Sunday, March 19, 2006

In This Our Life (1942)****

Bette Davis plays a particularly nasty bitch in this one, a self centered social path. First, she dumps her fiancĂ© (George Brent) in order to steal the husband (Dennis Morgan) of her sister, played by Olivia de Havilland. De Havilland’s character, and their mother (Billie Burke) constantly make excuses or apologize for their sister's, or daughter's respectively, behavior because, among other things, Davis's uncle (Charles Coburn) has spoiled her rotten. Hattie McDaniel plays the family maid, Ernest Anderson her son who's given an opportunity to work that few of his race at the time were by de Havilland’s character,

This is truly a wicked pleasure, and there's more if you want to read in lieu of just watching this film in which Davis's character goes from evil to insane! After tiring of her forgiving sister's ex-husband Morgan, she drives him (her new husband) crazy with her selfish behavior et al, causing him to drink and to reach the brink of suicide. Meanwhile, de Havilland and Davis's ex-fiancé Brent become closer. SPOILER - Davis kills someone in an automobile accident and blames Anderson. Eventually feeling trapped, she runs to her "sugar daddy" uncle Coburn to "come clean". He's just found out he's got 6 months to live, and she wonders (incredibly) how that could possibly take precedence over him helping her!

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