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Devotion (1946)

Approved | | Biography, Drama | 20 April 1946 (USA)
Genius authors Emily and Charlotte Bronte fall in love with their curate as they seek to get their work published.

Director:

Curtis Bernhardt

Writers:

Keith Winter (screenplay), Theodore Reeves (original story)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ida Lupino ... Emily Brontë
Paul Henreid ... Rev. Arthur Nicholls
Olivia de Havilland ... Charlotte Brontë (as Olivia DeHavilland)
Sydney Greenstreet ... William Makepeace Thackeray
Nancy Coleman ... Anne Brontë
Arthur Kennedy ... Branwell Brontë
May Whitty ... Lady Thornton (as Dame May Whitty)
Victor Francen ... Constantin Heger
Montagu Love ... Rev. Brontë
Ethel Griffies ... Aunt Elizabeth Branwell
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Storyline

In Victorian England, literary siblings Emily and Charlotte Bronte vie for the affection of the Reverend Arthur Nichols. Along with their sister Anne, Emily and Charlotte also try to help their tormented brother Branwell, a gifted artist whose life is being destroyed by alcohol. Written by Daniel Bubbeo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Acclaimed...THE GREATEST LOVE STORY OF THE YEAR! Tender! Endearing! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

20 April 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Afosiosis See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Prominently featured supporting actor Montagu Love had been dead for almost three years by the time the picture was released. See more »

Goofs

When Emily enters her brother's sickroom and doesn't completely shut its door, a hand and arm very obviously reaches out from outside the room and shuts it. See more »

Quotes

Charlotte Bronte: I know nothing. I understand nothing. And yet, I have dared to write 200,000 words about life!
[tosses manuscript on floor]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dame May Whitty's name is spelled incorrectly in the opening credits. It is spelled as follows - "Dame Mae Whitty" - using the spelling the same way that Mae West spelled her name, (with an E, and not a Y). This is a terrible blunder for such a highly respected actress. See more »

Connections

Featured in Between Two Worlds: Erich Wolfgang Korngold (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fictionalized account of the Bronte sisters
21 September 2009 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Ida Lupino is Emily Bronte, and Olivia de Havilland is Charlotte Bronte in "Devotion," a 1946 film, made in 1943 and shelved, which tells the story of the two sisters, their sister Anne, and their brother Branwell (Arthur Kennedy).

In essence, the Bronte sisters led sad, miserable, and short lives - there was nothing romantic about the moors, as much as they seem so in the Bronte books. The sisters enjoyed poor health, their brother was a disgrace, and their father a cold man with a violent temper. Only with the entrance of their aunt into their lives was much attention paid to them. She was a warm woman who saw to their education and gave them structure.

What the Bronte sisters had was imagination, and plenty of it, and they exercised their imaginations with their writings.

"Devotion" is a lovely film with a wonderful performance by Ida Lupino as the tragic Emily. Olivia de Havilland does a good job as Charlotte, shown in the film as selfish and a man magnet. In truth, she was ugly and considered herself so, and while she did develop a crush on Constantin Heger (Victor Francen), the affection doesn't seem to have been returned. All of Charlotte's success happened after Emily's death, not where it does in the film, and the reason the girls left school was not because of their brother's illness, but because of their aunt's death.

The eternally underrated Arthur Kennedy is excellent as Branwell, shown here as only a drunk. Branwell did have several jobs, none of which he kept, had an affair with an older married woman, which was an open scandal, and is suspected of eating opium as well as drinking. However, it is true that Charlotte was angry with him.

Charlotte did marry Nicholls (and died eight months later) but there was no love triangle with Emily. Nor was Nicholls, as in the film, the model for the mysterious, romantic men in Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. The fact that this love triangle is represented as inspiration for the men in their novels in "Devotion" is a good case for Paul Henried being miscast. The movie was made during the war, when there were no men around, and Warner Brothers would never have given a star like Errol Flynn a supporting role. But the role of Nicholls, given his importance in the film, cried out for someone a little more dashing and handsome.

Sydney Greenstreet appears as William Thackery in a small but showy role toward the end of the film.

The film was shelved in 1943 because of a lawsuit filed by Olivia de Havilland against Warner Brothers; in 1946, though she won the suit, the movie was released due to the big success of her film, "To Each His Own" for Paramount.

"Devotion" is worth seeing, but not as a true story of the Bronte sisters.


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