YMMV / Of Human Bondage

  • And You Thought It Would Fail: People were really unsure whether the film would be a success or not. Bette Davis's family members congratulated her on the performance at a preview screening, but weren't sure if the film would make or break her. Warner Bros only let her out of her contract to star in the film because they were convinced it would sink without a trace.
  • Award Snub: A famous example that led to a change in the Academy voting procedures. Jack L Warner campaigned against Bette Davis getting a Best Actress nomination and because he was on the committee, he was successful. But voters still petitioned to have her nominated anyway, and she was added as a write-in vote. She still lost to Claudette Colbert for It Happened One Night. But as a result of his meddling, the Academy changed its practices to have the votes to an independent accounting firm from then on.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Leslie Howard really couldn't get enough of manipulative women throwing themselves at him. Hilariously a similar situation fell on the production of that to this; English actors were furious that an American was cast as Mildred, while Americans were furious that an English actress was cast as Scarlett O'Hara.
  • Narm: The studio heard unexpected laughter at a couple of screenings and decided to change the score to avoid it. It worked.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: It might be shocking to realise how influential Bette Davis's performance as Mildred was. Contractual Purity was a big deal for actresses at the time, and many noted stars had turned the part down. A Manipulative Bitch like her was not seen in films, especially the Beauty Inversion Bette Davis went through to accurately convey the ravages of tuberculosis. Many executives warned her not to take the part, fearing it would destroy her glamorous image. These days such a role is almost a shoe-in to get critical acclaim. Bette Davis would later be succeeded in this effort by Kathleen Byron in Black Narcissus.
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