Fitting Bette Davis like a silk glove, the same as the gowns which she wears to intrigue the male of the species in defiance of all the laws of good womanhood, in the part of the vainglorious, selfish wife and mother, Mr. Skeffington is not only another triumph for the Warner star but also a picture of terrific strength.
Philip G. and Julius J. Epstein, who have given the story fine production and backgrounds, also adapted the book [by ‘Elizabeth’] but locale it in America rather than in England. The story moves steadily and smoothly, gathering much impact as it goes along, while also the dialog ranges from the smart to the trenchantly dramatic in limning the life of the woman who lived for her beauty but found that it wasn’t of a lasting character.
Davis, playing the coquettish daughter of a once-wealthy family, progresses through the years from 1914 before World War I to the present, going with gradual changes from early girlhood to around 50 years when suddenly aging badly as result of illness.
Opposite Davis is the able Claude Rains, the successful Wall Street tycoon who goes blind and also prematurely ages as result of several years spent in a Nazi concentration camp following the beginning of World War II.
1944: Nominations: Best Actor (Claude Rains), Actress (Bette Davis)