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Of Human Bondage (1934)

Passed  -  Drama | Romance  -  20 July 1934 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 3,625 users  
Reviews: 75 user | 34 critic

A young man finds himself attracted to a cold and unfeeling waitress who may ultimately destroy them both.

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(screen play), (from the novel by), 1 more credit »
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Title: Of Human Bondage (1934)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Frances Dee ...
...
...
...
Reginald Sheffield ...
...
Desmond Roberts ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles Coleman ...
(scenes deleted)
Frank Mills ...
Chimneysweep (scenes deleted)
Pat Somerset ...
(scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Abandoning artistic ambitions, sensitive and club-footed Philip Carey enrolls in medical school and falls in love with a waitress Mildred Rogers. She rejects him, runs off with a salesman and returns unmarried and pregnant. Philip gets her an apartment and they become engaged. Mildred runs off with another medical student. Philip takes her back again when she returns with her baby. She wrecks his apartment and burns the securities he needs to pay tuition. He gets a job as a salesman, has surgery on his foot, receives an inheritance, and returns to school where he learns Mildred is dying. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Love That Lifted a Man to Paradise......and Hurled Him Back to Earth Again

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 July 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Escravos do Desejo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bette Davis wanted the role of Mildred Rodgers because she thought it would be her breakout role after years of starring in films that were getting her nowhere. She begged Warner Brothers studio chief Jack L. Warner to let her out of her contract so she could make the film. He relented because he was sure she would fail, but when her performance sparked talk of an Oscar, Warner began a spite campaign by encouraging academy members not to vote for her. At the time, the voting campaigns and the tabulation of the results were handled by the heads of the academy (of which Warner had a membership) and it worked in his favor when Davis was left out of the Best Actress competition. Supporters of Davis, shocked by her omission, petitioned the academy for a write-in vote. She was added to the nominees as a write-in but she lost to Claudette Colbert for her performance in It Happened One Night (1934). As a result of this incident, write-in votes were henceforth disallowed. Also, as a result of Warner's coup, the academy decided to change it's voting practices and hand over the counting of the results to the independent accounting firm of PriceWaterhouse who still does the official counting to this day. See more »

Goofs

While Bette Davis says "Funny looking little thing, isn't it? I can't believe it's mine." At 43:18 we see the 'Newborn' baby on the bed. But the baby is already at least 3 months old. See more »

Quotes

Thorpe Athelny: Don't stand by my chair in order to make eyes at him.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.96 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Hesitation Blues
(1915) (uncredited)
Written by Billy Smythe, Scott Middleton and Art Gillham
Played when Mildred is tearing up the apartment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
IMDb Votes Conclude...
6 September 2008 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

...that the Bette Davis version of this film was better than the Kim Novak version.

Despite all of the other comments written here, I really prefer the Bette Davis version, even though the Novak version has a more coherent story line.

However: Davis' Mildred's raw emotions seem to me to be more apt to a sluttish girl who seems easily to become a prostitute.

And it is those raw emotions that constitute *part* of what the poor doctor falls in love with. He has emotions of despair, of failure, of "otherness" - strong emotions that he represses. Davis' Mildred, on the other hand, displays her emotions immediately and without censure. She has no feelings of despair, or of failure, or of "otherness"; rather, she is merely surviving as a poor Cockney woman in the Victorian era.

Novak's portrayal was a more vulnerable Mildred than was Davis', almost through the the whole movie. Davis' Mildred was **never** vulnerable until she actually had to go to the doctor and beg for assistance. And when he reviles her - for her method of keeping body and soul together, and for continually taking advantage of his love for her - she unleashes arguably the most passionate repudiation of snobbish holier than thou attitude ever seen on screen: "I wiped my mouth! I WIPED MY MOUTH!!" Novak's vulnerability was excellent. Davis' realism was monumental.

IMDb votes concur!


11 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Just opinion, but: I don't think Davis was that fantastic. cakeandtea
where to watch this movie? goddessyayser
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The Mildred / Bette Davis Character H_Kivel
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