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Fifteen years after the Civil War the people of Bowden, Alabama still hate Marcus Hubbard for wartime profiteering. He's also at odds with wife Lavinia and his sons, conniving Ben and weak Oscar; but beautiful daughter Regina gets all she wants from him. Conflicts intensify when Regina gets involved with John Bagtry, scion of the old gentry, and Oscar with the Ku Klux Klan; on a stormy night, family relationships unravel. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Watching Another Part Of The Forest tonight I was struck at how well Vladimir Pozner captured the characters of the young Hubbards. the subject of Lillian Hellman's classic The Little Foxes. If I didn't know better and maybe I don't Pozner might have had Hellman looking over his shoulder during the writing of the script.
It all begins with old Marcus Hubbard played by Fredric March, patriarch of the Hubbard clan who made his fortune running the Yankee blockade during the Civil War and then charging exorbitant prices for the goods he brought in. He's not a beloved man by his neighbors in 1880 Alabama, but March has a terrible secret that if the good people knew he'd be lynched on the spot.
The Hubbards are rich and despised and March's children take right after the old man. Dan Duryea who played idiot nephew Leo in The Little Foxes plays Oscar Hubbard and Edmond O'Brien plays Ben who is a real chip off the old block. It's March and O'Brien and their conflict which drives the whole film.
Scheming herself is young Regina Hubbard played by Ann Blyth a few years older than when she played the spoiled Veta in Mildred Pierce. She's as spoiled as Veta, but a lot craftier. She plays on daddy's affections which border on incest to the hilt. O'Brien keeps trying to match her up with young Horace Giddens who is never seen here, but was played by Herbert Marshall in The Little Foxes. We know that eventually happens, but right now Blyth is looking to trade up in respectability and marry young John Bagtry, scion of an old plantation family and Confederate veteran.
Bagtry is played by John Dall and he maybe respectable, but he's totally living in the past. As is sister Birdie played with a flair by Betsy Blair. We see the genesis of the character that Patricia Collinge plays in The Little Foxes who marries Oscar Hubbard and then just pines for the good old days of gracious living and people being kind to each other.
March however dominates things, in some ways he's admirable because he wants class and respectability. He's taught himself Latin and Greek and is disappointed his kids have no pretensions to culture though Blyth plays on him with pretending. But all that culture and all that money can't get him into the best homes and the second generation doesn't even care to try.
Another Part Of The Forest is a real classic with great performances all around by a fabulous cast. The spirit of Lillian Hellman's earlier work is only enhanced by this film.
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