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4.5 out of 5 stars
40
4.5 out of 5 stars
The Little Foxes [1941]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£18.99+ £1.26 shipping


on 16 October 2017
Very happy with my purchase. Speedy delivery. Thanks. A.
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on 3 March 2015
This is Davis at her best a must for fans
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on 15 July 2015
one of the best
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on 4 September 2011
This is one of Bette Davis's greatest performances. We know now that she was right to refuse Wyler's demand to make Regina more sympathetic - note the wonderful moment when Regina apes the softness which her brother suggests might make her more amenable - and it is her callous absolutism which provides the pivot for the picture. Given that 'the business of America is business' it is astonishing that such a subversive film was made at all (being similar in its deontological ethic to 'In This Our Life'). My favourite moment of many is at the dressmakers, when Regina's daughter's lover delivers his fearless coup de grace to Regina herself. At this moment, Bette Davis has her back to the audience and her most dominant feature is her neck. Watch the scene: perhaps only Bette Davis could convey to an audience precisely what her character was feeling by using nothing but the curve of her neck. It lasts only a few seconds but there is nothing quite like it anywhere else in cinema.
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on 9 July 2007
This was Bette's 3rd and last outing with the great William Wyler and although they clashed throughout the shooting of the film this turned out to one of Bette's best performances. Totally stripped of any emotional warmth (which Wyler wanted Bette to display) Bette plays Regina with a coldness that would make the Artic seem tropical. Regina is obsessed by money and power and she will stop at nothing to get what she wants, whether that is letting her husband die by withholding his heart medicine, blackmailing her brothers or losing her daughter. I have a tendancy to concentrate soley on Bette's performance which is one of the best she has ever given but this film is supported by a terrific supporting cast without whose talent this would have been a lesser film. The cameramanship towards the end of the film is superb especially when the camera freezes on Regina's face as you see her husband in the background trying to climb the stairs to get his heart medicine.
The script is flawless and this is a must see film for anyone who truly enjoys great cinema and acting. Bette Davis turns acting into an art form in this film.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 August 2004
A biblical passage about greed tells of hungry foxes prowling vineyards to eat grapes, while the little foxes, too small to reach the grapes, chew on the bases of the vines and destroy them. Greed is the main theme of this magnificent 1941 adaptation of Lillian Hellman's stage play of the same name, the little foxes being the grasping Regina Hubbard Giddons (Bette Davis), who married upright Horace Giddons (Herbert Marshall) for his money, and her equally grasping Hubbard brothers (Carl Benton Reid and Charles Dingle) and nephew (Dan Duryea).
While Horace, the president of Planters Trust, a bank in the deep South, has been recuperating from a serious illness, away from home, his Hubbard brothers-in-law and nephew have been running the bank--and fleecing the poor and the black. Eventually, the Hubbards steal money from the absent Horace in order to become partners in a new cotton mill, but the sickly Horace returns home and discovers the theft, along with the treachery of his wife (Davis). Only his nubile daughter Alexandra (Theresa Wright) is true to his heritage of honesty and generosity of spirit.
As Regina, Davis as a cold-hearted villainess, imperious and demanding, without an ounce of generosity. The very young Teresa Wright, as daughter Alexandra, is her naïve antithesis. Author Hellman, who wrote the screenplay for the film, apparently recognized the need to offer some hope for the younger generation and an upbeat note to the film, including a new character, David Hewitt (Richard Carlson), a journalist, who is in love with Alexandra. In new scenes in which the two converse, and in scenes at the bank, a rounder picture of the transition from old to new economy evolves.
Set around the turn of the century, this powerful set piece, directed by William Wyler, depicts the change from a traditional landed aristocracy to newly rich entrepreneurs, like Regina's brothers, who lack positive values. The cast, many of whom created their roles in the stage play, is letter perfect in the attitudes they convey and in their complete mastery of their material. Many of the scenes, beautifully filmed interiors, with the staircase and its balcony playing a key role, allow Davis to look down on those below her. The exterior shots give a wider view of the society and provide some relief from the dark intensity of the drama surrounding the ill Horace. Nominated for nine Academy Awards, including acting, directing, supporting actor, score, and interior decoration, the film seamlessly integrates its many facets in a directorial triumph for Wyler. Mary Whipple
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VINE VOICEon 4 April 2012
This Lillian Hellman classic stage play-to-film has worn awfully well because of the brilliance of the writing, acting, directing, and cinematography. Hellman, first of all, has written a brilliant play that deals with the timeless subject of greed within a dysfunctional family of wheelers and dealers--a theme that broadens metaphorically to greed on a global scale and has therefore lost none of its sting. The costumes, which look as if they've been designed by Worth of Paris, are stunning, as is the setting, the focal point of which is a dramatic spiral staircase, which Bette Davis dominates.

In a deserved, but not won, Academy Award performance, Bette Davis portrays an ice-cold Regina Giddens, a Clytemnestra-like character, who will stop at nothing--including what amounts to spousal murder--to achieve her mercenary ends. Because director William Wylder has used the players who created the roles of Ben and Oscar--her equally unscrupulous brothers--on Broadway, she is ably assisted by a strong supporting cast (including Dan Durea in a comedic turn as Oscar's feckless son--a role that he also created on Broadway). Hellman has scripted a perfectly villainous clutch of fraudsters, who end up with everything they so richly deserve.

The only fly in the cinematic ointment, as far as I am concerned, is Meredith Willson's dated musical score (Hollywood's romanticised version of the 'dear old cotton fields way down south'), which is not only syrupy but also continuous, according to the 1941 tradition; we would now likely consider the film to be over-scored. Nevertheless, the play and the performances are so good that this musical flaw can be overlooked.

See this one for vintage Bette Davis!
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on 22 September 2007
This is the film that Bette Davis was born to star in. Here she is - conniving, brutal, vain, imperious and grasping. Just the sort of character we should all love to hate, but yet love.

The story concerns a money-spinning deal, and unfortunately the only possible investor for the deal is not interested in doing so. I won't ruin the plot, but shall only say that the goings-on that follow will have you gasping and on the edge of your seat. Quite brilliant performances all round, astute dialogue and beautifully crafted cinematography. This is the film that Bette Davis ought to have won an Oscar for (instead it went to Joan Fontaine in "Suspicion"), and this is the film that Hollywood should continue to aspire to.
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on 5 October 2011
This is a Bette Davis film that I have always wanted on DVD. For a long time it was only available as region one - which is no good to me. She is a utterly ruthless and cold woman here. The role was made for her. The scene where she watches her husband die chills the blood. Years ago these films were often shown on tv, BBC2 used to do seasons of Bette Davis films. When I had a video recorder I had a field day! They are never shown now, and until recently many of them were not obtainable in region 2 format. This is a Korean import, it plays in English. I also have the Korean import of Jezebel, another cracking Bette Davis film. This is well worth having; Bette Davis in viperish form.
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on 17 July 2013
They just don't make films like this anymore...excellent... dialogue..use of body language..scenery...costumes..believable acting.
Story of family greed, human jealousy,deceit and irony. Moving and gets the blood circulating and the heart pumping as Miss Davis does her stuff!
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