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Trivia / In This Our Life

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  • Actor-Inspired Element:
    • Bette Davis chose her own costumes, make-up and hairstyles - even insisting on some of the clothes for her be redesigned.
    • Ernest Anderson was also recommended by Bette when she spotted him working as a waiter.
  • Creator Backlash: Bette Davis hated the film and viewed it as a watered down version of the novel.
  • Creator Breakdown: During production, Bette Davis's husband was diagnosed with pneumonia and she flew out to see him, but bad weather delayed her return. When annoyed studio execs cabled her demanding her back, it added to her stress and her own health declined. At one point she had to be ordered to get some rest by a doctor. She later developed laryngitis.
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  • Dawson Casting: Bette Davis felt that she was too old at 31 to play the Bratty Teenage Daughter Stanley.
  • Disowned Adaptation: Ellen Glasgow felt this was a very disappointing adaptation of her novel.
    Bette Davis: She minced no words about the film. She was disgusted with the outcome. I couldn't have agreed with her more. A real story had been turned into a phony film."
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Bette Davis wanted heavily to play Roy, but the studio insisted she play Stanley, fitting her typecasting as villains and bitches.
    • The Hays Code forced the film to tone down the incestuous nature of Uncle William and Stanley's relationship, and to have Stanley killed for her crimes at the end.
    • Subverted when the studio tried to get John Huston to change Bette Davis's make-up and outfits, finding them too unattractive. The director refused, knowing Bette knew what was right for the character.
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  • Hostility on the Set: John Huston had to leave the film due to the ongoing war, and Bette Davis clashed badly with his replacement Raoul Walsh (who received no credit for his work).
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Stanley tries to ruin Parry's life and sabotage his career. Bette Davis was the one who found Ernest Thompson and got him cast as Parry. He worked in films for another thirty years.
  • Playing Against Type: Billie Burke - usually high society ladies - as a neurotic hypochondriac who is very unglamorous.
  • Reality Subtext: One must wonder how John Huston felt about directing the scenes where Stanley kills a little girl in a drunk driving accident since he himself was involved in a drunk driving incident in the 30s.
  • Romance on the Set: John Huston and Olivia de Havilland were having a steamy affair during the making of the film, something Jack L Warner picked up on when watching the dailies.
    "I saw to myself Bette's getting the lines, but Livvy's getting the best camera shots."
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  • Those Two Actors: One of six films Olivia de Havilland made with Bette Davis.
  • Troubled Production: The film changed directors near the end of production thanks to John Huston's war efforts, and it ultimately didn't reach the screen until it was well over schedule.
  • Tuckerization: Inverted. Barack Obama claims his mother was named Stanley after the character in this film.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda: Some rumours say that Mary Astor, Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreat and other cast members of The Maltese Falcon appear as extras. There's no evidence for this.
  • What Could Have Been: Jack Mower is listed in the studio records as having acted in this film. He does not appear, so either he was recast or his scenes were deleted.

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