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

Director:

William Wyler

Writers:

Lillian Hellman (by), Lillian Hellman (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:
Bette Davis ... Regina Giddens
Herbert Marshall ... Horace Giddens
Teresa Wright ... Alexandra Giddens
Richard Carlson ... David Hewitt
Dan Duryea ... Leo Hubbard
Patricia Collinge ... Birdie Hubbard
Charles Dingle ... Ben Hubbard
Carl Benton Reid ... Oscar Hubbard
Jessica Grayson Jessica Grayson ... Addie (as Jessie Grayson)
John Marriott ... Cal
Russell Hicks ... William Marshall
Lucien Littlefield ... Manders
Virginia Brissac ... Mrs. Hewitt
Terry Nibert Terry Nibert ... Julia
Henry 'Hot Shot' Thomas 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 Giddens née Hubbard has her daughter under her thumb. Mrs Giddens 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:

Samuel Goldwyn presents his screen version of the most sensational stage success of 1940 See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the play on which this film is based, the character David doesn't exist. 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

[first lines]
Alexandra Giddens: [while riding into town] Good mornin' Harold.
Harold: [looking up from shining the sign that reads 'The Planters Trust Company / Horace Giddens / President'] Mornin' miss Ann. What does your papa write to from Baltimore?
Alexandra Giddens: He writes that he feels better Harold.
Harold: Dat's good. Write him my greetins and tell him don't worry 'bout da brass - I'm keepin' his name fine and clean.
Alexandra Giddens: Thanks, I will.
Harold: Mm-mmm, those crabs'll make fine eatins Addie.
Addie: They bettah, we got high-toe company for dinner tonight.
Harold: Yum, bye ...
[...]
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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
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User Reviews

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

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 August 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Little Foxes See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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