The Claude Rains Blogathon – Mr. Skeffington (1944)


This is the first of 3 posts dedicated to The Claude Rains Blogathon being held over at Pure Entertainment Preservation Society

Tnx Tiffany and Rebekah for letting me take part!

“A woman is beautiful when she’s loved, and only then.” – Job Skeffington

Number of Times Seen – 1 (6 Nov 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A much sought after young woman marries an older man in order to save her brother from jail.

My Take on it – This is a film that I had never heard of beforehand and was quite intrigued to see what it was all about.

The premise seems simple, yet it is done in such an interesting way that it keeps thing captivating throughout.

Bette Davis is great in the lead as a woman trying to hold on to her youth and beauty no matter what but she is outshone the entire time by Claude Rains as her wealthy husband.

Both were nominated for Oscars for their roles yet neither was fortunate to win.

The story is told at a great pace and they do a great job of showing the progression of the story over more than 2 decades without feeling as if things have been skipped over.

We are easily able to see what drives each of the characters in the directions they choose.

The script is great especially since it allows for some great dialogue that deals with alluding to somewhat scandalous behavior of other characters along the way.

In addition, this story deals with religious issues quite well since the main character of Skeffington is a Jew and we get to see how other characters deal with their prejudices of that issue as well as how the world dealt with such themes at the time.

Bottom Line – Very interesting premise that works quite well. Davis is great in the lead but she is outshone by Rains every step of the way.  Both were nominated for Oscars for their performances, yet neither was able to win. The story moves along at a great pace and we get a clear idea of the things that drive each of the characters.  The script is written exceptionally well and there are some great lines spoken in the dialogue which allude to various scandalous actions of characters.  They do a great job of dealing with religious issues, namely that Skeffington is a Jew and we see the prejudice some characters have wit that fact and how the world itself dealt with those issues at those times. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – As told by Robert Osborne on Turner Classic Movies, Bette Davis so loved working with Claude Rains that she championed his taking on the role of Mr. Skeffington and was so insistent, she got her way. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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5 thoughts on “The Claude Rains Blogathon – Mr. Skeffington (1944)

  1. Dear Rob,

    This is a great article! I really like your concise overview. I’m glad that you like this film too. I like the way you condensed the whole premise into a neat, informative article. Thank you for participating! I’ll add you to the roster right away.

    Yours Hopefully,

    Tiffany Brannan

    Like

  2. Pingback: Onstage, everybody! The curtain has risen on the “Claude Rains Blogathon!” | pure entertainment preservation society

  3. Pingback: Five minutes, everybody! The curtain’s going up on the “Claude Rains Blogathon!” | pure entertainment preservation society

  4. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1944 | MovieRob

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