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William WylerThe Life and Films of Hollywood's Most Celebrated Director$
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Gabriel Miller

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813142098

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813142098.001.0001

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Bette Davis and the South Redux

Bette Davis and the South Redux

The Little Foxes (1941)

(p.187) 9 Bette Davis and the South Redux
William Wyler

Gabriel Miller

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter details the production history of The Little Foxes, Wyler's third collaborations with both Lillian Hellman — the film was based on her play — and with Bette Davis. This pairing of the director and star would prove to be their last, as they fought again over the interpretation of Davis's role. The chapter summarizes and analyzes the various script versions of the film and the changes Hellman made to her play — notably the addition of a new character and a more upbeat ending. Wyler's increasingly sophisticated visual style is also analyzed in depth, as is the early production history of How Green Was My Valley, which Wyler was originally scheduled to direct. His close collaboration with screenwriter Phillip Dunne in developing that film — which was finally directed by John Ford — is also discussed.

Keywords:   The Little Foxes, Lillian Hellman, Bette Davis, How Green Was My Valley, Phillip Dunne, John Ford

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