Popular and beautiful Fanny Trellis is forced into a loveless marriage with an older man, Jewish banker Job Skeffington, in order to save her beloved brother Trippy from an embezzlement charge, and predictable complications result.
A piano teacher believes that her fiancé was killed on the battlefield. When he miraculously returns, they decide to marry, but are threatened by a wealthy, egotistical composer the piano teacher started dating on the rebound after she became convinced her love had died.
It's 1914 in New York City. Adult brother and sister Trippy Trellis and Fanny Trellis, whose parents are now deceased, were once wealthy, but Trippy squandered away the family fortune, about which no one knows except their cousin George Trellis and their many creditors. Fanny and Trippy still put on the façade to the outside world that they have money. The beautiful Fanny can have any man that she wants to marry, but she sets her sights on Job Skeffington, the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants. Job's wealth was self-made in finance. They met as Trippy was once employed by Job in his brokerage house. Fanny and Job, who is now aware of the Trellis' financial straits, ultimately do get married, much to the consternation of Fanny's many suitors, but most specifically to Trippy, who knows the reason why Fanny married him. Job also realizes that Fanny does not love him, but is unaware of the real reason she agreed to marry him. After their marriage, Fanny's suitors are still around with more... Written by
The ship Mr Skeffington and his daughter take to Europe appears to be the United States Lines' SS Leviathan. See more »
The image of the battleship turning over in the newsreel scene is that of the Viribus Unitus, which sunk during the closing days of World War One, rather than before America's entry into the war, as discussed in the newsreel See more »
Good evening, Soames!
Good evening, Mr. Conderley.
Afraid I'm a little early, aren't I?
Miss Trellis wasn't expecting anyone till 8 o'clock.
Well, I thought I'd come a little ahead of time; have a little chat with Miss Fanny.
Sorry, sir; she's still dressing.
All right, I'll wait.
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Brilliantly executed tale with remarkable political insight
Mr. Skeffington is remarkable for its time because it candidly deals with the subject of anti-semitism. Skeffington is a successful Jewish stockbroker who rose from the slums. Fanny Trellis came from aristocratic wealth but is now broke. Their marriage of convenience outrages Fanny's blueblooded family and relatives. The film contains a candid treatment of marital disintegration and mutual infidelity followed by a typical N.Y. fault-based divorce (in which both parties are at fault but the husband allows a default divorce to proceed). Fanny gladly gives up custody of her daughter so that she can maintain her liberated lifestyle; little Fanny is responsibly raised by her father (who schleps her off to Germany). There is also a painful scene in which father and daughter agree to stay together in which the father warns her that by staying with him she will be treated as Jewish and will confront discrimination, especially in Germany. All of this was quite unusual for films of the time. Of course, the film was made in 1944 when anti-Nazi themes were permissible, but even then it was rare to see even reasonably candid treatment of divorce and child custody issues and rarer yet to see anti-semitism.
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