πŸŽ₯ Of Human Bondage – 1934

The Story …

Sensitive, club-footed artist Philip Carey is a Briton who has been studying painting in Paris for four years.

His art teacher tells him his work lacks talent, so he returns to London to become a medical doctor, but his moodiness and chronic self-doubt make it difficult for him to keep up in his schoolwork.

Philip falls passionately in love with tearoom waitress Mildred Rogers, even though she is disdainful of his club foot and his obvious interest in her. Although he is attracted to the anaemic and pale-faced woman, she is manipulative and cruel toward him when he asks her for a date.

Her constant response to his romantic invitations is “I don’t mind”, an expression so uninterested that it infuriates him – which only causes her to use it all the more. His daydreams about her distract him from his studies, and he fails his medical examinations.

When Philip proposes to her, Mildred declines, telling him she will be marrying Emil Miller (a loutish salesman) instead. The self-centred Mildred vindictively berates Philip with nasty insults for becoming romantically interested in her.

Philip begins to forget Mildred when he becomes involved with Norah, an attractive and considerate romance writer working under a male pseudonym. She slowly helps him resolve his painful addiction to Mildred. However, just when it appears that Philip is finding happiness, Mildred returns, pregnant and claiming that Emil has abandoned her.

Philip provides a flat for her, arranges to take care of her financially, and breaks off his relationship with Norah. Norah and Philip admit how interpersonal relationships may amount to bondage (Philip was bound to Mildred, as Norah was to Philip, and as Mildred was to Emil).

Philip’s intention is to marry Mildred after her child is born, but a bored and restless Mildred is an uninterested mother, and she hands the baby’s care to a nurse.

At a dinner party celebrating their engagement, one of Philip’s medical student friends, Harry Griffiths, flirts with Mildred, who somewhat reciprocates. After Philip confronts Mildred, she runs off with Griffiths to Paris. A second time, Philip again finds some comfort in his studies, and with Sally Athelny, the tender-hearted daughter of one of his elderly patients in a charity hospital. The Athelny family is caring and affectionate, and they take Philip into their home.

Once again, Mildred returns with her baby, this time expressing remorse for deserting him. Philip cannot resist rescuing her and helping her to recover from another failed relationship. Things take a turn for the worse when Mildred moves in, spitefully wrecks his apartment, destroys his paintings and books, and burns the securities and bonds he was given by an uncle to finance his tuition.Β 

Philip is forced to quit medical school. Before he leaves the institution, an operation corrects his club foot. The Athelnys take Philip in when he is unable to find work and is locked out of his flat, and he takes a job with Sally’s father as a window dresser.

As time progresses, a letter is sent to Philip which informs him that his uncle has died, leaving a small inheritance. With the inheritance money, Philip is able to return to medical school and pass his examinations to become a physician.

Later, Philip meets Mildred, now sick with tuberculosis, destitute, and – the movie obliquely hints –Β  working as a prostitute. Her baby has died, and she has become distraught. Before Philip can visit her again, she dies in a hospital charity ward.

With Mildred’s death, Philip is finally freed of his obsession, and he makes plans to marry Sally.

Credits :

  • Directed by John Cromwell
  • Screenplay by Lester Cohen
  • Based on Of Human Bondage 1915 novel by W. Somerset Maugham
  • Produced by Pandro S. Berman
  • Cinematography : Henry W. Gerrard
  • Edited by William Morgan
  • Music by Max Steiner
  • Production Company : RKO Radio Pictures
  • Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures
  • Release Date : June 28, 1934

Cast :

  • Leslie Howard as Philip Carey
  • Bette Davis as Mildred Rogers
  • Frances Dee as Sally Athelny
  • Kay Johnson as Norah
  • Reginald Denny as Harry Griffiths
  • Alan Hale as Emil Miller
  • Reginald Sheffield as Cyril Dunsford
  • Reginald Owen as Thorpe Athelny
  • Tempe Pigott as Agnes Hollet, Philip’s landlady
  • Desmond Roberts as Dr. Jacobs

Film Information Source :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Of_Human_Bondage_(1934_film)

Copyright Protected :

ALL RIGHTS TO THIS MOVIE REMAIN WITH THE OWNERS

GENRE : #DRAMA-MOVIES

Support MovieMagic

SUBSCRIBE

MOVIE NEWSLETTER

If you would like to be kept informed about our growing classic movie community, simply subscribe to our periodical newsletter.
MovieMagic