimore when she leans over the railing after Aunt Birdie is slapped: In the wide shot her right hand is about 20 inches from the column, then in the close-up her hand is just inches from the column. See more »

Quotes

Regina Giddens: How much more time can you give me?
Ben Hubbard: Horace has refused.
Regina Giddens: He'll change his mind. I'll find a way to make him. How much longer can you wait?
Ben Hubbard: Well, I could wait a few days, but I can't wait a few days. I could, but I can't. Could and can't.
[laughs]
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Followed by Another Part of the Forest (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Rosen aus dem Süden
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
See more »

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User Reviews

 
1941 Bette Davis is Lillian Hellman's Shrewd Protagonist (2001 DVD)
18 October 2007 | by 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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