If I was in L.A. I’d be catching Monday evening’s showing of William Wyler‘s The Little Foxes (’41) at Hollywood’s American Cinematheque. Mainly because I’ve never seen it but also because Gregg Toland‘s cinematography uses some of the same type of deep-focus compositions that he created for Citizen Kane. The film is being co-presented with the Pasadena Playhouse’s theatrical presentation of Lillian Hellman‘s play (5.22 to 6.28) with Kelly McGillis (Witness, Top Gun) in the Bette Davis role.
I’ve had a certain Little Foxes anecdote in my head for years — the only one anyone’s ever heard about the film, I’ll wager. Director Billy Wilder was lunching with producer Samuel Goldwyn, the story goes, and learned of his intention to make a film version of the Hellman play. Wilder told Goldwyn he might want to think twice due to the play being extremely caustic and Goldwyn replying, “I don’t care how much it costs.” You’ve heard it, right?