Eating Up the Whole Earth: The Little Foxes (1941)


Regina Hubbard Giddens (Bette Davis) is a ruthless woman. It’s natural enough: Her family made its fortune by cheating and exploiting people, both in business and in marriage — which, to them, is nothing more than another commercial transaction. Now she and her brothers, Ben (Charles Dingle) and Oscar (Carl Benton Reid), are the most powerful citizens in their small town deep in the American South, but that’s not enough for them. They hope to make a deal with William Marshall (Russell Hicks), a Chicago businessman, to build a local cotton mill, and if it’s successful, they’ll all become fabulously wealthy. Regina declares that once she has her share of the profits, she’ll go to Chicago with her teenage daughter, Alexandra (Teresa Wright). “I’m going to live there,” she tells her brothers. “I’m going to take Alexandra with me. And I’ll give big parties for her and see that she meets the best people and the right young men too. And later on I’ll take trips to New York and Paris and have what I want, everything I want.”

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