7.3/10
5,215
92 user 35 critic

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 Love That Lifted a Man to Paradise......and Hurled Him Back to Earth Again 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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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

The first of three screen versions of W. Somerset Maugham's novel. 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

Spoofed in Daria: Of Human Bonding (2000) 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

 
Classic and the best adaptation based on the Somerset Maugham's story
23 May 2006 | by ma-cortesSee 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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