Mr. Skeffington (1944)

Description[from Freebase]

Mr. Skeffington is a 1944 American drama film directed by Vincent Sherman, based on the novel of the same name by Elizabeth von Arnim. The film stars Bette Davis as a beautiful woman whose many suitors, and self-love, distract her from returning the affections of her husband, Job Skeffington. It also makes a point about Skeffington's status as a Jew in 1914 high society and, later, in relation to Nazi Germany. It stars Claude Rains as Skeffington, along with Walter Abel, George Coulouris and Richard Waring. In 1914, spoiled Fanny Trellis (Bette Davis) is a renowned beauty, with many suitors. She loves her brother Trippy (Richard Waring) and would do anything to help him. When Fanny learns that Trippy has embezzled money from his stockbroker employer Job Skeffington (Claude Rains), she marries the lovestruck businessman in order to save her brother. Disgusted by the arrangement, in part because of his prejudice against Skeffington being Jewish, Trippy leaves home to fight in the Lafayette Escadrille in World War I. Job loves Fanny, but she is merely fond of him and largely ignores him.

Review

A rather silly domestic drama, Mr. Skeffington has Bette Davis romancing her way through the first two World Wars, falling in and out of love with the title character (Claude Rains). Full of hair tearing and high society parlor angst, Skeffington is overlong and a bit trite, but Davis’s wild transformation into ‘old lady’ in the film’s third act is truly harrowing.

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