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Of Human Bondage [VHS] (1964)

 NR |  VHS Tape
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: MGM (Warner)
  • VHS Release Date: September 1, 1998
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6301973135
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,628 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Searing Portrait of Obsession November 21, 2003
By C. Cook
Format:VHS Tape
Yes, this novel was adapted into an earlier Bette Davis version. Yes, that version has a loyal following. But this film deserves a fair shake.
On its own terms, it is a realistic, gritty portrait of obsession. Laurence Harvey is always believable and Kim Novak is absolutely frightening in her role. She IS Mildred to the core. Kim's usual vulnerability does shine through as always, but that only deepens the poignancy of this self-destructive character who doesn't understand how to love or be loved. She is authentic in her manners and accent for the period, making one wish that for once this lovely and talented actress would get the credit she deserves. "Of Human Bondage" deserves a dvd release.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dvd please June 30, 2003
By LHOMME
Format:VHS Tape
I think a dvd version of this film should be made
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love This Version! November 3, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
I just finished watching this and loved it! I got it because I really like Laurence Harvey and I remember how much I enjoyed the book when I read it years ago. I felt this version was perfect (missing only more emphasis on Philip's early years-if you've read the book) and the most perfect aspect was Kim Novak. I have never been a Kim Novak fan, infact I've always kind of disliked her but she IS Mildred. I felt she was totally believable in the role without going over-the-top which would be easy to do. I even forgot she was Kim Novak-she looks so different from her other more popular roles.

Great movie-well worth it!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She Loves Him As Much As She Can August 21, 1999
By SCSILR
Format:VHS Tape
Kim Novak superbly portrays S. Maugham's Mildred Rogers in OF HUMAN BONDAGE. This is the absolute best screen adaption of the novel. Novak shines in this movie. See how the character of Mildred completely changes from beginning to end. Fans of Kim will delight in seeing this so very beautiful a talented actress in a story of how a cold social climbing waitress toys with the obsessive affections of a young medical student, played by Laurence Harvey.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oscar-worthy Performance by Novak October 6, 2010
Format:VHS Tape
In this, the third film version of Somerset Maugham's masterpiece, a colleague hovering over a corpse in medical school turns to Philip (played by Laurence Harvey) and warns him: If you get bloody, clean yourself up quickly. Good advice for a future doctor, and also for a protagonist with a feeling of inadequacy (club foot) and a penchant for throwing himself time and again at a lover who's also insecure (social status) and with a penchant for tearing him down.

Philip and Mildred's respective insecurity manifests itself in opposite ways. While Philip seeks to take hold of Mildred and adjust her as he would the body of a patient (note his words to her in front of the skeleton that graces his apartment), Mildred careens from client to client seeking temporary adulation, a quick fix for her unease in dealing with men. (Her job as a waitress also allows for a bump-and-run approach to relationships.) Philip tries to get "under her skin" as he examines what makes her tick; Mildred merely seeks the company of an otherwise handsome "gentleman" whose physical deficiency is not readily apparent. In the end, as the two head obsessively to the emotional precipice, only one proves capable of self-control. Belatedly, Philip cleans himself up, and in the knick of time, in a manner that allows him to slowly transition to the next phase of his life with greater self-respect and understanding, if not unrestrained passion.

This third version of Maugham's classic focuses squarely on the personalities of the main characters, locking out many of the supporting personalities in the novel, and all the better to allow Novak the latitude to display the full range of her art.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Cleo
Format:VHS Tape
I knew Lawrence Harvey was delicious but Butterfield 8 kind of stained my memory of him. I caught Of Human Bondage on the Turner Classic Movie channel to give him another chance although I hated the Bette Davis version. This is an AWESOME movie about narcissistic personality disorder, quid quo pro sexual relationships, class hatred and orphan loneliness enduring into adulthood and embarassment about one's body and lack of physical pristineness affecting one's sense of desirability which will diminish your expectations. Maybe Leslie Howard looks personify better the distressed mindset of the clubfooted, unhappy, not really financially secure main character BUT Lawrence Harvey OWNS his screentime. If I was a studio head of Olde Hollywoode at the time, I would have screamed, "Get me more Lithuanians PRONTO!" And Lawrence Harvey's attractiveness makes the adult themes more apparent - it's not just a fool in love - it's about class differences, diminished expectations, contempt on his part. This is a wonderful movie on its own even if you haven't read the easy and deep book.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I only saw it once in 1964; I loved it! November 21, 1998
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I had just finished reading Maugham's OF HUMAN BONDAGE when the film was released in 1964. I could never fathom the young doctor's (Phillip) obsession for this common woman (Mildred).....but "the heart has its reasons.....which our Reason cannot understand". The young doctor was played very well, I think, by Laurence Harvey and the waitress was Kim Novak......Okay, maybe it was a little overacted in places, but I still give the performances high marks. One feels the pain and anguish watching Harvey's character so in love that he can't see.....Mildred went through him "like the worst kind of disease"......If you've ever loved someone until you thought you would go mad, someone who devoured you "like the worst kind of disease," see this version of OF HUMAN BONDAGE....and read the book as well.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars My thoughts .....
the movie is not new .... many years since it was made. Kim Novak is just beautiful and played the female lead perfectly. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Glamour by Jim
5.0 out of 5 stars Kim Novak is a very Underrated actress
I love Kims interpretation of Mildred far better than Bette Davis' overacting style that fit back in the silent movie era but is way overdone now. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Dogmom3
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Version
Without question. Kim Novak is superb, Laurence Harvey is intense, and the supporting cast all follow suit. Read more
Published 9 months ago by George Hook
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Interpretation of Somerset Maugham's Signature Work
"Of Human Bondage" is a difficult book and movie largely because Maugham was a difficult person and this work was largely autobiographical. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Of Human Bondage
I saw this movie when it first came out so many years ago. Ms. Novak and Mr Harvey are two of my favorite actors. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Cecil Regman
5.0 out of 5 stars When Lawrence Harvey must've cursed his choice of professions. And...
Fullsome reviews have done justice to this powerful film. To avoid duplication, I'll mention just a few details. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Ronald Haak
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you!!!
Got the product quickly and it was a gift for my best friend who was ecstatic to that I was able to find this version for her!
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!
Published 19 months ago by her?
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be on DVD
This movie should have been considered for DVD release by now...
It's almost a crime that it hasn't... Read more
Published on October 1, 2010 by Timelord
2.0 out of 5 stars Just terrible- truly awful
I'm probably going to pile up another heap of unhelpful votes by criticizing this moldy oldie, but this was one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Read more
Published on April 2, 2008 by J. Michael
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