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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 3,734 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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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

Mildred Rogers: Good riddance to bad rubbish.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in David O. Selznick: 'Your New Producer' (1935) 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

 
Classic and the best adaptation based on the Somerset Maugham's story
23 May 2006 | by See all my reviews

The movie concerns about Philip ( Leslie Howard ) , he's a serious but handicapped medicine student . He falls fatally in love with a heartless , predatory waitress named Mildred( Bette Davis ) . She leaves him , engaging with other suitors ( Alan Hale, Reginald Denny ). Meanwhile he is romanced with other women ( Kay Johnson, Frances Dee ) but she goes back in a mutually destructive affair.

Easily the best and first of the numerous versions on Somerset Maugham's novel . Bette Davis as the cockney cruel waitress winning yet another magnificent interpretation with an alluring and smoldering role , absolutely hypnotic in her account of the bondage , a sadomasochist relationship that occurs from the beginning to the end . Davis rose the stardom with her performance that put her on the map in Hollywood . Her role as sluttish and crude domineering woman will be repeated several times in his posteriors acting . Leslie Howard as the essentially good and decent student subtly destroyed gives an excellent and melancholic performance. He was an awesome actor ( Gone with the wind ), besides producer and writer , though unfortunately died in plane crash during WWII . Both of them will play again in ¨ Petrified forest ¨(1936) . The atmosphere of the film is elaborately recreated in the RKO ( Radio Picture Inc ) studio and is entirely convincing . Remade in 1946 by Edmund Goulding , with Eleanor Parker and Paul Henreid ; and in 1964 by Ken Hughes with Kim Novak and Laurence Harvey . The motion picture will appeal to classic cinema buffs. Rating : Very good but a little bit dated.


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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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