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July 10, 2010

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Amazingly enough, in spite of being a fan of TV's Turner Classic Movies, I've never watched William Wyler's 1941 "The Little Foxes". I'll have to catch it next time it's on.

Is it my imagination or do plays (and the movies based on them) tend to show those Southern families as a bit... ah... dysfunctional?

I believe the 1941 film stars Bette Davis and is supposed to be excellent.

I don't know about Southern families in particular -- Eugene O'Neill's families are not exactly bundles of joy, either -- but think about it: how interesting would it be to see or read about people who are happy and normal?

True. By the way, I notice that Elizabeth Taylor often wound up playing the daughter of such problematic families. Off the top of my head, there's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and especially "Suddenly Last Summer".

Ms. Taylor also played Regina in a revival of "The Little Foxes" that made its way to the Ahmanson in Los Angeles in late 1981. She was both gorgeous and excellent in the role. Later in the same season, the Ahmanson staged "Another Part of the Forest"; the only female lead I can find listed is Dorothy Maguire, who presumably played Lavinia, but Tovah Feldshuh played the young Regina. It made for an interesting juxtaposition that season...

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