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The Foxes of Harrow (1947)

Approved | | Drama | 24 September 1947 (USA)
In the pre-Civil War New Orleans, roguish Irish gambler Stephen Fox (Rex Harrison) buys his way into society, something he couldn't do in his homeland because he is illegitimate.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
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Stephen Fox
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Odalie 'Lilli' D'Arceneaux
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Andre LeBlanc
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Captain Mike Farrell
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Aurore D'Arceneaux
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Desiree
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Viscount Henri D'Arceneaux
Charles Irwin ...
Sean Fox
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Otto Ludenbach
Dennis Hoey ...
Master of Harrow
...
Tom Warren
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Storyline

In the pre-Civil War New Orleans, roguish Irish gambler Stephen Fox (Rex Harrison) buys his way into society, something he couldn't do in his homeland because he is illegitimate.

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The Pages of a Best Seller Pour Their Excitement Onto the Screen! See more »

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Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

24 September 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Débil es la carne  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 23, 1948 with Rex Harrison, Maureen O'Hara and Gene Lockhart reprising their film roles. See more »

Quotes

Stephen Fox: [after nodding to a passing coach] That's the second time I've comprised you. Once more and your father would probably force me to marry you.
Odalie 'Lilli' D'Arceneaux: Me to Marry you? Why you're the most insufferable, insulting - !
Stephen Fox: Stop being so angry with yourself. Face up to it. All your pretty notions are going astray and you have little left to use against me except I'm no gentleman and you're wrong there too. Because I'm from as fine a flock of sheep that's ever grazed in Ireland. But I had the luck to be the odd ...
[...]
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User Reviews

 
Rex Harrison and Maureen O'Hara in historical drama
18 March 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Foxes of Harrow," released in 1947, like a lot of Fox movies, is reminiscent of classics made at other studios. Fox was very reactive: when San Francisco was a hit, Fox followed with In Old Chicago; It Happened One Night - Fox does Love is News; and here we have Fox's low-budget answer to Gone with the Wind, The Foxes of Harrow. Based on the novel by Frank Yerby, it is purported to be the first novel by a black author purchased for films. Given that Fox paid $150,000 for it, I suspect the intention was to do the film in color, especially with Maureen O'Hara in it - I mean, what a waste in black and white. What happened, I don't know.

I don't have any doubt that this film was intended for Tyrone Power (and this may be why the budget was cut) - I mean, come on, Irish roots, Maureen O'Hara, period costumes, swordplay - it has his name all over it. He was busy in 1947 during this time, having gone from Captain from Castile into Nightmare Alley, so Rex Harrison plays the role of Stephen Fox, who was taken from his wealthy family when he was born illegitimate. In the 1800s, he becomes a successful gambler and eventually wins a Louisiana plantation from a compulsive gambler, though Fox turns around and purchases the property from the man's widow. He builds Harrow, intent on creating a new dynasty with the woman of his dreams, the beautiful Odalie 'Lilli' D'Arceneaux (O'Hara), the feisty daughter of a friend (Gene Lockhart).

Odalie finds him disgusting and wants nothing to do with him, but her father points out that the line between love and hate is a thin one. Once she confronts her feelings, the two marry. After a fight on their wedding night, during which she locks him out of her room, he knocks the door down. You can guess the rest. She never has anything to do with him again, though a child is born as a result of that night. The story continues from there, as Fox obsesses on his son and later becomes involved in the bank crash of 1821.

Slavery, voo-doo, prostitution, and kissing in front of a double bed (the Hayes office must have loved that one) are all part of "The Foxes of Harrow," and the film is fairly well done. It's a funny thing about miscasting - with a good enough actor, sometimes it works out. This isn't a usual role for Rex Harrison, but brilliant actor that he was, he pulls it off. He's quite dashing and powerful here. Maureen O'Hara is gorgeous, with magnificent costumes. Though she has a gentle, lilting voice, she does feisty well, and here she plays a rather cold woman who softens toward her son.

The big problem is that there are no sparks between Harrison and O'Hara. The chemistry just isn't there. Nevertheless, this is a good, entertaining film. Sigh. I just kept picturing Tyrone's flashing eyes, and talk about chemistry with Maureen O'Hara - oh, well, the best laid plans.


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