Watch Mr. Skeffington
- 2 hr 26 min
Mr. Skeffington is a 1944 American drama film directed by Vincent Sherman and starring Bette Davis, Claude Rains, and Walter Abel. The screenplay was written by Julius J. Epstein and Philip G. Epstein, based on the novel of the same name by Elizabeth von Arnim. The film was produced by Warner Bros. and distributed by the same studio.
The film is set in New York City during the early years of World War II. The story revolves around the life of Fanny Trellis (Bette Davis), a beautiful and vain Jewish socialite who is pursued by many men. Fanny is in love with her brother's friend, Job Skeffington (Claude Rains), but she marries Job's brother Trippy (Richard Waring) instead because Job is a self-sufficient and independent man, and Fanny is attracted to the luxurious lifestyle that she believes Trippy can provide.
Fanny is not happy in her marriage, but she refuses to admit it publicly. It is only when Trippy dies during the war that Fanny realizes how much he loved her and how much she loved him. After Trippy's death, Fanny starts to date younger men and becomes more and more obsessed with her looks, which start to fade as she ages. She also starts to lose her money and status due to the war.
Job returns from the war with a limp and disguised with a beard. Fanny fails to recognize him and treats him badly. It is only when she discovers his true identity that Fanny realizes how much she loves Job, but it is too late as Job is married and has a child. The film concludes with Fanny's death from diphtheria.
Bette Davis gives an excellent performance as Fanny Trellis, a woman who is both selfish and vulnerable. Her portrayal of Fanny's aging is particularly impressive as she undergoes a drastic transformation from a glamorous young woman to a bitter and aging one. Davis received her fifth Academy Award nomination for her performance in this film.
Claude Rains also gives a remarkable performance as Job Skeffington, a man who is dedicated to his family and his country. His portrayal of Job's physical and emotional scars from the war is both subtle and powerful. Other notable performances include Walter Abel as George Trellis, Fanny's loyal friend, and Richard Waring as Trippy, Fanny's first husband.
The film's production values are superb, with elaborate sets and costumes that accurately reflect the social and economic changes of the war era. The film's score, composed by Franz Waxman, is also noteworthy for its emotional depth and sensitivity.
The film was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and it still holds up well today. The film's themes of self-discovery, love, and sacrifice are universal and timeless. The film also provides a valuable insight into the social and cultural dynamics of America during the early years of World War II.
In conclusion, Mr. Skeffington is a classic drama film that showcases the talents of Bette Davis and Claude Rains. The film's story, production values, and performances are all top-notch, making it a must-see for fans of classic Hollywood cinema.
Mr. Skeffington is a 1944 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 26 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6.