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In This Our Life

In This Our Life(1942)

Remind Me

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  • in this our life

    • kevin sellers
    • 3/18/18

    Half ass "Little Foxes" with a young John Huston having about sixty per cent of William Weyler's directorial gravitas and screenwriter Howard Koch about forty per cent of Lillian Hellman's wit and insight. Consequently, this film is a mostly dreary, uninvolving affair and only comes to life when Bette Davis and Charles Coburn are on screen together. Their scenes, combining corruption, sexual perversion, and impending death, are riveting and one only wishes that Huston and Koch had managed to breathe similar fire into the other performances, which range from serviceable (Frank Craven, Olivia DeHavilland) to worthy but dull (Hattie McDaniel/Ernest Anderson) to miscast and dull (Dennis Morgan and George Brent). Give it a C plus. P.S. I wonder if previous reviewers Minky and J.D. Jitters are aware that their fervent anti communism, in today's political climate, makes them liberals?

  • Say's It All!

    • Minky
    • 3/15/18

    J. D. Jitters, you said it all. Black listed Howard Koch wrote the script---what does one expect.

  • Takes The Cake

    • J. D. Jitters
    • 3/15/18

    Boy, if Hollywood ever stated the sainthood of liberalism and the total evil of conservatism this is the film. Dirty bad Stanley (Bette Davis) and her conservative rotten uncle are proved to be most evil and especially so by the tragic death of Stanley. It proves once and for all in Hollywood land that conservatives get what they deserve and that communism is good for you, so open your mouth and swallow America! Wishful thinking at it's best. The film it's self is enjoyable to watch.

  • Great Hats!

    • Vin
    • 1/7/18

    I watch a lot of vintage films, mainly for the fashions, and this film has the best vintage hats ever! In this film the hats are fabulous: creative, good looking, pleasant designs, and do not take attention away from the plot. So many costume designers deliver the worst outfits and hats that I ever wonder why hats fell out of fashionable use. Many of those hats look like huge plates, platters and hideous bowls, or bags of crumpled felt, or shaped like erupting volcanos, that make me cringe. Costumes can make or break a film, I think.

  • Bad Bette and Lovely Olivia

    • Maria Ramos
    • 1/5/18

    Wow! Love the characters in this movie so wonderfully played by a wonderful ensemble! Bette and Olivia are marvelous and just how great it was for them to re team in Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte. There are also lots of social and political issues in the background, good vs. evil, social conscious vs. greed. The screen play is really loaded with social messages. Then the incest question also comes up. This movie is loaded with lots of subplots. Great movie.

  • Lesser Huston Is Still Truly Worthwhile

    • Don Riley
    • 11/5/15

    The film lacks conviction. Bette Davis is great but she does not have the charms that made her evil,, yet lovable in "Of Human Bondage". Its great but everyone in this film has done much better in other films. I feel this one of John Huston's lesser films. But I still loved it.

  • Among her best evil characters.

    • denscl
    • 11/4/15

    OK, why isn't this film offered on DVD? Davis could always play a pretty despicable character. Baby Jane and Three Foxes comes to mind. Didn't she let her perfectly nice guy husband die by with holding his medicine? And tie up her sibling out of pure spite. Perhaps her best/worst line comes in this film when she tells her Grandfather, who spoiled her rotten, that she didn't care that he was going to die and so what. He was old, and she was young and should go on wrecking other lives. Nearly all the evil characters in the arts have at least one redeeming quality. Davis managed to make us dislike them. I think this often overlooked film in her amazing repertoire is my favorite "chick flic" because she makes my argument that women, in many circumstances, can be as vile as some male characters.

  • Bette Frenzy

    • Roger
    • 11/12/14

    Bette Davis at her frenzied best!

  • Billie Burke!

    • RedRain
    • 3/15/13

    If it hadn't been for her inimitable voice, I would have never recognized the great Billie Burke here in the role of Bette Davis' character's mother! She does a lot of hand-wringing and whining but there was no doubt as to who it was. Of course, this is Bette Davis' film and she is definitely the star. Nobody but nobody has ever done willful and spoiled as well as Davis and she doesn't disappoint in that regard in this film. After his triumph in "Dark Victory" in 1939, George Brendt is back to his usual wooden performance but he's such a nice guy in this film that you tend to overlook it a bit. This is an okay film, not great, but it does hold your interest and is worth seeing at least once.

  • Bette's Masterpiece!

    • Jery Tillotson
    • 3/15/13

    Bette Davis enjoyed a phenomenal movie career and it amazes us today at the classics that she starred in: "Jezebel," "Of Human Bondage," "The Letter," etc.Yet, "In This Our Life" has always stunned me with its abundance of outstanding qualities. This is a great example of Warner Brothers at its peak. Just look at the technical crew; Ernie Haller, who photographed "Gone With the Wind," director John Huston who made "The Maltese Falcon" Orry-Kelly, who designed the female leads outstanding wardrobe, Max Steiner who gives us another unforgettable score.And that extraordinary cast. Davis, Olivia De Havilland, Billie Burke, Charles Coborn, George Brent, Hattie McDaniel.Through this fast-moving drama, we behold Davis at her brilliant best being a Southern belle who is pure evil. Davis never once tries to elicit sympathy. She plays Stanley Timberlake cold, impersonal and never blinks an eye at the mayhem she creates. When she runs over and kills a little girl, she tries to pack the blame on an upstanding young black youth whose mother is Hattie McDaniel. When Bette sees the cops coming for her, she runs to her incestuous uncle, played masterfully by Charles Coburn, and when he refuses to help her, Bette leaps to her feet and screams: "You can DIE for all I care. Die!"When I watched this scene on a big screen in NYC, you could feel the shock on even the sophisticated NYC movie buffs.For reasons only she knew, Bette forever ran down this movie, saying it was "the biggest flop of all time." Sorry to correct you, Bette, but this was your biggest money-maker by far--yes, even more than "Dark Victory" and "Now Voyager." Today's audiences are discovering anew this powerhouse of a drama and its biting look at American racism circa l943--but which can still ring true today.Bravo to Bette the Queen. Her audiences are even bigger today than back in her heyday of the 40s!

  • Hattie McDaniels holds her own

    • James Goodwyn
    • 11/21/11

    I like this gem because it showed Ms Mcdaniels could act other than a mammy or maid. There a story that Hollywood didn't think she could be convincing as a distraut mother. She gave a memorial performance I thought. The movie was heart wrenching senario about a young black adult being accused of a hit and run accident. His mother pleas his case (Ms Mcdaniels) to the de Havilland character. I wish she could have been given more roles like this but......

  • A Neglected Gem

    • John Burleigh
    • 7/8/10

    Passed over, on the heels of The Little Foxes, as yet another Bette Davis film about a self-absorbed Southern monster, In This Our Life is, in fact, much more interesting than that creaky Hellmann vehicle. It is remarkable how genuinely sexy and alluring Davis is as Stanley. She reminds one a lot more of Catherine in Jules and Jim than of the charmless Regina. There is, to be sure, what must have been for Warner Brothers at the time an obligatory attack on Southern plutocracy, but the way it is carried off is more nuanced and surprising (e.g., its plausible and straightforward indictment of Southern racism) and entertaining (above all, Charles Coburn's charming, rapacious and incestuous uncle). The brazen and riotous scenes between Davis and Coburn reflect director John Huston's deft hand. Indeed, there is a natural progression from Coburn's performance to the over-the-top patriarchs Huston himself played in Chinatown and Winter Kills.

  • Casting is wrong

    • Jarrod McDonald
    • 6/3/10

    This one is like the PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH & ESSEX, in that Bette Davis and Olivia De Havilland are both miscast. We do not believe that Errol Flynn would choose Bette over Olivia, and we do not believe that Dennis Morgan would choose Bette over Olivia either. Today, a studio would insist on a more glamorous lead, especially for IN THIS OUR LIFE. This movie is obviously a follow-up to Bette's Jezebel role and audiences back then were willing to accept her playing a steamy southern siren, but today's audiences would not (they would probably laugh at an ugly duckling acting so sexily, and it would be even more high camp). If we had the same group of actors in today's Hollywood, Olivia would be made to take the part of the scheming sister, or if she remained in her current role, Bette would be dropped and Evelyn Keyes, Claire Trevor or Vivien Leigh would be hired to take her place. Don't get me wrong, I love Bette and she's very good in this role, but it's hard to buy her as a woman that Dennis Morgan (and George Brent) would salivate over, when the much more alluring Olivia is standing beside her.

  • In This Our Life (1942)

    • Jay Higgins
    • 9/21/09

    What an incredible film, Bette Davis is magnificent as always, the supporting cast is great. Fine John Huston direction. Good production quality. Always interesting, great character development.

  • Bette Davis & Olivia de Havilland

    • MarjorieAW
    • 8/16/09

    This classic film is a story about two sisters, Stanely (Davis) & Roy (de Havilland), who are virtual opposites. At least that's what the surface story appears to be about. But there's a very heavy socio-political background story line which can't be dismissed. Stanley is too wild for her own good. Roy is too tame for her own good. The misdeeds that Stanley engages in cause legal problems for the family that cannot be overcome. Not only are they depicted as illegal, they're also brilliantly portrayed as immoral. In the US, in the early 1940's social class was still being achieved as it is today: by keeping some groups of people minority statused. The rich depend upon maintaining a poverty class. That's what this film teaches. The teacher is a fine cast led by Bette Davis.

  • On Classism & Racism: Bette Davis

    • Dot.ty
    • 8/15/09

    One of the traits that I like the very best about Bette Davis is that she chose to empower understatused people with the tremendous amount of public influence she had earned through working very hard.This film has classic value becauseDavis such a great job at portraying in one character an entire segment of society that uses its overprivileged social standings and connections to literally get away with murder. The wealthier are treated to more civil rights, freedoms and go unpunished from ruining other people's. The understatused pay & pay & pay. As far as history goes back this is how 'civilization' is arranged. So this film doesn't make a bold new statement; instead, it says the same one but at a level and in a way that everyday people can see, feel and hear it. It's a very Bette Davis thing to do to play the lead who depicts the overprivileged one in order to show how wrong they are.

  • Knowing Why It's in the Latest DVD Set

    • JemimaR
    • 8/14/09

    For the Bette Davis centennial, 3 DVD collections (at least) were released. This film is one that hadn't been on DVD before. I can understand why it's been upgraded: this is a superb set of dramatic performances by a stellar cast. John Huston did a great job directing such a diverse group. I too like the fact that the film exposes an upcrusty type of insidious expectation of racial biases. After all it's so easy to portraybrutality due to racism. Just get a thug who's a supremacist to act brutally towards a person of color. It happens, still, every day in the US. What's still happening much more routinely in the typethat is revealed in this film. It's the type of racial discrimination that peopleof wealth get away with because their privileges depend upon underprivilege. Great job done by all who brought out this important point in the 1940's that is still so true today.

  • John Huston, Bette Davis & Olivia de Havilland

    • ZZZIZ
    • 8/13/09

    With John Huston directing a fine cast of classic character actors, the likes of which are Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, George Brent & Charles Coburn (at the top of the longer list), this film about intra-familial conflicts between Stanley (Davis) and Roy (de Havilland) Timberlake, who are sisters, turns into an intriguing drama about a variety of offenses committed by Stanley.In 1942, those I've named, were already part of a political wave of public figures who were using their influence tohelp resolve social problems. Racism was a major one and so it is in this film. Credit is due to all of those who used their public popularity to help change social problems in ways that stopped the suffering of people of color. This film stands as one classic drop in that big bucket.

  • Great Cast and Performances

    • Antonias
    • 8/13/09

    As usual, with Bette Davis movies, there are fine performances by classic actors. De Havilland's performance was terrific and Brent's was almost a good. But, BetteDavis brought this one home, especially in one of the closing scenes with CharlesCoburn when she reveals the true narcissism of Stanley (her character). It's a stunner of a film with interestingplot.

  • Superb Classic with Top Knotch Acting

    • DavidaH
    • 8/13/09

    Bette Davis took the lead among a cast of great character actors including: Olivia de Havilland, Charles Coburn and George Brent. Davis' performance was outstanding as Stanley Timberlake and de Havilland's performance was too as Roy, her sister. Charles Coburn plays their wealthy but conniving uncle who apparently swindled his own brother out of the family's business fortune. Coburn now spoils the niece most like him, only many times worse perhaps: Stanley (Davis). Worse by far because she takes lives from others. It's a marvelous films with a great moral message.

  • Terrific Bette Davis Film

    • Amy_Gay
    • 8/12/09

    During TCM's 24 hours of Bette Davis films, this one was shown. I'm so glad it was because the performances of Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, George Brent & Charles Coburn are choice. This is one of the films when Bette Davis is portraying the character of a very selfish, spoiled rotten, destructive young woman. Practically every other person whose life she touches goes into a tailspin because she's nothing but trouble. I think one of the most important aspects of the film is when Stanley (Davis) plays upon other people's racism to insure that she won't be charged for the crime she committed and the black man didn't. Indeed it was Stanley's scheme; but, if society hadn't been so racist, her scheme to blame a man of color wouldn't have worked so easily. In 1942, plenty of American's didn't want to face their own bigotry. So I imagine that they didn't want to like this film either. Hits too close to home.

  • the bad seed.

    • ms. miniver
    • 8/10/09

    That movie was horrible! Corn straight off the cobb! A review of this movie in a 1942 issue of Photoplay magazine said,"Too abnormally unpleasant for enjoyment". I and a few other people agree.

  • ...and when she was bad

    • JonBern
    • 6/16/09

    I've inscribed these words written by Bette Davis elsewhere. They are worth repeating here given the role Miss Davis played of Stanley Timberlake in this film: "Morality to me is honesty, integrity, character. Old-fashioned words straight from Emerson, Thoreau, my grandmother. There are new words that excuse everyone. Give me the good old days of heroes and villains. The people you can bravo or hiss. There was a truth to them that all the slick credulity of today cannot touch....The cornerstone of my career in films was the power for action with which all women identified. When I portrayed evil on the screen, the women of the world were purged of suppressed violence and sheer boredom" (Davis, 1962 p14). I believe this to be true and why the film career of Bette Davis was so highly accomplished. Her 'power for action with which all women identified'.

  • "In This Our Life" with Bette Davis

    • Karlton
    • 6/12/09

    The Timberlake sisters and the rest of their family and friends are in for a rough time. Stanley (Bette Davis), the younger sister, is out of control, self-centered and spoiled rotten. Her older sister, Roy (Olivia de Havilland), is married and still living in their family home with her parents. Many of Stanley's devastating activities have already done great harm to the family by the time the plot gets to the explosive point. Stanley runs over someone, kills them, then, leaves the scene. To make matters much work and more complex, Stanley blames the person's death on a family friend of color. As he goes to trial, racism becomes a major social issue. Davis and de Havilland are matched quite well as sisters and their performances make the film very interesting. George Brent also has a meaty role and performs it well. Charles Coburn is always a delight. With a fine cast, a story from a Pulitzer Prize winning novel and Davis' spitfire performance, this film is highly engaging.

  • Thank you TCM for this Bette Davis Film

    • Millford
    • 6/12/09

    Without TCM there would be no other way to watch some of Bette Davis' rarer, hard to find films. I was very appreciative to have the opportunity to view "In This Our Life." I had heard it dealt with racism in a positive way prior to the US Civil Rights movement. That made it have social justice and historical value of interest to my work. While Stanley Timberlake (Bette Davis) is the antagonist who depicts violent scenarios, Miss Davis makes it abundantlyclear that there are tragic consequencesthat result from engaging in violence. Roy Timberlake (Olivia de Havilland) provides the alternative to violence: love.

  • Sensational Dramatic Performances

    • Dr_March
    • 6/12/09

    Stanley and Roy Timberlake are women, sisters, bad and good. Stanley's on the road to self-destruction. Roy's bearing the brunt of her sister's rebellious wrecklessness. Bette Davis plays the sister bent on leaving a high wake of destruction wherever she goes. Olivia de Havilland plays the sister who nobly endures and survives. All of the supporting actors in this marvelously challenging film deliver important character performances, primarily as family members and close friends of the family. One of the social issues this film deals with is racism. Considering it was 1942 and Virginia was the state where the story took place, the film does a decent job making a pretty bold statement about racism being wrong. It could have gone further but that would have probably alienated audiences of that era. Bette Davis' performance stands out as quite brave since she is the character who commits the heinous act of racism as a result of murder.

  • Thank You, TCM, Great Classic To Air

    • Winfield
    • 6/11/09

    Davis, de Havilland and Brent play so well off of each other during this film. I am surprised that this is not programmed more often than it is. Huston does a superb job directing. The book this story is based on is a Pulitizer Prize winner. I hope it is aired again during a more mainstream hour when more viewers are likely to watch it!

  • Davis & de Havilland as Sister Opposites

    • Janys
    • 6/10/09

    Bette Davis is the central figure of this film, Stanley Timberlake. Her sister, Roy Timberlake, is played by Olivia de Havilland. De Havilland's role is rather typical of what she's expected to appear to be. Davis goes beyond the pale to be a higly destructive person. I'd diagnose Stanley as having narcissistic personality disorder. She's wreckless and withouta sufficient conscience to prevent her from betraying the people who are closest to her. Ulimately, she betrays herself.

  • Huston Works Davis, de Havilland & Brent

    • m_d
    • 6/10/09

    Director John Huston has a great screenplay to work with based upon a pulitizer prize winning book. Then, he had a great cast including Bette Davis (Stanley Timberlake), Olivia de Havilland (Roy Timberlake) & George Brent (Craig Fleming). Stanley's (Davis) the bad sister, and very very bad at that. But, Bette Davis was extra good at playing a deviant woman. I liked it that she always let me know that she knew she was not doing what was right. In other words, she knew the difference between right and wrong but went the wrong way in her life.

  • When She was Bad, She was very very Bad

    • ZZZIZ
    • 6/8/09

    Director John Huston must have had a field day working on this film with Bette Davis (Stanley Timberlake), Olivia de Havilland (Roy Timberlake) and George Brent (Craig Fleming), to mention a few of the key actors-characters. The title doesn't reveal a thing about the film's plot, so I will. It centers on the relationship between sisters, Stanley & Roy Timberlake (Davis & de Havilland). Stanley's the spoiled rotten sister who's the trouble-maker. But she's also her rich Uncle Asa's (Frank Craven) favorite. Brent comes in as Craig, one of the men that Stanley's going to try to take away from Roy. While Stanley's going after her sister's beaus, she leaves a wide path of destruction behind. The film leads to wondering whether or not the destruction is going to catch up with Stanley. Davis has gone into her series of "bad girl" roles. De Havilland is still doing her "good girl" roles. They make for a perfect pair of sister opposites. However, in reality, they were great friends who had mutual regard for each other personally and professionally. This is an action packed film for the 40's. It moves along very fast and is a captivating series of analyses of the characters.

  • Bette Davis: In Top 'Bad Girl' Form

    • SadieR
    • 5/29/09

    By this stage of Bette Davis' career, she had so perfected her acting skills that she was already a great character actor. She's Stanley Timberlake, in this well cast, very well acted film. We co-stars Olivia de Havilland, Charles Coburn, and George Brent, for example, Davis still turns in the powerhouse performance of the film. You betcha this time she's the 'bad girl'. Spoiled, self-centered, conniving, immature, Stanely, her sister's (de Havilland) husband(s) stealer. That's just for starters. Wait until you see what else Stanley is capable of: a hit n run here, driving a spouse to suicide there and even not giving a hoot about her favorite uncle's death prognosis. She's bad alright. Here's when Bette proves again that nobody's better being bad. The important thing is that Davis makes sure audiences know what she's doing is way way wrong.

  • Come on TCM: Show This Film

    • NJMB
    • 5/16/09

    'And when she was good, she was very good; but when she was bad, she was horrid'. That's Bette Davis as Stanley Timberlake in this John Huston stunner. With George Brent & Olivia de Haviland rounding out the leading cast with Davis, it's a masterpiece of dirty deeds. Davis is already taken with Brent and friends with de Haviland in real life. That's apparent because of how well they interact in character. Huston nails the staging & direction of each scene as Stanley's life stays on a steady course towards self-destruction, leaving a wake of harm behind wherever she goes. Have to watch the whole film because of how it builds up curiosity.

  • She's more than a Movie Star...

    • Regena
    • 1/27/08

    Bette Davis is more than a movie star, she's an actress - in the true meaning of the word. Bette Davis would take a character role and make it her own. She may not have been the most attractive actress of her time (based on today's measuring stick), but she sure drew the crows out to see her outstanding performances on the screen. I wish TCM would play "In This our Life", even though it may have not have been one of her favorite roles, I think she was superb, as she always is in these type of 'bad girl' roles. "The Letter", "Jezebel", "The Little Foxes", and many, many more are the kind of movies that made her an icon in the movie industry, and an actress that others actresses measure themselves against. You can give me Bette Davis EVERYDAY and I would never get tired of her. It's no wonder she was cast so often in movies - because she was talented!

  • Why isn't this film ever shown on TCM?

    • Fred
    • 1/13/08

    Although in interviews, Bette Davis always had bad things to say about her role and the film itself, I disagree. The are many many good kinetic scenes in the film, and I find this film much more entertaining than let's say, her role in The Man Who Came to Dinner or the boring and tedius The Corn Is Green. I am very disturbed that TCM never shows this film--and many other notable fims of the 30's and 40's. I am rather tired of seeing such films such as The Bridge Over the River Kwai, Gone With the Wind, Blackboard Jungle, etc---which are shown ad naseum on TCM! You people need to realize that there are other films out there...

  • Why another Davis collection?

    • Mike
    • 1/12/08

    This Warner Home Video hype of Bette Davis (and the more famous Warner Brothers stars in general) is just getting on my last nerve. They released the Crawford/Davis collections together back in '05, but it took them three years to get off their asses and release another Crawford set, while Bette has had DVDs galore. She's been on the James Cagney set, and both Forbidden Hollywood Collections. It isn't just Crawford, there's little of Clark Gable, Norma Shearer, Myrna Loy, Jean Harlow, Greta Garbo, Kay Francis (also a Warner star, but it's likely you'll never find a Francis movie on DVD from WHV) from Warner. Not only that, but Warner Home Video is also careless about their packaging of MGM DVDs, look at the special features on the 'Midsummer Night's Dream' DVD compared to that on 'Romeo and Juliet' why own a catalog if you're going to be so stingy with the releases. AND when is Warner going to sell the pre 1930 MGM catalog to Kino or Milestone so we can finally get some silents on DVD. (I remember when they claimed they were releasing Lillian Gish's 'The Scarlet Letter' on DVD ha, some beautiful packaging from the studio that didn't keep their word! )Warner Home Video needs to relax with these ridiculous Davis DVDS and start releasing movies from stars that actually matter. She wasn't even that good of an actress. There's a big difference between Bette Davis playing 'Charlotte Vale' and Bette Davis playing Bette Davis playing 'Charlotte Vale'. Oh and when are they going to acknowledge the fact that Kay Francis was their Queen of the Lot when Davis was just a B-picture loser?

  • Rarely shown gem!

    • Debbie H
    • 6/11/07

    We all know that Bette Davis was one of the best actresses to grace the screen, almost everyone of her movies is a treasure to actually have one that is not released on video or dvd is a crime and should be rectified as soon as possible."In this our Life" is rarely shown but boy is she at her most venomous in this film...please if there is anyone left that really appreciates the classics and a truly great actress,this is one movie that needs to get air time right away!!...

  • In This our Life

    • Regena Towles
    • 6/5/07

    I agree with Joel's comments. PLEEEEEZE play this movie. Bette Davis is at her best playing a spoiled, vendictive, treacherous, make you want to slap her vixen! I loved this movie and wish TCM would play it or push for it to be released on DVD - soon!

  • Nobody's Better than Bette when she's bad!!!

    • joel
    • 8/29/06

    Though mostly dismissed by critics as cliche and overacted (and it is, but in a good way), this is easily one of Bette's best. I can't believe it hasn't made it to video yet. But I'll keep campaigning and hope TCM shows it again soon. A classic!

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