Of Human Bondage (July 20, 1934)
Released July 20, 1934: This was the film that made Bette Davis a true star. Her over-the-top, theatrical performance was passed over for a Best Actress Oscar nomination, although she was an unofficial write-in candidate.
Produced by Pandro S. Berman
Directed by John Cromwell
Written by Lester Cohen and Anne Coleman from the novel by W. Somerset Maugham
The Actors: 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 (Cyril Dunsford), Reginald Owen (Thorpe Athelny), Desmond Roberts (Dr. Jacobs), Frank Mills (chimneysweep), Harry Allen (cabbie at the end of the film), Ray Atchley (J. Murphy), Frank Baker (policeman removing Mildred), Evelyn Beresford (the coughing lady), Ma Curly (charwoman), Douglas Gordon (hawker's voice), Frankie Grandetta (newsboy), Tommy Hughes (Englishman), Kenner G. Kemp (hospital intern), Nat Neahan (Slim), Tempe Pigott (Anges Hollett, Philip's landlady), Irene Rich (Mildred's baby), Adrian Rosley (Mons. Flourney, the Paris art teacher), Al Sullivan (Jimmy Gray)
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Love, Lust, and the Limping Man
Mildred, played by Bette Davis, is a pasty-faced pale blonde girl who is a waitress in a London restaurant. She is the very definition of the poor working girl with a dynamite body who is a cocky and callous flirty tease who will never truly love a man . . . She will only use men for what they can give her today, tossing them to the curb when a new man offers more. Philip Carey falls fatally in love with Mildred, and he soon discovers that he is her ‘last’ choice for a playmate . . . . Mildred will flirt with Philip only when she needs something form him. . . . Philip will be her slave even knowing that she despises him. Philip is in bondage by love to Mildred, but Mildred will only tease Philip when she needs something that her other men won’t give her.
Philip will indeed fall in love with two other women, but Mildred will interrupt when it is most inconvenient, ruining Philip’s chances for a relationship with anyone else. Philip, still bound by some crazy kind of love for Mildred, always abandons the girl he is with to take care of Mildred . . . . But she will only gobble up his money and his help before running away after another man. Finally Mildred comes to Philip for help and even though he helps her . . . His love for her has fizzled, and while he is bound to Mildred by loyalty of times past, he is no longer in love with her. Philp realizes that Mildred is a poor soul who will never love anyone and never be loved by anyone the way he once loved her. When Mildred realizes that Philip is no longer in love with her, she lets loose with an angry, spiteful, nasty and vengeful tirade. Mildred will destroy Philip’s money and his belongings and when Mildred goes off in search of her next man, Philip becomes homeless.
Sometimes it seems that the worst people in the world find success and fortune while the best people in the world inherit nothing but poverty. . . . . But we are all ‘farmers’ in life, and with enough patience and persistence, we all one day reap what we have planted. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Bette Davis getting older
Bette Davis in her death scene
Desmond Roberts and Frances Dee
Desmond Roberts and Leslie Howard
Leslie Howard and Bette Davis
Leslie Howard, Desmond Roberts and Frances Dee
Leslie Howard and Frances Dee
Leslie Howard and Kay Johnson