2011年2月18日 星期五

Miss Bankhead / The Little Tares/The Little Foxes

1940/2/5 去看戲 THE LITTLE TARES 查不到
1 ソラマメ属の総称;その種子.
2 ((〜s))《聖書》有毒な雑草, ドクムギ;((比喩))害毒〈マタイ書13:25〉.)


主角Miss Bankhead 很有名 可以一查

(băngk'hĕd') pronunciation, Tallulah Brockman 1903-1968.

American actress noted for her wit, glamour, and performances in plays, such as The Little Foxes (1939), and motion pictures, including Lifeboat (1943).

The Little Foxes is a 1939 play by Lillian Hellman. Its title comes from Chapter 2, Verse 15 in 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."

March 4, 1956
A Tribute From Tennessee Williams To 'Heroic Tallulah Bankhead'

To the Drama Editor:

To the considerable and lively controversy about Tallulah Bankhead as Blanche DuBois, in the recent City Center revival of my play, "A Streetcar Named Desire," I would like, "just for the record," as they say, to add my personal acknowledgment, praise and thanksgiving for what I think is probably the most heroic accomplishment in acting since Laurette Taylor returned, in the Chicago winter of 1944-45, to stand all her admirers and her doubters on their ears in "The Glass Menagerie."

I have loved all the Blanches I've seen, and I think the question of which was the best is irrelevant to the recent revival. Several weeks ago, on the morning after the opening in Coconut Grove, Miami, Fla., the director and I called on Ms. Bankhead in her boudoir where this small, mighty woman was crouched in bed, looking like the ghost of Tallulah and as quiet as a mouse. I sat there gravely and talked to her with the most unsparing honesty that I've ever used in my life, not cruelly, on purpose, but with an utter candor. It seemed the only thing that could save the situation.

If you know and love Tallulah as I do, you will not find it reprehensible that she asked me meekly if she had played Blanche better than anyone else had played her. I hope you will forgive me for having answered, "No, your performance was the worst I have seen." The remarkable thing is that she looked at me and nodded in sad acquiescence to this opinion.

Contrary to rumor, I never stated publicly, to my sober recollection, that she had ruined my play. What I said was phrased in barroom lingo. I was talking to myself, not to all who would listen, though certainly into my cups. But that morning, after the opening, Tallulah and I talked quietly and gently together in a totally truthful vein.

She kept listening and nodding, which may have been an unprecedented behavior in her career. The director and I gave her notes. I went back that night, and every note she was given was taken and brilliantly followed in performance. I left town, then, because I knew that I had hurt her deeply (though for her good) and that she would feel more comfortable without me watching her work.

I doubt that any actress has ever worked harder, for Miss Bankhead is a great "pro," as true as they make them. I think she knew, all at once, that her legend, the audience which her legend had drawn about her, presented an obstacle which her deepest instinct as an artist demanded that she conquer, and for those next three weeks she set about this conquest with a dedication that was one of those things that make faith in the human potential, the human spirit, seem far from sentimental, that give it justification. Think for a moment of the manifold disadvantages which I won't name that beset her in this awful effort! She had only two weeks rehearsal.

When the play opened at the City Center, this small, mighty woman had met and conquered the challenge. Of course, there were few people there who had my peculiar advantage of knowing what she'd been through, and only a few of her critics appeared to sense it. To me she brought to mind the return of some great matador to the bull ring in Madrid, for the first time after having been almost fatally gored, and facing his most dangerous bull with his finest valor, a bullfighter such as Belmonte or Manolete, conquering himself and his spectators and his bull, all at once and together, with brilliant cape-work and no standing back from the "terrain of the bull." I'm not ashamed to say that I shed tears almost all the way through and that when the play was finished I rushed up to her and fell to my knees at her feet.

The human drama, the play of a woman's great valor and an artist's truth, her own, far superseded, and even eclipsed, to my eye, the performance of my own play. Such an experience in the life of a playwright demands some tribute from him, and this late, awkward confession is my effort to give it.



Program for the original Broadway production, starring Tallulah Bankhead as Regina Hubbard Giddens

The Little Foxes is a 1939 play by Lillian Hellman. Its title comes from Chapter 2, Verse 15 in 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."

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Plot synopsis

The focus is on Southern aristocrat Regina Hubbard Giddens, who struggles for wealth and freedom within the confines of an early 20th century society where a father considered only sons as legal heirs. As a result, her avaricious brothers Benjamin and Oscar are independently wealthy, while she must rely upon her sickly, wheelchair-using husband Horace for financial support.

Regina's brother Oscar has married Birdie, his much-maligned, alcoholic wife, solely to acquire her family's plantation and its cotton fields. Oscar now wants to join forces with his brother, Benjamin, to construct a cotton mill. They approach their sister with their need for an additional $75,000 to invest in the project. Oscar initially proposes marriage between his son Leo and Regina's daughter Alexandra - first cousins - as a means of getting Horace's money, but Horace and Alexandra are repulsed by the suggestion. When Regina asks Horace outright for the money, he refuses, so Leo, a bank teller, is pressured into stealing his uncle Horace's railroad bonds from the bank's safety deposit box.

Horace, after discovering this, tells Regina he is going to change his will in favor of their daughter, and also will claim he gave Leo the bonds as a loan, thereby cutting Regina out of the deal completely. When he suffers a heart attack during this chat, she makes no effort to help him. He dies within hours, without anyone knowing his plan and before changing his will. This leaves Regina free to blackmail her brothers by threatening to report Leo's theft and she acquires 75% ownership in the cotton mill. The price Regina ultimately pays for her evil deeds is the loss of her daughter Alexandra's love and respect. Regina's actions cause Alexandra to finally understand the importance of not idly watching people do evil. She tells her Regina she will not watch her be 'one who eats the earth,' and abandons her. Having let her husband die, alienated her brothers and driven away her only child, Regina is left wealthy but completely alone.

Original Broadway production

Tallulah Bankhead starred as Regina Giddens, when the play premiered on February 15, 1939 at the National Theatre. It ran for 410 performances, before its extensive tour of the United States. The opening night cast also included Carl Benton Reid as Oscar, Charles Dingle as Benjamin, Frank Conroy as Horace, Patricia Collinge as Birdie, Dan Duryea as Leo, and Florence Williams as Alexandra. The production was produced and directed by Herman Shumlin. Eugenia Rawls replaced Williams later in the run.


Mike Nichols directed a production that opened on October 26, 1967 at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre in Lincoln Center, then transferred to the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. It ran a total of 100 performances. The cast included Anne Bancroft as Regina, Richard A. Dysart as Horace. Margaret Leighton as Birdie, E.G. Marshall as Oscar, George C. Scott as Benjamin, and Austin Pendleton as Leo. Costume design was by Patricia Zipprodt. Time said, "An admirable revival of Lillian Hellman's 1939 play in Lincoln Center demonstrates how securely bricks of character can be sealed together with the mortar of plot. Anne Bancroft, George C. Scott, Richard Dysart and Margaret Leighton are expertly guided by Director Mike Nichols through gilt-edged performances." [1]

Austin Pendleton directed a production that ran at the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale for three weeks and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. for six weeks before opening on Broadway, after eight previews, on May 7, 1981 at the Martin Beck Theatre. It ran for 123 performances. The cast included Elizabeth Taylor as Regina, Tom Aldredge as Horace, Dennis Christopher as Leo, Maureen Stapleton as Birdie, and Anthony Zerbe as Benjamin. Costume design was by Florence Klotz. In a pre-Broadway opening article in Time, Gerald Clarke reported nearly $1 million worth of tickets had been sold during the week following the first New York Times ad announcing Taylor's appearance [2]. She was nominated for both the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play. Tony nominations also went to Pendleton for Best Direction of a Play, Aldredge for Best Featured Actor in a Play, Stapleton for Best Featured Actress in a Play, and the play itself for Best Reproduction.

A 1997 revival, again at the Vivian Beaumont, ran for 27 previews and 57 performances between April 3 and June 15. Directed by Jack O'Brien, the cast included Stockard Channing as Regina, Kenneth Welsh as Horace, Brian Kerwin as Oscar, Brian Murray as Benjamin, and Frances Conroy as Birdie. Murray was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play and won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play, and John Lee Beatty was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Scenic Design.

The production was revived at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, June 3—28, 2009, with Venida Evans, Ron Brice, Deanne Lorette, Brian Dykstra, Fisher Neal, Kathryn Meisle, Einar Gunn, Philip Goodwin, Lindsey Wochley, Bradford Cover, and directed by Matthew Arbour.


Lillian Hellman wrote the screenplay for a 1941 film version starring Bette Davis. In 1949, the play was adapted for an opera entitled Regina by Marc Blitzstein.

In 1946, Hellman wrote Another Part of the Forest, a prequel chronicling the roots of the Hubbard family.


External links