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The Little Foxes

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  4,692 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Picture a charming home in the South. Into this peaceful scene put the prosperous, despotic Hubbard family - Ben, possessive and scheming; Oscar, cruel and arrogant; Ben's dupe, Leo, weak and unprincipled; Regina wickedly clever - each trying to outwit the other. In this melodrama, only Regina wins.
Paperback, 108 pages
Published 2001 by Josef Weinberger Plays (first published 1939)
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Jody 1939 play by Lillian Hellman, considered a classic of 20th century drama. Its title comes from Chapter 2, Verse 15 of the Song of Solomon in the King…more1939 play by Lillian Hellman, considered a classic of 20th century drama. Its title comes from Chapter 2, Verse 15 of the Song of Solomon in the King James version of the Bible, which reads, "Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.(less)
Carl I'd suggest getting the Bette Davis movie through Netflix. Plays are meant to be performed, and I believe Hellman wrote the screenplay. Movie is about…moreI'd suggest getting the Bette Davis movie through Netflix. Plays are meant to be performed, and I believe Hellman wrote the screenplay. Movie is about 100 minutes, and Bette Davis is always a pleasure. "Why don't you all go home," is a great line.(less)

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 ·  4,692 ratings  ·  77 reviews


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Vanessa
Nov 28, 2017 rated it liked it
The century’s turning, the world is open. Open for people like you and me. Ready for us, waiting for us. After all this is just the beginning. There are hundreds of Hubbards sitting in rooms like this throughout the country. All their names aren’t Hubbard, but they are all Hubbards and they will own this country someday.

The Little Foxes, or Turn of the Century Decaying Southern Aristocrats are Butt Hurt About Slavery Ending, Are Greedy and Generally The Worst.

Lillian Hellman wrote the words
...more
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
I had no idea what I was getting into with this. The only thing I knew about it was that Cynthia Nixon won the 2017 Tony for best actress in a play for the revival. After reading the play, I found out Cynthia and Laura Linney actually alternated roles between Regina and Birdy, which I think would be fascinating to see.

The story here is excellently crafted and doesn't use too many words to say its piece. I do have to disagree with the blurb though; if anyone comes out of this play the "winner",
...more
Sketchbook
Feb 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
Claptrap. It became a stage hit solely because of Tallulah Bankhead -- her first juicy role after returning fr London. Her wicked Regina was beautiful and deadly. She didnt get the film role because Bankhead was fiercely anti-Commie (whereas Lilly was Commie), and Tallulah protested the Russian invasion of Finland, which was aok w Hellman (who wouldnt know morality if it slapped her ass with a strap) ....Hellman said to pal Goldwyn, no no Tallulah in film. Bette did her best, but the film is a ...more
Ariya
Jan 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
The Little Foxes is a 1939 play by Lillian Hellman about the Giddens family living in the South, who is concerned with keeping their wealth. The play focuses on Regina Hubbard Giddens, in her desire for a share of the family inheritance. The play deals with the themes of social class, domestic violence, race, and gender. By the end of the show, Regina, ends up with the family money because she threatened to blackmail her brothers, so she ends up being alone. I'm really disappointed with this ...more
Lauren
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
My initial college advisor (before I dropped English for the oh-so-much-more practical politics) passed away this spring. I hadn’t spoken with her in years, but whenever I sit down and write anything, she’s there, hidden in the lines. She had an enormous influence on my writing, and her voice is forever in the back of my head, reminding me I can do better.

She was also a big fan of Lillian Hellman. When I saw The Little Foxes sitting on a bookshelf a few weeks after I heard of her passing, I
...more
Carolyn F.
I read this I think in the 1970s/early 1980s. I was trying to read only classics at the time.
Florina
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Damn.
Lu
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked it! More and more and more as I read.
The ending was surprising! Will probably reread it this week.
Tom really made a good selection of texts for this course!
Scott
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sharp, edgy dialogue (especially for the day) drives this on-your-seat family drama.
E.M. Murren
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A powerful play about old southern families and the imposition of modern ... well modern for the time it was written... sensibilities. The rigidness of the old can't withstand the vigor of youth. Brilliantly written... the Bette Davis version of the movies is the best I've seen.
Lynn
Feb 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: required-reading
I had to read this for my drama class in school. In fact, I had to memorize a monologue from this work. My favorite line from this play is "Are you scared Mama?" It was a very good look in to a very messed up family.
R.K. Cowles
Aug 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
3 1/2 stars
Saettare
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Greed and bald-faced self-interest plagues one of the theater's great dysfunctional families. Seems to sound familiar these days. Somehow Hellman managed to dig her teeth in timeless universals (as the greatest artists do) that speak at least to our current times in often startling ways.

The year is 1900 and the South is still playing catch up with the industrialized North. We open in a business dinner. The Hubbard boys (and their sister) are angling to bring a cotton mill to town. The
...more
Jessica
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jessica by: WPL Wed Book Discussion
Shelves: play
While this is a great play, it's hard to see how this created such a fuss given our current tell-all/reality-tv society. I would love to see a modern-day casting (and then she does a quick search to see that not only has there a been an award-winning Broadway production but that it closed TODAY - c'est la vie, right folks?*) to see how some of the finer points are treated.

The story involves back-stabbing family members who dig themselves in too deep and ignore matters of life and death, while
...more
Vel Veeter
Jul 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: cbr-9
I honestly thought this play was going to be about a middle-aged woman taking care of a bunch of children. And I guess it kind of is, in a way. Instead, it’s about a turn of the 20th century Southern family squabbling over inheritance, business interests, and their own truly awful natures.

In the movie version, which I have not seen, Bette Davis plays the lead role of the sister who sort of tries to hold it all together. The plot involves the family yelling at each other trying to work through
...more
Brašna
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jasmine Walston
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had no idea what this was going to be about when I started reading it, but I really enjoyed it. Usually reading a play feels disjointed because it is meant to be acted out, but I could visualize everything happening quite clearly in my mind. I liked that I could make my own judgments on characters by what they said, without being strictly told by the author how to feel toward them, as a novel might do. That being said, it was quite obvious who the kind and unkind characters were, and where ...more
Marc
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, drama
Excellent pot-boiler about family greed, back-stabbing, - saw the Broadway production with Laura Linney as Regina (amazing!) and Cynthia Nixon as Birdie (also heart-wrenching performance - no surprise she won Tony award for this). Richard Thomas was also amazing as Horace as was Michael McKean as Ben. Memorable show. Great set design too. Entire cast was outstanding and very humble at stage door signing programs and having selfies taken. I am curious now to read the prequel Another Part of the ...more
Frannie Cheska
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Regina is evil- dugh. The brothers are assholes. Glad alexandra is getting out with Addie. Poor Horrace was a good man. What does Addie mean when she says that there are people who eat the earth and eat all the people on it? I thought she meant that 'this is a dog eat dog kind of world' but i think that's wrong. Maybe Omission and Commission? They got rich from screwing a situation and everyone involved? "sometimes i think it aint right to stand and watch them do it... so that someone should ...more
Morgan Kail-Ackerman
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica Whittemore
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This play wasn't what I was looking for when I began reading, and holy crap did it draw me in. I devoured it! Ms. Hellman establishes from basically each character's literal first sentence who they are and what they're like—you just don't believe the Hubbards could such assholes until late into Act II, when they've gotten up a little speed.

DEPRESSING HOW RELEVANT THIS PLAY FEELS TO TODAY
Jason
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy crap what a rotten bunch of people! Thank God Alexandra and Addie exist in this piece otherwise there wouldn't be any redeeming think in it. The Hubbard/Giddens family put the fun in dysfunctional!
Ace McGee
Enjoy a good audio play as much as the next guy. Unfortunately, a play relays too heavy on the visuals to be truly enjoyable in a format like this.

Did not enjoy any of the characters in the story.
Candice
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
While the author has created some beautiful characters, especially in Addie and Birdie, it seems like a work that needs to be updated or just left in the closet. There are the very problematic elements of the N-word throughout and some stereotypical archetypes in terms of race. Does this need to be in the “Classics” canon that we bring to the next generation? No. I would not feel comfortable recommending it.
Natalie
Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I listened to the LA Theater production of this solely for Jared Harris's voice in my ears during work.
Lisa
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brief and dense. Themes of greed, North vs. South, women's rights and powerlessness, and racism are packed into a slim volume. The LA Theatre Works audio recording is terrific!
Kelly
Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I love Lillian Hellman. It's a good play about greed. Felt it a little dense which seemed unnecessary a few times.
Erin Kelly
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love this play! The female characters are just fabulous.
Leslie
Oct 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I can picture Bette Davis.
Gretchen
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
I read this because it was mentioned during the Tony Awards. I didn't really like it too much. It was a little slice of Southern life. it was interesting, but I didn't really care for it.
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Lillian Florence "Lilly" Hellman (June 20, 1905 – June 30, 1984) was an American dramatist and screenwriter famously blacklisted by the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) at the height of the anti-communist campaigns of 1947–52.

Hellman was praised for sacrificing her career by refusing to answer questions by HUAC; but her denial that she had ever belonged to the Communist Party was
...more
“Well, there are people who eat the earth and eat all the people on it like in the Bible with the locusts. Then there are people who stand around and watch them eat it. (Softly) Sometimes I think it ain't right to stand and watch them do it.” 9 likes
More quotes…