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Another Part of the Forest is a 1948 American drama film starring Fredric March and directed by Michael Gordon. The screenplay by Vladimir Pozner is based on the 1946 play of the same name by Lillian Hellman, which was a prequel to her 1939 drama The Little Foxes.
Set in the fictional town of Bowden, Alabama in June 1880, the plot focuses on the wealthy, ruthless, and innately evil Hubbard family and their rise to prominence. Patriarch Marcus Hubbard was born into poverty and toiled at menial labor while teaching himself Greek philosophy and the basics of business acumen. He ultimately made his fortune by exploiting his fellow Southerners during the American Civil War. Shrewd, amoral elder son Benjamin is plotting to usurp his father's power and steal his money by revealing a dark secret from his days as a war profiteer. Younger son Oscar, a Ku Klux Klan supporter, lusts for whore Laurette Sincee rather than penniless neighbor Birdie Bagtry, who desperately is looking for a loan on her family's valuable land, a situation Benjamin hopes to exploit. Regina is the sexually active daughter who wants to live in Chicago with Birdie's brother, former Confederate officer John Bagtry, a move discouraged by her father, who has a disturbingly unnatural closeness to the girl. When all his offspring turn on Marcus in one way or another, their mother Lavinia - the only one in the household with any sense of morality leaves her family.Fredric March ..... Marcus HubbardFlorence Eldridge ..... Lavinia HubbardDan Duryea ..... Oscar HubbardEdmond O'Brien ..... Benjamin 'Ben' HubbardAnn Blyth ..... Regina HubbardJohn Dall ..... John BagtryBetsy Blair ..... Birdie BagtryDona Drake ..... Laurette SinceeFritz Leiber ..... Colonel IshamWhit Bissell ..... JuggerDon Beddoe ..... PennimanWilton Graff ..... Sam TaylorVirginia Farmer ..... Clara BagtryLibby Taylor ..... Coralee
Thomas M. Pryor of The New York Times called the film "a compelling entertainment" and added, "Vladimir Pozner has preserved the spirit of the play in his screen treatment and Michael Gordon's direction gives a fluency to scenes which might easily have become static due to the profuseness of the dialogue."
Time said, "Under Michael Gordon's direction it is a nearly perfect example of how to film a play. There is hardly a shot which does not set up visual tension against the lashing, steel-spring dialogue; there is not a single performance which is short of adequate; the work of Miss Eldridge, Mr. O'Brien and Betsey Blair, as a shaky-minded neighbor, is much more."
TV Guide stated, "This utterly depressing film is salvaged through intense performances that rivet the viewer, along with the literate, acerbic script."
Awards and nominations
Screenwriter Vladimir Pozner was nominated for two Writers Guild of America Awards, for Best Written American Drama and the Robert Meltzer Award for the Screenplay Dealing Most Ably with Problems of the American Scene.
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