• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:November 10, 2020

Mr. Skeffington

mrskeffingtonIn 1914, heiress Frances Trellis (Bette Davis) has many suitors, but when the family fortune is diminished she marries a stockbroker (Claude Rains) whoā€™s hoping to make her fall in love with him over timeā€¦ Perhaps the directorā€™s most famous film is a soap opera spanning several decades where we follow a vain woman who loves being courted but is unable to open her eyes and appreciate the true love of her life. Heartache, drama but also a lot of humor in a very entertaining and fast-moving story that also, memorably, touches on anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. Davis is outstanding as the selfish heiress and Rains is also excellent as the timid Mr. Skeffington.Ā 

1944-U.S. 146 min. B/W. Produced and written byĀ Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein. Directed byĀ Vincent Sherman. Cast: Bette Davis (Frances Trellis), Claude Rains (Job Skeffington), Walter Abel (George Trellis), Richard Waring, Jerome Cowan, Charles Drake.

Trivia: Merle Oberon and Hedy Lamarr were allegedly considered for the lead.

Last word: “[Davis] was going through a reaction to her husband’s sudden death. It was a difficult time for her, and I attributed most of our problems to that. Also, in the latter stages of that picture, when her character is an old woman, she had this difficult makeup to put on. It took hours to apply, and by two or three o’clock in the afternoon her face was itching so that all she wanted to do was claw it off with her nails. But she had to work until five or six o’clock with it still on. So ‘Mr. Skeffington’ was a hard picture for Bette. I’m sorry that we had words while making it.” (Sherman, “Just Making Movies”)

 

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