IMDb > Of Human Bondage (1934)
Of Human Bondage
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Of Human Bondage (1934) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   3,732 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Lester Cohen (screen play)
W. Somerset Maugham (from the novel by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Of Human Bondage on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 July 1934 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The Love That Lifted a Man to Paradise......and Hurled Him Back to Earth Again
Plot:
A young man finds himself attracted to a cold and unfeeling waitress who may ultimately destroy them both. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
The First Version (of three) is Still the Best See more (75 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Leslie Howard ... Philip

Bette Davis ... Mildred
Frances Dee ... Sally

Kay Johnson ... Norah

Reginald Denny ... Griffiths

Alan Hale ... Miller
Reginald Sheffield ... Dunsford

Reginald Owen ... Athelny
Desmond Roberts ... Dr. Jacobs
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles Coleman ... (scenes deleted)
Frank Mills ... Chimneysweep (scenes deleted)
Pat Somerset ... (scenes deleted)
Harry Allen ... Cabbie at End (uncredited)
Ray Atchley ... J. Murphy (uncredited)
Frank Baker ... Policeman Removing Mildred (uncredited)
Evelyn Beresford ... Coughing Lady (uncredited)
Jimmy Casey ... (uncredited)
Ma Curly ... Charwoman (uncredited)
Byron Fitzpatrick ... (uncredited)
Douglas Gordon ... Hawker (voice) (uncredited)
Frankie Grandetta ... Newsboy (uncredited)
Tommy Hughes ... Englishman (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Hospital Interne (uncredited)
Billy Mills ... (uncredited)
Nat Neahan ... Slim (uncredited)
Tempe Pigott ... Agnes Hollett, Philip's Landlady (uncredited)
Irene Rich ... Baby (uncredited)
Adrian Rosley ... Mons. Flourney, Paris Art Teacher (uncredited)
Frank Schwab ... (uncredited)
Al Sullivan ... Jimmy Gray (uncredited)
Madeline Wilson ... Girl (uncredited)

Directed by
John Cromwell 
 
Writing credits
Lester Cohen (screen play)

W. Somerset Maugham (from the novel by)

Ann Coleman  dialogue (uncredited)

Produced by
Pandro S. Berman .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Max Steiner 
 
Cinematography by
Henry W. Gerrard (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
William Morgan (edited by)
 
Art Direction by
Carroll Clark 
Van Nest Polglase 
 
Costume Design by
Walter Plunkett (costumes by)
 
Makeup Department
Mel Berns .... makeup department head (uncredited)
Dot Carlson .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Dotha Hippe .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Sam Kaufman .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
J.R. Crone .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kenneth Holmes .... assistant director (uncredited)
Dewey Starkey .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
George Gabe .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Clem Portman .... recordist
Eddie Harman .... assistant sound recordist (uncredited)
Harold E. Stine .... boom operator (uncredited)
Robert Wise .... apprentice sound effects editor (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Vernon L. Walker .... photographic effects (as Vernon Walker)
Harry Redmond Jr. .... special effects (uncredited)
Harry Redmond Sr. .... special effects supervisor (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Sally Sage .... stunt double: Bette Davis (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert De Grasse .... second camera operator (uncredited)
George E. Diskant .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Guy Gilman .... gaffer (uncredited)
Alexander Kahle .... still photographer (uncredited)
George Marquenie .... best boy (uncredited)
Sam Redding .... grip (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ethel Beach .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Tommy Clark .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Bernhard Kaun .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Betty Goode .... script clerk (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
83 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Victor System)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Australia:G (DVD rating) | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Portugal:M/12 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1998) (2003) (2004) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #53) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Of the nine principle actors in this movie, three are named 'Reginald' (Reginald Denny, Reginald Sheffield and Reginald Owen).See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Hesitation BluesSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
22 out of 31 people found the following review useful.
The First Version (of three) is Still the Best, 23 May 2004

Coming shortly before the imposition of a morality code darkened the spirits of writers, directors and actors, the first film adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham's "Of Human Bondage" titillated countless moviegoers. It has no shock value today, just fine acting.

While the cast is excellent, this is Bette Davis's first great role and one of Leslie Howard's best performances. Howard is English wannabe Parisian artist Philip Carey who is gently and firmly told that he lacks any talent and that his dedication is no substitute for true genius. Taking the lesson to heart he returns to London and enrolls in a medical college (one, by the way, that seems to have no female students-at that time there would have been at least a few. Perhaps author/physician Maugham didn't care for distaff medicos).

Having tea one day Carey is entranced by a waitress, Mildred Rogers, Bette Davis in a role as a morally loose and basically wicked farrago. Her Cockney accent is as sharp as Eliza Doolittle's. His repeated attempts to date her are greeted with the less than enthusiastic reply, "I don't mind," a sure sign for any man with his head screwed on straight that he's plumbing the depths. Maugham's Mildred supplemented her waitress tips with a bit of old fashioned street-walking, something not clearly brought out here.

Carey's besotted prostration serves Rogers' avaricious need for support of the financial kind. He is desperately in love with her-she plays him as a Sunday church organist effortlessly plies her instrument. No sex here. Recognizing that he is getting nowhere, he begins a chaste relationship with Norah, a woman who adores him. Re-enter Mildred, replete with a baby, and in her usual need of being taken care of. Exit heartbroken Norah.

Another separation from Mildred and Carey begins a long-term friendship with Sally, abetted enthusiastically by her dad who seems to view eventual marriage as both a good thing for the two young people and a chance to be relieved of one of his nine offspring.

The movie reasonably but not entirely follows Maugham's excellent novel. Howard's Carey is naive and vulnerable and for much of the movie his sad eyes remind one of a doe facing a double-barreled shotgun. Mildred is unrestrainedly wicked, a user of the worst kind, her sole preoccupation with her own needs barely disguised when she tries to wheedle Carey with a thin patina of affectionate words (and offers-at one point she promises she'll do "anything [he] wants," a daring statement for the times and one I'm sure audiences fully understood.

Pre-Code it may be but Mildred's quick-march dissolution would have satisfied the League of Catholic Decency. The ending is conventional-sin loses, principled behavior triumphs.

Director John Cromwell wrought excellent performances from his two main stars, one well-established, the other established largely because of this film. The atmosphere is 1930s London and the trip back in time is worth taking.

Available on DVD.

9/10 (for Davis's and Howard's performances)

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Of Human Bondage (1934)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Censors and tities oknar1977
Disturbed (Ending Spoiler) AudgePaudge
Ok... Fine... It's A Classic... I Got That... PACman66
The Mildred / Bette Davis Character H_Kivel
Just opinion, but: I don't think Davis was that fantastic. cakeandtea
Question about the ending jshane
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