- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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OF HUMAN BONDAGE
- Susanne Cavendish
This is the much better of the two [this and the earlier one]. I like the way the characters developed as the movie progressed. Eleanor Parker portrayed the witchy Mildred, as Bette Davis couldn't. I thought Henreid was much better Carey than Leslie Howard as Carey, Henreid displaying a far greater range of emotion, and a more believable Carey. Janis Paige stole the show, a woman, the antithesis of Mildred, who knew what she wanted, and had the patience the wait for it. I'm going to look for the other versions and weigh them against this one. I thought Edmund Gwenn was entirely the right actor for the role of Athelny, a kind of counterpoint to Carey's life as he pursued Mildred. One had to feel sorry for Nora Nesbit, played well by Alexis Smith whose beauty always comes through in splendid form even when she plays a villainess. I give this movie five stars and vote for DVD release. What I cannot figure is what movie Maltin and some other reviewers saw as they watched this movie, unless they regarded Davis and Howard as stars whose performances had to be better because of reputation. Each movie should stand on it's own platform.
Miscast is an understatement . . .
- Robert Mann
It's hard to imagine how a Hollywood of that era could misfire so much on this classic. Actually, the 1962 version with Lawrence Harvey and Kim Novak is the best one, which is everything this film is not. It would be nice if TCM played that version. RM
The Bondage of "Of Human Bondage", 1946
- Beverly Anne
In reviewing the referenced 1946 movie several times, I have to say that we are talking oranges and bananas--two different styles and two different adaptations. Both were exceptionally good in my view, but it was the Parker interpretation that stood out the most to me. To think that the young Parker demonstrated such a grasp of such harsh life circumstances, and maintained it throughout the entire film without a miss, is to me rather extraordinary. Her command of the Cockney speech patterns fooled even the true Brits who appeared in the film. Her body swaggers are reminiscent of those who know of an actor's need to not only project emotions, but to move with them as well. Even when "Mildred" didn't appear in various scenes, her haunting of the weak and miserable "Phillip Carey" maintained her presence in his tormented mind--and in the mind of audiences as well. You just couldn't wait to see what she'd come up with next to make his pitiful life descend to an even lower level in his own self-created abyss. To summarize it all, the upcoming, young and beautiful Warner Brother starlet, Eleanor Parker, owned the movie--whether she was on screen or not. Unfortunately, it is said that the movie was torn up by inept editing and whatever else they did to it. While it was basically critically acclaimed in England, it fizzed out here at the box office. Alexis Smith who was a major star at Warner Brothers at the time, didn't even make a dent in the final cut. As Phillip Carey, I found Paul Henreid just as boring and annoying as Lesley Howard playing against Bette Davis. Just my take people, just my take. Only the presence of true Brits, handsome Patric Knowles and charming Edmund Gwenn, added credible substance to the riveting performance of Eleanor Parker. Are both versions worth a viewing? Yes, if only because they're both adapted from what some people consider a literary classic.
Of Human Bondage 1946
- charles medlock
The key to the attraction to the base woman was the club foot. His wounded ego could not stand being snubbed by such an unworthy person. He had to have her. Until she fell for his, he could not forget her. When she finally wanted him, he could see her for who she was and couldn't stand her.
For those who found this remake a failure compared to the Bette Davis film, I would agree. As for the book being required reading in High school, that person must be as old as I. I am. And gone to a private school as well. The book is not written for juvenile consumption, and I doubt this would be required reading today, since the book, and film do not treat women in the kindest terms. The question as to why this is a classic, seems obvious. Compared to what is written today, nearly every novel written today is clichd, biased towards this generations prejudices, and most are now written by publishing houses who create factories based on the names of financially successful authors who are recognized by the public. In other words, the same book, written 20 times over. Maugham, on the other hand, has written scores of books, on many subjects and plots. I have given up reading reviews, most are written by "shills" who would put the old carnival hucksters to shame. This specific novel, on which the film was made twice focuses on the inexplicable actions of love, not sex. Of course it does not make sense for a man to pursue the despicable, dare I use the word "slut". Since the meaning of love and romance have been overwhelmed by the base sexual content of today's films, its easy to understand, why someone could not understand such a relationship. But in real life, people make some really bad choices in partners. Maugham was able to put us in a plot where we can experience the inexplicable actions of love, and not sex. I can not understand the Great Gatsby, the film or book is considered a better example of a classic. Both touch on the same subject, love for a woman who unattainable in the long run, but for different reasons.
"Of Human Bondage" was required reading in high school, and I found it to be a moving and compelling story. The movie is not at all faithful to the novel, and this version, at least, is a real stinker. The actors seemed to be sleepwalking through even what should have been the most passionate scenes.
The story makes no sense to me. A smart man about to graduate from medical school, meets a shrew of a woman. She has a terrible personality, lies, has no class whatsoever, in fact, she has NO redeeming qualities. Period. For him to keep letting her take advantage of him, makes me angry. It makes me wonder why this book is a classic.
If it ain't broke, dont fix it
- Lillly Feit
I think Of Human Bondage is one of the best dramas ever filmed, however, I kept seeing Bette Davis, or rather wishing I was seeing her. This version just doesn't even come close. Paul Henreid could never play the "nebish" that Leslie Howard is so great at.
Co Star Of Human Bondage
- G Snow
I remember Janis Paige from Please Don't Eat the Daisies: I have never seen any of her early works, she was wonderful and a young beauty!!
Eleanor Parker triumphs again
Ms Parker once again proves that great beauty need not exclude great talent. She is one of the finest unsung actors in american cinema. This 1946 version is certainly more watchable than the other two largely because of her performance. It is rare indeed to find a great beauty who also has the gift for acting. In this version Ms. Parker's looks are played down considerably and yet her performance still shines through. Mildred Rogers is certainly one of the more callous/pathetic figures in literary history and therefore probably a lot of fun to play for any actress.The book itself by Maugham is totally different from the movie versions. I would urge anyone to get a copy and read it. The story is really about self hatred rather than the relationship between Philip Carey and Mildred Rogers.
Bette Davis/Leslie Howard
The '34 version surpasses the two copies.I have never been a great fan of Davis, but she is outstanding.
First of all, how could they possibly make a remake of Bette Davis and Leslie Howard? The Best cannot get better and they fell so short of the original and it was not even good in itself.
- Debbie Crawford
I loved this intense story, the acting was also intense and great. Loved the movie.What are you all waiting on, put it on DVD