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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 had legendary make-up artist Perc Westmore devise a white mask-like effect for her face to emphasize Regina's coldness. William Wyler hated it, likening it to a Kabuki mask. See more »

Goofs

When Regina returns home to find Horace in her part of the house, she clearly takes her left glove off before walking towards the staircase. Seconds later, after Horace tells her about the investment in the cotton mill, she turns around at the bottom of the staircase and takes her left glove off again. 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 »


Soundtracks

Never Too Weary to Pray
(1941) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson
Sung off-screen by an unidentified group during the opening and closing credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Crisp Dialog, Great Acting & Photography
27 September 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

This was a surprisingly good movie - for me, not people who like Bette Davis and melodramas. They got what they hoped for, another solid film with her starring in it. I don't particularly care for Davis or "soaps," but I liked this film and see it more of a straight drama, anyway, especially because of the crisp dialog.

It's a story about money and how to use it or how to acquire more of it through deceit and greed. Davis, as "Regina Gidden," is the most greedy of the Gidden clan, vying for more money with her brothers who aren't exactly trustworthy people themselves. Among the three, there wasn't anyone to root for since the family shared in their lust for money. Davis does her normal excellent acting job but I enjoyed Charles Dingle as "(Uncle) Ben Hubbard" best. I liked his lines more than anyone's and the way he delivered them. Carl Benton Reid played the other greedy Hubbard brother, "Oscar" and Dan Duryea was interesting as Oscar's dumb son, 'Leo."

Herbert Marshall was good, too, as Regina's husband "Horace." He was an honest, principled man and thus, the black sheep in that household. Unfortunately, he was dying and his death played a big part in this story.

The sub-plot in this tale is the coming-of-age of Hubbard daughter "Alexandra" played by Teresa Wright. Her "coming of age" translates to finally standing up to her domineering mother. Richard Carlson plays her reluctant boyfriend "David Hewitt" who, in the end, is won over when "Alexandra" grows up.

So, this excellent cast, complemented by an outstanding director in William Wyler and world-class cinematographer Gregg Toland all adds up to a solid, memorable film.


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