7.3/10
5,341
93 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 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

Has been in the public domain since 1962. 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

Mildred Rogers: [after having her baby] Funny looking little thing, isn't it? I can't believe it's mine.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Indie Sex: Censored (2007) 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

 
IMDb Votes Conclude...
6 September 2008 | by richbhSee all my reviews

...that the Bette Davis version of this film was better than the Kim Novak version.

Despite all of the other comments written here, I really prefer the Bette Davis version, even though the Novak version has a more coherent story line.

However: Davis' Mildred's raw emotions seem to me to be more apt to a sluttish girl who seems easily to become a prostitute.

And it is those raw emotions that constitute *part* of what the poor doctor falls in love with. He has emotions of despair, of failure, of "otherness" - strong emotions that he represses. Davis' Mildred, on the other hand, displays her emotions immediately and without censure. She has no feelings of despair, or of failure, or of "otherness"; rather, she is merely surviving as a poor Cockney woman in the Victorian era.

Novak's portrayal was a more vulnerable Mildred than was Davis', almost through the the whole movie. Davis' Mildred was **never** vulnerable until she actually had to go to the doctor and beg for assistance. And when he reviles her - for her method of keeping body and soul together, and for continually taking advantage of his love for her - she unleashes arguably the most passionate repudiation of snobbish holier than thou attitude ever seen on screen: "I wiped my mouth! I WIPED MY MOUTH!!" Novak's vulnerability was excellent. Davis' realism was monumental.

IMDb votes concur!


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