Of Human Bondage

Of-Human-BondageA 1934 film about a poisonous relationship between a quiet, introverted doctor with a club foot and a manipulative waitress.

A rare gem of a movie, this is like gold among dross. Lesley Howard is fantastic as club-footed Phillip, and Bette Davis plays the vindictive Mildred. It was her first major role and she is certainly remarkable as the ruthless woman breaking Phillip’s heart over and over.

W. Somerset Maugham, the author of the book on which this is based, was unneringly good at pointing out human flaws in his writing.
Even if this film is good, I am sure there are several different edits that exist. Either that or I’m just forgetful. Oh well. There is definately stuff in this film that would have never made it through if it had been made the following year, with the introduction of the Hayes code.

The choppy editing is a turn-off, though, and Bette Davis’s middling Cockney accent was somewhat laughable. But still, its an OK movie with plenty of funny moments.

MY RATING: 3 / 5.

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