After laboring in Hollywood for nearly four years, playing one nothing role after the other in one forgettabe film after the other, Davis won the role of a lifetime. That of slatternly waitress Mildred Rogers, the 'bitch' heroine of Somerset Maugham's classic story. Davis in BONDAGE is an example of an actress's triumph. Lester Cohen's script, making for a picture that runs in length 83 minutes, is breezy and admittedly fails to capture all of the qualities that made Maugham's book such a compulsive read. But Bette Davis' performance in BONDAGE makes the film every bit as good as the book itself. She is absolutely fascinating. Her role of Mildred is as spiteful and bitchy as they come. Yet Bette plays the part so well that you can't help but root for her. That's not to say that she doesn't overdo it at times. But she is clearly into the role and rightfully so. Having played so many thankless background parts(secretaries, gun molls, etc.), this was her chance to break loose and show critics and audiences alike her full capabilities as an actress, and did she ever! Even keeping in mind all of the memorable Davis movie moments that followed, Mildred Rogers still remains her most stunning achievement. The great British actor Leslie Howard, playing the club-footed medical student who becomes infatuated with Mildred, seems over-powered, and possibly intimidated by his co-star. Oh yes, Davis was not yet a full-fledged star and was supposed to be playing second fiddle to the already distinguished Howard, but with BONDAGE, that situation quickly reversed. Shockingly, Davis didn't receive so much as an Oscar nomination for her brilliant performance, and when she won a year later for the tired melodrama DANGEROUS, everyone(including Bette herself) assumed it was out of sympathy for not receiving her full due for this film.