OF HUMAN BONDAGE, John Cromwell, 1934 – You Disgust Me

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OF HUMAN BONDAGE – After he is told by a Parisian artist that he possesses little artistic talent, would-be painter Philip Carey (Leslie Howard) returns to London and enters medical school. Painfully self-conscious about his clubfoot, Philip flirts awkwardly with Mildred Rogers (Bette Davis), a Cockney tearoom waitress who treats him rudely. Despite her attitude, Philip coaxes her to accept a dinner date, a decision he soon regrets. As Philip fawns over Mildred, she openly courts other men and only returns to Philip out of desperation or to taunt the poor soul. Based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham, this melodramatic motion picture displays the destructive bonds that lead people to nothing but anguish and heartache.

Of Human Bondage is a 1915 novel by W. Somerset Maugham. It is generally agreed to be his masterpiece and to be strongly autobiographical in nature, although Maugham stated, “This is a novel, not an autobiography; though much in it is autobiographical, more is pure invention.” Wikipedia

Bette Davis wanted the role of Mildred Rodgers because she thought it would be her breakout role after years of starring in films that were getting her nowhere. She begged Warner Brothers studio chief Jack L. Warner to let her out of her contract so she could make the film. He relented because he was sure she would fail; but, when her performance sparked talk of an Oscar, Warner began a spite campaign by encouraging academy members not to vote for her. At the time, the voting campaigns and the tabulation of the results were handled by the heads of the academy (of which Warner had a membership) and it worked in his favor when Davis was left out of the Best Actress competition. Supporters of Davis, shocked by her omission, petitioned the academy for a write-in vote. She was added to the nominees as a write-in but she lost to Claudette Colbert for her performance in It Happened One Night (1934). As a result of this incident, write-in votes were henceforth disallowed. Also, as a result of Warner’s coup, the academy decided to change its voting practices and hand over the counting of the results to the independent accounting firm of PriceWaterhouse, who still does the official counting to this day.

OF HUMAN BONDAGE is generally considered the film that made Bette Davis a star.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0025586/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv

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