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Of Human Bondage (1934)

Not Rated | | Drama , Romance | 20 July 1934 (USA)
A young man finds himself attracted to a cold and unfeeling waitress who may ultimately destroy them both.

Director:

John Cromwell

Writers:

Lester Cohen (screen play), W. Somerset Maugham (from the novel by)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Leslie Howard ... Philip Carey
Bette Davis ... Mildred Rogers
Frances Dee ... Sally Athelny
Kay Johnson ... Norah
Reginald Denny ... Harry Griffiths
Alan Hale ... Emil Miller
Reginald Sheffield Reginald Sheffield ... Cyril Dunsford
Reginald Owen ... Thorpe Athelny
Desmond Roberts ... Dr. Jacobs
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 greatest novel of the twentieth century now brings to the screen humanity's tortured heart-cry! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 July 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Escravos do Desejo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$403,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (R C A Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

W. Somerset Maugham's original novel runs to 600 pages. The film version is a trim 82 minutes. 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

Thorpe Athelny: Well, I suppose youth must be served, but I must say, I'm sick and tired of serving it!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Stardust: The Bette Davis Story (2006) 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

 
That darn Bette Davis!
11 April 2006 | by donta49001See all my reviews

I just saw "Of Human Bondage" for the first time a few days ago and WOW! What a mysterious and almost spooky film. I loved how the music went with the pace of each step of Philip's feet. It gave me the chills for some reason...

One of the greatest aspects of this film is that you get to see Bette Davis coming into herself right before your eyes. She's great, not necessarily because this is her best work, but because it was so out of the ordinary to be so vicious, gritty, and unflinching as an actress in 1934... Bette was a risk taker, always wanting to be different and this is right about when she started to realize that she could be as nasty and daring as she wanted and people would love her for it. If you're a true lover of film, it's amazing to see...

She just had a way of delivering a line that made the part, and the film for that matter, belong to her. Like "A mass of music and fire. That's me...an old kazoo and some sparklers" or "But you are Blanche, you are in that chair!" or "WITH ALL MY HEART, I STILL LOVE THE MAN I KILLED!!"... Those are from a few of her films, but you get my drift. She was just so brave, sassy, and exotic looking with those beautiful big eyes. After seeing this, I can't believe it was remade twice...

Leslie Howard was gorgeous...so calm and persistent, needing to be loved. I thought he was adorable and couldn't understand how everyone wasn't falling for him, but then again, everyone was...except Mildred. He did a great job...

The only thing that I didn't like was something that was common with the writing in the early films. They'd make a character so hateful that it's almost unbelievable that someone would actually fall for them in the first place. The performances were great, but in real life, Philip would have never been interested in Mildred. That's just the simple truth... See it!!


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