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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 4,096 users  
Reviews: 76 user | 36 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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A medical student with a club foot falls for a beautiful but ambitious waitress. She soon leaves him, but gets pregnant and comes back to him for help.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bette Davis fully expected to be nominated for an Oscar for this, her breakthrough performance in films. When she was denied an official nomination, there was an attempt to make her a "write-in" candidate, a practice now barred by the Academy. 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

Mildred Rogers: Anything you want?
Philip Carey: Yes, if you don't mind I'd like to talk to you. Um... filthy weather, isn't it?
Mildred Rogers: Makes no difference to me. I have to be here all day.
Philip Carey: Don't talk like that. I only wanted to say something pleasant.
Mildred Rogers: Well, say it.
Philip Carey: You know you have a lovely smile. You should try using it more often.
Mildred Rogers: Oh, don't go spoofing me. A girl who works hard all day like I do. I don't have much reason to smile.
Philip Carey: Perhaps I could find a reason. Would you let me try?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in This Is Your Life: Bette Davis (1971) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Role She Fought For
30 October 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

If Jack Warner had had his way, Bette Davis would have wound up playing all kinds of molls in various Warner Brothers gangster films. Of Human Bondage was a significant milestone in her career because she proved to everyone, including herself, that she was capable of so much more.

Like Frank Sinatra with Angelo in From Here to Eternity, Davis knew she was born to play the slatternly amoral Mildred from W. Somerset Maugham's classic novel. Though she rarely used false accents in her movie career after this, she got the Cockney speech pattern down perfect. Davis will keep you riveted to your seat with her performance her. And what a scandal it was that she wasn't nominated. I suspect some intrigue was at work there, possibly the brothers Warner who didn't want her to get a swelled head. Also she'd gotten this break through role at another studio so they weren't going to make a dime on it.

Two years later Leslie Howard and Bette Davis would team up again in The Petrified Forest. But what a contrast between the dreamy naive Gabby and Mildred. The same with the male leads. In The Petrified Forest, Leslie Howard is the world weary blasé Alan Squire. In Of Human Bondage, Howard's Philip Carey is a shy man with a deep inferiority complex because of his club foot. He clings to Mildred because even though she's degraded him, he feels he'll never find another attachment again.

For both the leads Of Human Bondage represented a considerable stretching of considerable talents. The two later screen versions are markedly inferior to this one.


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Just opinion, but: I don't think Davis was that fantastic. cakeandtea
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