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CineMaven,

 

Basically, I think the logic was that people want 5.1 or even 6.1 Stereo Surround sound these days. What's more maybe they thought they could appeal to a different audience with a slightly more contemporary score? I don't know. When I first heard the opening bars of Christopher Caliendo's Main-Title theme, I thought to myself just how wrong it was. Evidently, He seemed to believe that He was scoring a War Movie. And FOUR SONS isn't a War picture. I've also heard it said that the original music might be judged as to sentimental by current standards, but I totally disagree with these silly views.

 

I think Fox must have learned it's lesson since they kept the Movie-Tone scores for SEVENTH HEAVEN and STREET ANGEL on the Murnau and Borzage at Fox Collection. Even the fragment of THE RIVER retained the original music. They re-mastered them and those sounded really great. Unfortunately, the planned Raoul Walsh/Howard Hawks set was canceled. This is another reason we don't have WHAT PRICE GLORY?, or FIG LEAVES on DVD. It's not surprising given the way those collections were marketed. Much to big and far to expensive for most people to afford. Especially, the Murnau-Borzage one since none of the films were offered separately, or in smaller Silent's and sound packages. At least the Ford one had a seperate Silents collection of 5 films.

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Hello everyone.. wish I had more time to reply to you all for your very thoughtful posts on (again) one of my NEW favorite films. (ha.. everything old really IS new again.. if you are watching such a wonderful film as THIS one for the first time) Will try to respond more another time.. but just wanted to thank you all for your very fine comments.

 

PS: Cinemaven: Que' pasa??? ha. :D

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I'm so thrilled for you, CinemAva. Ava had a thing for Spain, too, you know. ;) .

In fact, if you got the chance to visit a little place called Tossa de Mar, you might bump

into her!

 

ava_gardner_tossa_de_mar.jpg

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If ever a more insidious, arrogant, pathetic set of siblings came into the world of fiction it would be hard to beat the Hubbard family in William Wyler's *"The Little Foxes."* Their greed knows no bounds. Their hearts know no love. In reality they have nothing but each other and it's a sad end to it all.

 

It is also a movie of reactions. I found myself watching the rest of the cast when someone was speaking. How did they react? Herbert Marshall (Horace) as Regina's (Davis) husband has plenty to react to. Whether it is coming to a home where there is no love or listening to the plans of his family's greed he is wonderful in showing his annoyance and disgust. His only light is his daughter Alexandra (Teresa Wright.)

 

Everyone on the fringe of this triad from hell is poisoned by their greed. Whether it is brother Oscar's wife Birdy, a sweet and lonely soul who softens her life with a drink or their own son Leo (Dan Duryea) who is so the product of the family that his mother can't stand him no one wins. Until the last. The one who does win is, oddly enough, Alexandra. When all the back stabbing and wheeling and dealing is over she is the only one who can stand up to Regina. That is only because she wants nothing that her mother can give her. On the night her father dies she leaves her mother and is free of it all. She is the only one free of it all.

 

Very good performances all around. The only drawback for me is Teresa Wright. She is playing a part that seems to be quite a bit younger then she is. She parades around the whole movie with a big bow in her hair and a pair of Buster Brown shoes. Duryea is good as the young not very bright son. Near the end when he gets slapped by Alexandra's young man it is given more like a man to an insolent child. It is not one good one but a quick series of slaps that ring more of disgust than anger.

 

They all had it coming.

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Sorry to come back to the States hearing of the deaths of Gary Coleman, Rue McClanahan and Dennis Hopper. Hopper, counter-culture hero, will be honored tonight with a screening of some

of his films.

 

Thank you TCM.

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That was a terrific review of *The Little Foxes*, MM. It is a hard one to jump into at a moment's notice since I haven't seen it for some time, but you nailed every aspect of the film.... I saw the play when I was a teenager, it was one in a series they were performing at the University of Oklahoma. It really was the best of the series, and I thought, how can a movie compare to that experience? But when I saw the movie, it was even better than the play!

 

It's a sort of a round robin of power - who will come out on top? I especially remember Patricia Collinge, who has become one of my favorite actresses, as Birdie..... so fragile, so lonely.... Collinge has been better than good in every role I've seen her in, and there are precious few around... I think she might be one of the best character actresses we ever had, and I'm basing that on only 3 or 4 movie performances! She is wonderful.

 

I am going to try and find this one on youtube. It's time to go back and look evil in it's face...

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Thank you.

 

I think "Birdy" is such a sad figure. She wants to be loved. She wants to be important. She wants to be relevant. She is none of them and only succeeds in annoying everyone. It is a beautiful scene where she admits everything she is out with the group who do like her but I found it odd that after she is taken away by "Alexandra" we never see her again.

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I do remember that scene of Birdie's, where she talks about how she is, as a standout...... I will be on the lookout for poor Birdie's disappearance.... I'll see what I can make out of it.

 

Edited by: JackFavell on Jun 8, 2010 10:44 AM

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Howdy, movieman! Regina sure is something, isn't she? I love the finale, the little "showdown" between her and her daughter. But I think I enjoy most the scenes between Regina and Charles Dingle as "Ben". I don't know who is worse...although, in a way, Carl Benton Reid ("Oscar") is really the worst because he destroys both his son and his wife and he's so pathetic behind it all. At least Alexandra has just enough of her mother in her to survive and not be destroyed.

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You are right about the relationship between Regina and Ben. At the end Ben has just been cut off at the knees and he takes it in good humor. He knows he has been bested and he just as well make of it what he can. I find him incredibly patronizing through most of the film. That sets him quite apart from the other siblings. Oscar is just pathetic. I think he wants to believe he is as smart as the others but he is clearly not in their league.

 

What an interesting living arrangement too. The three of them living within shouting distance of each other is a bit odd until I remember that a long time ago I had three aunts and two uncles that lived within a mile of each other. (We lived 450 miles away.)

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I guess that was much more common back then, that families weren't spread out all over like they are now. I also get the feeling that family kind of feel a sense of nobless oblige about the community, like they were one of the founding dynasties. To move elsewhere might reduce their social prominence. Part of what drives Regina is a desire to recover what she felt was a loss of status.

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"I am going to try and find this one on youtube. It's time to go back and look evil in it's face..."

 

Don't we do enough of that here already?

 

Yeah, it's me. And I'm BACK!!!!!!

 

"THE LITTLE FOXES." AAaaaaah, family values in Ye Olde South. Patricia Collinge is a heart breaker ("Shadow of A Doubt" is another fave Collinge performance of mine).

 

Nice rambling for this film so far. Re: Teresa Wright...she was only 23 years old at the time. I thought she was age-appropriate for the part. Now as for the buttons and bows, maybe her folks were trying to keep her on the young side...you know, not wanting her to grow up too fast; trying to protect her. She's such a sweet actress, I've always loved her. She had a nice string of good roles in her first years in Hollywood. And in this, she's the one who stands up to the Queen.

 

Jessie Grayson as Addie, the maid. Great! How she escaped not playing those parts with the horrible dialect they gave African-American actors in those days, I'll never know. But I'm grate-

ful for it. (I just saw her recently in "Cass Timberlane" turning in a nice normal performance).

 

But it's Bette's picture, isn't it. She just didn't escape those b!tchy parts, did she. (And I love her in them). Nobody does it better. Why, she tries to best her two brothers. But what was a woman to do in those days? It was such a patriarchal society. Well...I guess she didn't have to kill her husband. (But didn't Marshall learn his lesson after appearing with her in "THE LETTER"??? Whew!) But maybe she did? How cold and unaffected she is when she tells Marshall: "...I'll be waiting for you to die." Awmigawd!!!

 

She had a career ANY actress would die for. I love her!!!

 

Look forward to reading more posts on this great Wyler classic.

 

Wyler.

 

He was the Master, wasn't he.

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> {quote:title=movieman1957 wrote:}{quote}

> Very good performances all around. The only drawback for me is Teresa Wright. She is playing a part that seems to be quite a bit younger then she is. She parades around the whole movie with a big bow in her hair and a pair of Buster Brown shoes. Duryea is good as the young not very bright son. Near the end when he gets slapped by Alexandra's young man it is given more like a man to an insolent child. It is not one good one but a quick series of slaps that ring more of disgust than anger.

>

> They all had it coming.

Great insights into this fascinating story, Movieman. I think that Teresa Wright deliberately appears older than she should for the character because Regina, a control freak if ever I saw one, would have picked out the girl's clothing and chosen her hair style long after girls of her age began to dress in a more grown up style. This was probably because Regina would have wanted the girl to appear pre-pubescent, allowing her to exert her will on the child, still play a bit of a coquette when needed, and ensuring that her own perception of her erotic power was undiminished by time and a potential rival for attention.

 

Has anyone seen *Another Part of the Forest* (1948-Michael Gordon), Lillian Hellman's pre-quel to The Little Foxes? I haven't seen it in years and it seems to have fallen into video limbo, and is never broadcast anymore (a Universal pic, it would be under the lock and key of Sony, I believe). It has a great cast, (including Dan Duryea, playing his father Oscar as a youth and a young Betsy Blair as Birdie and Ann Blyth as a young Regina!).

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com

 

I think it was pretty over my head when I saw it as a kid, but perhaps it is worth tracking down?

Cast includes:

 

Fredric March ... Marcus Hubbard

Dan Duryea ... Oscar Hubbard

Edmond O'Brien ... Benjamin 'Ben' Hubbard

Ann Blyth ... Regina Hubbard

Florence Eldridge ... Lavinia Hubbard

John Dall ... John Bagtry

Dona Drake ... Laurette Sincee

Betsy Blair ... Birdie Bagtry

Fritz Leiber ... Colonel Isham

Whit Bissell ... Jugger

Don Beddoe ... Penniman

Wilton Graff ... Sam Taylor

Virginia Farmer ... Clara Bagtry

Libby Taylor ... Coralee

Smoki Whitfield ... Jake

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>I think that Teresa Wright deliberately appears older than she should for the character because Regina, a control freak if ever I saw one, would have picked out the girl's clothing and chosen her hair style long after girls of her age began to dress in a more grown up style. This was probably because Regina would have wanted the girl to appear pre-pubescent, allowing her to exert her will on the child, still play a bit of a coquette when needed, and ensuring that her own perception of her erotic power was undiminished by time and a potential rival for attention.

 

Well, that is what threw me. I couldn't reconcile her physical maturity with her teenage look. Granted even the way she talks about or to her father still seem rather youngish but when she finally tells Bette off that all goes away. Maybe that is the point. At the end Alexandra shows she is grown up. She has come out from under her mother. Her actions now contrast with her "age."

 

Thanks for filling in the finer points to my thought.

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Yaaay! Maven is back!

 

MM, Moira is dead on - I believe in the play, there is more made of Regina's insistence on Zan's youthful appearance. I could be wrong, but I believe that there are several references to Regina purposefully keeping Zan's clothes and hairstyles too youthful. I think at the end this is made reference to as well, during the confrontation between mother and daughter - I think Regina tries to bargain with Zan by promising her new clothes and an updated appearance.

 

And remember at the beginning of the film, when Regina picks up the mirror? That wonderful crooked shot of her face, looking back at her from the mirror, all pinched and nasty? And then she picks up the picture of Zan....comparing the two images? She is afraid of growing old without getting the things she wants.... heck, she is afraid of growing old, period. Losing her power.....

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> {quote:title=movieman1957 wrote:}{quote}

> How old does anyone think Wright was playing? I'm guessing somewhere around 16. If that is the case that makes her relationship with Dave a little odd. I thought him to be mid 20s.

 

Hope you all don't mind my jumping in here--Chris, I played Alexandra many years ago in a theatre production. The script states that she is 17 years old. BTW, the character of Alexandra's boyfriend was created for the film. There is no such character in the play, not even a reference to any sort of boyfriend for Alexandra.

 

I always thought that Regina liked to keep Zan young so as to keep herself younger, too.

 

I just watched the film version of The Little Foxes recently for the first time. I avoided it for YEARS because I had such a strong emotional connection to the play, and I didn't want to be disappointed. When I finally watched the film, I really enjoyed it. I know that Davis felt that she was simply doing a Tallulah Bankhead impersonation (Bankhead was a triumph as Regina on Broadway), but I thought she was superb. Actually, the entire film was very well-cast.

 

Sandy K

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Sandy:

 

So glad you joined in. (Anytime, please.) Thanks for the info on Alexandra. How wonderful that you played that part. You would agree with Moira about her mother's desire to keep her young. She exerted that much influence on her.

 

Any other thoughts would be most welcome.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello there Miss G....

 

Don't want to interrupt any ongoing chats.. just wanted to drop a quick note and say how MUCH I enjoyed tonight's Essential's Jr. (To Kill a Mockingbird). Wow.. what a great film. And I also want to say that I am really glad to see the choices they made this year for EJ.. they are to me a bit more in keeping with what I would expect a "kid's version" of the Essentials to be like. I think last year I was a big whiner (ha) about some of their selections.. but this year's bunch is really first rate. (OH, me, ha.. a couple of week's ago when they played Old Yeller.. Sob!!!!)

 

Anyway.. I think they have a really good and well-rounded group of films this year that will appeal to a variety of age groups. (since "kid" is kind of hard to define in terms of age) Admittedly, tonight's selection was a bit mature in it's themes for some of the really younger kids (we decided to let the kidling occupy herself w/ a dvd of her own tonight instead of watching this with us) but I can see someone w/ kids a few years older than she is using this film to not only introduce classic movies to their kids.. but also as a great conversation starter about some of the really important themes (and ideas) in the story. (Not to mention it was a great choice for Father's Day. That Atticus was not your "typical" father.. but wow.. what a dad)

 

I have seen this film three or four times now (over several years) and every time I just find new things to like about it. I have always loved the moment (in the courtroom scene) where all the folks stand up (and the preacher tells Scout, "Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passing".) But now after watching tonight, another new favorite part for me was on the jailhouse steps (when the three kids sneak over to spy on Atticus) and the angry crowd shows up. Everything is so tense and you are just not sure WHAT to expect... and then.. there is this sweet little girl's angelic smile...

 

"Hey, Mr. Cunningham.... tell Walter I said 'hey'. " OH me. The look on that man's face. How she shamed him only by her innocence. WOW what a powerful moment. And a little child shall... send them all PACKING!!! :-) (Golly that part really stood out for me this time)

 

But then this film is just full of great moments like that. And the characters are all so well written. It is truly just a very good story.

 

I will look forward to the day (perhaps a few more years from now) when I share this film with the kidling. Some of the themes are so very strong, and very important to understand too.

 

Wow.. I am sure I could say more about all of this, but I won't blab on and on.(I know.. ha.. a first time for everything, ha) Just wanted to give it a nod and give a quick thanks to the Essentials Jr. folk. And thanks to you, too little gal, for giving me a place like RAMBLES JR to drop in and chat a spell. :D

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Hi, Ro!

 

While I didn't catch TKAM tonight, I've seen it many times since I was a child (I remember them showing it in school quite often). I thought it was one of the best movies ever made showing the world from a child's point of view. I could relate to the kids, even when I was little. The things that scared them, the things that tugged at their curiosity or embarrassed them. And I always hated that stupid girl, the so-called 'victim'. Now I can appreciate how she was just acting according to the depth of her ignorance, but I will never forget how she reminded me of of my bete noir, Pippi Longstocking, LOL!

 

Great movie.

 

And I agree with you about this year's Junior Essentials line-up...it's much more to

my liking than last year's.

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