7.3/10
5,336
93 user 35 critic

Of Human Bondage (1934)

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)
Reviews
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 Love That Lifted a Man to Paradise......and Hurled Him Back to Earth Again See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

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

John Cromwell had an adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham's novel in mind for his next film and was considering Richard Barthelmess as his male lead. Michael Curtiz had just made a film with Barthelmess called The Cabin in the Cotton (1932) which he screened for Cromwell who was immediately taken by a young actress in a small part in the film. This of course turned out to be Bette Davis and Cromwell championed her landing the part of Mildred. See more »

Goofs

Athelny's mustache and beard are almost coming unstuck in the scene in which he is eating dinner. See more »

Quotes

Thorpe Athelny: Here I am in a charity hospital, because my father loved fast women and slow horses.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Women He's Undressed (2015) 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

Bette is first noticed!
12 January 2000 | by SchlockmeisterSee all my reviews

A good, historical movie for the Bette Davis fan in that this is the first movie where she was noticed, based on her merits as an actress. This was a role that was offered to others, but "others" thought that playing such an evil "belladonna" role would harm their career. Bette never flinched from playing the "bitch" and it helped push her career forward. Bette does a good job in this story of an evil woman and the man who just won't/can't let her go. As another writer here has stated, this should be required viewing by young men. The scary thing is, there truly ARE such women out there. A cautionary tale that delivers..


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