Wednesday, May 20, 2009
In This Our Life (1942)
This is easily one of the soapiest films that Bette Davis ever made, which is really saying something if you know anything about Bette Davis movies.
The film stars Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland as the unfortunately named sisters Stanley and Roy Timberlake. And the plot goes as follows (Be sure to pay attention, it can be quite confusing). Stanley is engaged to lawyer Craig Fleming (George Brent), but she decides to steal Roy's husband Peter Kingsmill (Dennis Morgan) and run off. While they are gone, Roy and Craig fall in love. Stanley is so horrible that she drives Peter to commit suicide, so she returns home and plans on stealing Craig, her former beau away from her sister, who is his current beau. If read as is, it sounds like a tangled gay drama.
There is also a plot involving Stanley having a hit and run accident that kills a woman, and instead of fessing up to it, she blames the local black man who is studying to become a doctor or something, but since he's black they arrest him anyway. Of course, Stanley's story comes unraveled and she turns into a neurotic mess and ends up in a high speed chase with the cops.
Really, if you like your movies campy and soapy, then this in the film for you. Bette Davis gets to be nasty, mean, and selfish as well as over-the-top and neurotic while Olivia de Havilland gets to be sweet, virginal and innocent.
There really isn't much left to say about this movie, it's certainly not one of Bette Davis' best movies, but it's far from her worst. The acting is good enough to keep you entertained and the story is a big melodrama, which can be said for a lot of Bette Davis' films. If you're in the mood for something a bit trashy, then give this movies a watch.