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The Little Foxes (1941)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 29 August 1941 (USA)
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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. Lucy 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:

...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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 August 1941 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La loba 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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bette Davis was a contract player for Warner Brothers at the time, earning $3000 a week. When she heard how much Warners was receiving for her services she demanded a share of the payment. 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...
[...]
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

Featured in Stardust: The Bette Davis Story (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

Davis is unforgettable
1 September 1999 | by rupieSee all my reviews

This film fully deserves its reputation as one of the most scorching dramas of greed and corruption ever placed on celluloid. A deceptively slow start soon draws into the machinations of the Hubbard clan whose brazen backstabbings and betrayals even today make our jaws drop. Davis' stunning portrayal of the supremely grasping Regina Giddens leads a stellar cast which does a superb job of delineating a finely drawn group of characters. Charles Dingle's deceptively warm smile masks the cooly intelligent deviousness of Ben Hubbard. Carl Reid's Oscar Hubbard is just as malicious but his inferior intelligence makes him yield to his brother's and sister's lead. Dan Duryea nicely portrays the imbecilic and immature Leo Hubbard, a characterization which borders on but never crosses over into comedy. Patricia Collinge breaks our hearts as the broken-spirited and alcoholic Birdie, Oscar's wife. Herbert Marshall's performance as the doomed Horace, Regina's husband, delineates the pain, anger, and sense of betrayal burning beneath his deathly illness. The star of the proceedings, however, is clearly Davis. Wyler's superb direction blends all these characters into a masterful whole.

Hellman's skill as a dramatist must be credited for much of this, but her Marxist inclinations clearly peep through the seams of the dialogue.

I'm glad I finally had a chance to see this undoubted classic. Thanks again to that great channel, American Movie Classics.


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