Abandoning artistic ambitions, sensitive and club-footed Philip Carey enrolls in medical school and falls in love with illiterate 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.
Running Time: 83 Minutes
MPAA Ratings: Approved
Better than average, this film stars Bette Davis (write in Academy Award Best Actress nomination!) as an unlovable waitress who's pursued by club-footed artist come medical student, played by Leslie Howard, who loves her at his peril. She runs off with Alan Hale's character only to later return to him, pregnant. He breaks his relationship with Kay Johnson's character because of his obsession with Davis's. The cycle repeats: she runs off with Reginald Denny's character, and this time it's Frances Dee's character, as the daughter of Reginald Owen's, that Howard's character drops to support Davis's and her baby. Directed by John Cromwell, this W. Somerset Maugham novel was adapted by Lester Cohen. Remade twice, once in 1946 and again in 1964 with Kim Novak and Laurence Harvey. classicfilmguide.com
If Jack Warner had had his way, Bette Davis would have wound up playing all kinds of molls in various Warner Brothers gangster films. Of Human Bondage was a significant milestone in her career because she proved to everyone, including herself, that she was capable of so much more.
Coming shortly before the imposition of a morality code darkened the spirits of writers, directors and actors, the first film adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham's "Of Human Bondage" titillated countless moviegoers. It has no shock value today, just fine acting.
CAST & CREW:
Nominated for an Oscar
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Bette Davis
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