Of Human Bondage (1934) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • 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.

  • The clubfooted aspirant painter Philip Carey is advised by an acquaintance to give-up his artistic ambition since he is a mediocre artist. He joins the medical school in London using his inheritance to pay the school and to have a comfortable life. When he meets the cold cockney waitress Mildred Rogers in a restaurant, the shy Philip has a crush on her but she rejects him. Philip stalks her and dates her; however the easy woman scorns him. When Philip proposes Mildred, she tells him that she is going to marry her lover Miller, leaving the brokenhearted Philip obsessed for her. He tries to move on, dating the affectionate Norah in an unrequited love. However, when Mildred returns alone and pregnant, Philip lodges them in his home. Sooner Mildred becomes lover of Philip's friend Reginald Denny and leaves Philip again. When Philip finds Mildred and her baby later abandoned on the street, he brings them home. Mildred unsuccessfully tries to seduce Philip but he loathes her; Mildred feels humiliated and wrecks his apartment and burns his savings, forcing Philip to quit the medical school. However his teacher offers to operate his feet first and Philip becomes a normal man. But he does not succeed to find a job and his life goes downhill fast until he meets a friend that helps him.

  • Philip Carey is a medical student of limited means who is particularly self-conscious about his physical deformity, a club foot. When a fellow student wants to try and impress a waitress in a local restaurant, Philip goes along to show him how to make small talk with someone you're attracted to. The woman in question is Mildred Rogers, an attractive girl who gets the attention of many customers, particularly the wealthy Emil Miller. Philip takes an immediate liking to her and asks her out. It soon becomes obvious to everyone except Philip that Mildred is manipulative and using him only insofar as he spends money on her and treats her nicely. She refuses his proposal of marriage saying she is to marry someone else but many months later is back on his doorstep, pregnant and without a place to live. This will not be the last time that she seeks his help only to abandon him when a better proposition comes along. Throughout it all, Philip remains steadfast, honest and caring even though it is all to his detriment.

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


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