Of Human Bondage (1934) - Rotten Tomatoes

Of Human Bondage (1934)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Of Human Bondage Photos

Movie Info

This film stars Leslie Howard as sensitive, clubfooted artist-cum-med student Philip Carey. Despite his yearnings for the finer things in life, Carey cannot extricate himself from a mutually-destructive relationship with waitress Mildred Rogers. After an incredible series of emotional disasters, Carey finally finds happiness in the arms of Sally Altheny.


Leslie Howard
as Philip Carey
Bette Davis
as Mildred Rogers
Frances Dee
as Sally Athelny
Reginald Owen
as Thorpe Athelny
Reginald Denny
as Harry Griffiths
Alan Hale
as Emil Miller
Des Roberts
as Dr.Jacobs
Desmond Roberts
as Dr. Jacobs
Tempe Piggott
as Landlady
View All

Critic Reviews for Of Human Bondage

All Critics (13)

What makes Of Human Bondage interesting is how unapologetic Davis is.

March 15, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Excellent dramatization of Somerset Maugham's fine novel.

August 14, 2019 | Full Review…

I think great credit should go to [Bette Davis] for attempting such a role, in the first place, and then for daring to carry it through with such a fierce consistency, extracting from it every last nuance of unpleasantness.

May 31, 2019 | Full Review…

Strictly so-so on its own terms, but invaluable as Bette Davis' star-launching platform.

June 20, 2008 | Rating: 3/5

The first and best of three Hollywood versions of Maugham's novel boasts a grand dramatic performance from Bette Davis, who scandalously was snubbed by the Academy; she was a write-in candidate for the Oscar.

July 23, 2007 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Dated but compelling drama

August 10, 2004 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for Of Human Bondage

Were you or someone you know ever involved in a lopsided relationship? Where one party knew the other loved them more than they felt and so used the person most inconsiderately? Bette Davis, all hungry vampire-eyes-set-to-kill is a low-class strumpet who sees imminent financial possibility in Leslie Howard's middle class nebbish, who merely suspects that he's being played but can't quite believe that anyone would ever do such a thing (much less his beloved) and is thunderstruck that he himself would allow himself to be played so untruthfully. Like an auto accident on the freeway, you won't be able to take your eyes away.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

The electrifying, larger than life persona of Bette Davis and her big swollen eyes are enough to captivate Leslie Howard's poor but well meaning sap, and film lovers like myself too. A compelling melodrama about unrequited love, obsession, excess of candidness, and punishment.

Pierluigi Puccini
Pierluigi Puccini

Super Reviewer


I must have watched the worst copy of this going - one of those $2 store jobs with scratchy sound and picture, lines, blotches, you name it, and I still found this compelling. I can only imagine what it must be like to watch it properly. I think I will have to track down a decent copy online and I must check the book out too as apparently that was much more detailed. Bette Davis plays a horrible, but beautiful woman with a grating English accent (other reviewers seemed to think it was accurate). I could see how Philip kept falling for her even though she was absolutely heinous! The scene where she is screaming at him that she wiped her mouth every time he kissed her was especially awful. This would be one of my favourite older movies so far, can't believe I had this dvd for about two years and only just watched it!

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

Of Human Bondage Quotes

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