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The Little Foxes Details


Playwright [[Performer~P161219~Lillian Hellman~lillianhellman]] first wrote of the horrible Hubbard family in her 1939 play The Little Foxes. In this lavish 1941 film version, [[Performer~P17295~Bette Davis~bettedavis]] takes over for Broadway's [[Performer~P3713~Tallulah Bankhead~tallulahbankhead]] in the role of conniving turn-of-the-century Southern aristocrat Regina Hubbard Giddens. Regina's equally odious brothers ([[Performer~P19257~Charles Dingle~charlesdingle]] and [[Performer~P59434~Carl Benton Reid~carlbentonreid]]) want her to lend them 75,000 dollars to help build a cotton mill. To do this, she must make peace with her long-estranged husband, Horace ([[Performer~P45795~Herbert Marshall~herbertmarshall]]) -- and failing that, she tries to arrange a wealthy marriage between her daughter, Alexandra ([[Performer~P77640~Teresa Wright~teresawright]]), and her slimy nephew Leo ([[Performer~P20798~Dan Duryea~danduryea]]). Horace refuses to give Regina the money, whereupon Leo is pressured by his father ([[Performer~P59434~Reid~carlbentonreid]]) to steal bonds from the family business. Regina uses this information as a means of blackmailing her brothers for a share in the new mill. In retaliation, Horace claims that he gave Leo the bonds as a loan, thereby cutting Regina out of the deal. When Horace suffers a heart attack, Regina makes no effort to give him his medicine, and he dies without revealing his willingness to loan the money to Leo. Regina is thus still able to strongarm her brothers into giving her a piece of the mill -- but the price for her evil machinations is the loss of her daughter's love and respect. The Little Foxes caused a censorship stir in 1941; by refusing to give Horace his medicine, Regina technically gets away with murder. However, the censors decided that Regina was punished enough when her daughter left her to marry an honest newspaperman ([[Performer~P84185~Richard Carlson~richardcarlson]]). Given the usual Tiffany treatment by producer [[Performer~P91976~Sam Goldwyn~samuelgoldwyn]], The Little Foxes was a success; several years later, [[Performer~P161219~Lillian Hellman~lillianhellman]] wrote a "prequel" to The Little Foxes, titled [[Feature~V83795~Another Part of the Forest~anotherpartoftheforest]]. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:August 21, 1941


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Howard Bristol Best Black and White Art Direction 1941 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Stephen Goosson Best Black and White Art Direction 1941 Nominee
National Board of Review Bette Davis Best Acting 1941 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Bette Davis Best Actress 1941 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Lillian Hellman Best Screenplay 1941 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Teresa Wright Best Supporting Actress 1941 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences William Wyler Best Director 1941 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Dan Mandell Best Editing 1941 Nominee


Bette Davis
as Regina Hubbard Giddens
Herbert Marshall
as Horace Giddens
Teresa Wright
as Alexandra Giddens
Richard Carlson
as David Hewitt
Charles Dingle
as Ben Hubbard
Dan Duryea
as Leo Hubbard
Carl Benton Reid
as Oscar Hubbard
John Marriott
as Cal
Russell Hicks
as William Marshall
Lucien Littlefield
as Sam Naders
Charles Moore
as Simon
Lew Kelly
as Train Companion
Al Bridge
as Dawson, the Hotel Manager
Virginia Brissac
as Lucy Hewitt
Hooper Atchley
as Guest
Kenny Washington
as Servant
Henry Roquemore
as Depositor


William Wyler
Samuel Goldwyn
Arthur Kober
Dorothy Parker
Lillian Hellman
Play Author
Lillian Hellman
Gregg Toland
Dan Mandell
Stephen Goosson
Production Designer
Howard Bristol
Set Designer
Costume Designer
Perc Westmore