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All This, and Heaven Too (1942)

Bette Davis , Charles Boyer , Anatole Litvak  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bette Davis, Charles Boyer, Jeffrey Lynn, Barbara O'Neil, Harry Davenport
  • Directors: Anatole Litvak
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001707XBQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,117 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

A taut period drama tracing the upstairs-downstairs affair between a duke and his governess. When lovely and virtuous governess Henriette Deluzy comes to educate the children of the debonair Duc de Praslin, a royal subject to King Louis-Phillipe and the husband of the volatile and obsessive Duchesse de Praslin, she instantly incurs the wrath of the mistress, who is insanely jealous of anyone who comes near her estranged husband. Though she saves the duchess's little son from a near-death illness and warms herself to all the children, she is nevertheless dismissed by the vengeful duchess. Meanwhile, the attraction between the duke and Henriette continues to grow, leading to ultimate tragedy.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THOSE BETTE DAVIS EYES WILL GET YOU EVERY TIME... October 2, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Based upon Rachel Field's wonderful novel of the same name, this film is a triumph. It is a fictionalized account of a notorious true crime that shocked Paris to its core in the mid nineteenth century.
A governess, Henriette Deluzy, magnificently played by Bette Davis, returns to France, having accepted a position to teach the four children of the Duc and Duchesse De Praslin. The Duc, played with intense, restrained passion by the debonair Charles Boyer, is unhappily married to a self absorbed harpy who cares not a whit for her children, but is obsessed with her husband. Her obsession is such, that she appears to be mentally unbalanced.
When Ms. Deluzy joins the household, the Duchesse resents her children's growing fondness of her, as well as her husband's attentions to the children and the governess. Though clearly falling in love, the Duc and the governess maintain a completely platonic relationship at all times. Yet, the obsession of the Duchesse is such that she imagines the worst sort of affair is taking place right under her very nose. She is consumed by jealously and loses no time in making all in that household miserable.
Many months after Ms. Deluzy is forced to leave the household, the Duchesse is found murdered, and suspicion falls upon the Duc and the former governess. What happens to them will keep the viewer riveted to the screen. This is a beautifully acted film.
Bette Davis, the great doyenne of film and theatre, plays the governess in an uncharacteristally restrained fashion, using those famous orbs of hers to convey all the emotion that she feels but cannot express. She succeeds, brilliantly. Charles Boyer is a superb casting choice for the handsome, angst ridden Duc, saddled with a histrionic wife bent on making the entire family miserable.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bette Davis shines as in classic "forgotten" film November 25, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
I have a feeling this is one of those films that isn't as highly recognized as it should be. It was nominated for Best Picture of 1940, but in the past 60 years, very little is written or spoken about this wonderful film. It is a shame really, to think of all the great films we overlook and all the so-so films we pay too much attention to. "All This, and Heaven Too" shines as one of the greatest forgotten films of all time! Bette Davis, who is in my opinion the greatest actress in screen history, demonstrates her amazing versatility as an actress. One who is never afraid and always capable of tackling any type of role, Davis plays a vulnerable governness who is accused of killing the Duchess of France, because she is suspected of having an affair with the Duke. Her caring, compassion and loving character is portrayed vividly with an excellent supporting cast. Charles Boyer is the Duke and Barbara O'Neill gives an incredible performance as the horrendous, uncaring mother, the Duchess. "All This, and Heaven Too" is a must-see!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Headline Scandal in Old Paris November 3, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Bette Davis is a young governess brought in to educate and basically mother the children of the Duc and Duchesse de Praslin in Paris of the 1840's. The Duc and Duchesse are at war with each other, trying to keep the children out of it. Davis' calm manner and way with the children soon catches the eye of the doting father, Charles Boyer, leading to a love between the two that is never acted upon. The Duchesse, Barbara O'Neill, grows to resent the governess for having taken the affections of her husband and children from her. It leads to a series of dramatic events that tears the family apart. Davis is subdued and unusually controlled as the governess, a fine counterbalance to the fiery dramatics of the spurned O'Neill. Boyer is excellent as the tormented Duc, torn between duty and love. It's a long film, but Anatole Litvak's tight direction and the quality production keep the story moving along well. Although primarily melodrama, it's has aspects of mystery and social commentary woven into its plotline, all anchored by Davis quiet performance. It's one of her least known films from that era, but one worth viewing.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you think you're not a Bette Davis fan... April 25, 2002
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
If you think you're not a Bette Davis fan, please try this movie before deciding. I almost didn't watch this film until my grandmother recommended it to me. Bette Davis shines in this wonderfully impressive role as a governess full of love, patience and mercy. Very different from her other roles, where being in the spotlight and causing trouble were paramount.
The movie begins with her teaching at a school for girls, where, upon learning some gossip about Bette, treat her awfully. Instead of giving up or turning to harsh tactics to control her class, she arrives one morning, and announces that she wants to tell them a story. Then after hearing her story, they can each be the judge, to decide if she is fit to teach them.
The story is one that you will not walk away from without feeling like you never want it to end. It's the kind of story that will have you so involved, it's like you yourself have been transported to France, that you are the governess, living out this story as if it were real. And you gain a whole new respect for Bette's acting. This movie is absolutely by far one of her best.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Davis, comprehensive package July 5, 2008
"All This and Heaven Too", released in 1940, is a long and moving film concerning a famous murder within the French aristocracy. Made at the height of Bette Davis's career at Warner Brothers, it is most noteworthy today for the underacting of Davis, in contrast to her many much more dynamic and exciting characterisations. This is one of the films which counters Davis's mainly false reputation for overacting. Matched with Charles Boyer, an equally magnetic and powerful actor, the pair create a deeply felt relationship conveyed mainly in close up. Anatole Litvak directs meticulously and the film is a triumph of studio magic but the length tends to induce boredom today.

The print of the film is first rate and there is a comprehensive package of extras. Two trailers are included, one for the film itself and the other for "Dr Erlich's Magic Bullet", carefully promoted as another example of Warner's leadership in breaking new ground for the film was about finding a cure for syphilis. The Newsreel shows Ed Sullivan crowning Davis and Mickey Rooney as king and queen of Hollywood in 1940 and the technicolour short is a patriotic recruiting poster for the Navy - beautifully made but hard not to cringe today. There are 2 good cartoons included, particularly Daffy Duck trying to break into pictures and with lots of in jokes about the Warner's contract players.

A commentary is included too. For over 2 hours, Daniel Bubbeo chatters on (and on and on), repeating himself and promoting his book on the women of Warner Brothers. With such a long film, it would have been impossible for him not to have told us something about the film but the padding is endless and boring and his sing song delivery is very irritating.

The DVD is good value but better if purchased as part of the 3rd Davis Collection.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars All this, and Bette Davis too.
I bought this film because my wife was reading the book. I took one star away mainly because the movie only covers one, but exciting, part of the book, which is more extensive,... Read more
Published 17 days ago by Tony Franco
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love, love, love this old movie. Betty Davis at her best!!
Published 1 month ago by Gwendolyn D. Dove
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Just ok
Published 2 months ago by PBG
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-See!
Very heart-touching movie, from beginning to end. If you're a Bette Davis fan, you must see this one and add it to your classic collection.
Published 4 months ago by Saved4Real
5.0 out of 5 stars My girl
No one will ever top Bette Davis, and I mean No one. She is the greatest of all female actresses, very unique.
Published 5 months ago by Et
3.0 out of 5 stars Next time, trim the fat…
I was on kind of a Bette Davis kick a few weeks ago and decided to digest a lot of her early work, and this just happened to be one of the blind spots I eliminated. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Andrew Ellington
5.0 out of 5 stars Teaming of Bette Davis with Charles Boyer
One of the best teaming of Bette Davis with Charles Boyer. There was definitely was charisma between them plus their Charles Boyer held his own, who was great actor, against Bette... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Castalia Carleton
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly great movie
It is a truly great movie on its own. When you realize this was a true situation that actually pulled down the monarchy of Louis Philippe, it really makes you think.
Published 5 months ago by John Burkitt
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie will force you to sit and watch it!
In the days of fast action films and ginormous special effects, how much of your attention can a black and white character piece really keep? Read more
Published 6 months ago by Gary Zenker
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Romantic movies filled with sadness
I gave this a five start because it was! All the actors did a great job! Loved the chemistry between the main characters.
The wife really pushed her husbands insanity button. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Eden
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