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In This Our Life [DVD]


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In This Our Life [DVD] + The Old Maid
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Product Details

  • Actors: Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, George Brent, Dennis Morgan, Charles Coburn
  • Directors: John Huston
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00170DEAA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,816 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Intriguing Drama starring Bette Davis

Customer Reviews

Bette Davis was at her best in this role.
M. A. Hughes
Surprisingly enough for a film made in this era, the Black characters areportrayed as some of the very few morally grounded, decent, rational people in the whole mess.
C. Norris
There's really nothing else you need to know to enjoy this movie.
Hernando DeSoto

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 6, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This is a story about two sisters, Stanley and Roy, who live with their invalid mother, Lavinia, and their downtrodden father, Asa Timberlake. Roy is married, and her hunky husband, Peter Kingsmill, a surgeon, lives with his wife and in laws, as well. Theirs is an unenviable position. Stanley is dating an attorney, Craig Fleming, and they are expected to marry. Stanley's biggest admirer is her maternal uncle, who never hesitates to give her lavish gifts and is very touchie feelie with her.
Stanley and Roy are total opposites. Stanley is spoiled, self absorbed, and totally amoral. She wants what she wants, when she wants it. Roy is sincere, low key, and just plain generous of spirit, an all around good, thoughtful person. Stanley sets her sights on Roy's hunky husband and before you know it, she and Peter have run off together, leaving the family to pick up the pieces. Her suitor, Craig, becomes totally despondent over being dumped by Stanley.
Roy divorces Peter. Peter marries Stanley. Before you know it, Stanley, being Stanley, has driven Peter to drink, In the meantime, back home, Roy and Craig have hit it off and start dating, bringing Craig back from the edge of despair. They are a well suited pair, who ultimately decide to marry. No sooner do they come to this decision, than they hear that Peter has died by his own hand. Stanley returns to the bosom of her family and sets her sights back on Craig, except that Craig will have none of it.
After trying to drink her sorrows away one night, Stanley gets behind the wheel of a car. While driving, she runs over a mother and child. When the police arrive on her doorstep, instead of owning up to the crime, she blames Parry, the intelligent, hardworking, and totally innocent son of the family's African-American maid.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By James L. on May 10, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
A woman steals her sister's husband, drives him to his ruin, divides her family, and nearly destroys the life of a young man in a film directed surprisingly by John Huston. Bette Davis, at her most unsubtle, is the selfish Stanley, a woman bent on having fun and getting what she wants at the expense of all around her. Olivia de Havilland is her level-headed sister Roy, who loses the most at the hands of her sister. George Brent and Dennis Morgan are the men in their lives, although neither actor makes a particularly strong impression. The supporting cast of welcome character actors like Charles Coburn, Billie Burke, Lee Patrick, and Hattie McDaniel contribute their usual expert performances. But it's hard to get noticed in a film where Davis cuts loose even more than usual, her famous eyes afire as she plays the bad girl to the hilt and then some, in an endless state of agitation and drama. However, give credit to de Havilland, underplaying her character and keeping the film rooted, matching her co-star with a strong performance that displays her skill, especially when she is simply reacting to her sister's devious nature. The film is very melodramatic, and some of the dialogue is pretty stilted. But it's never boring. What's also fascinating is the portrayal of the family's maid's son, a young black man helped by de Havilland who wants to be a lawyer. He's presented as intelligent, ambitious, and very decent. He must have been one of the first positive black characters to be featured in a major film and it's great to see it. Equally fascinating is the almost incestuous relationship between Davis and her uncle Coburn. Not much is done to hide the sexual overtones in Coburn's doting. In This Our Life is a memorable melodrama aided by the performances of its lead actresses and its unusual themes.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 17, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I know most people don't even know this movie exists, but to me its one of the oldies but goodies and I love it. I think it is way ahead of its time as it touches on many topics still relevant today - drunk driving, incest and racism. Maybe that's why audiences stayed away! In any event, Bette was never so hateful! You will love this movie!
P.S. Its not a chick flick either!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Candace Scott on July 22, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
If you love either Bette Davis or Olivia de Havilland, then you will enjoy this movie. Bette is absolutely wicked and at her bitchy best as the scheming sister of sweet deHavilland. Bette tends to over-act in a few scenes, Olivia remains subtle and masterful, as always. Their scenes together are particularly delicious and as much as I adore Bette, it's obvious that deHavilland steals the show here.
Pay close attention to the blatant sexual overtones in Bette's relationship with Uncle Charles Coburn (brilliant, as usual). There are some real campy elements to this movie, most of them unintentional but a welcome relief for a modern-day viewer.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 13, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
"In This Our Life," a 1942 film directed by John Huston, stars Bette Davis as Stanley Timberlake, anothing one of her patented bad girl characters. Selfish and spoiled, Stanley is supposed to marry successful attorney Craig Fleming (George Brent). Instead, she runs off with her brother-in-law, Peter Kingsmill (Dennis Morgan), a young surgeon. Stanley's heartbroken sister, Roy (Olivia de Haviland), divorces Peter so that he can marry her sister, at which point Roy and Craig fall in love. Realizing he has made a very big mistake, Peter commits suicide. Stanley returns home to her forgiving family and once she sees what is going she decides to win Craig back. Furious when Craig stands her up for a date, Stanley speeds away from the roadhouse and runs down a woman and child, killing the child. Witnesses identify her car, but Stanley insists she was home and had given the car to the cook's son Parry (Ernest Anderson), to wash. The boy is arrested by his mother (Hattie McDaniel), swears the boy was home with her that night. Roy believes her and gets Craig to defend Parry. Craig confronts Stanley with evidence of her guilt, but she refuses to confess. She turns to her Uncle William (Charles Coburn) for help, and he agrees, but for a price even Stanley refuses to pay.
Although it sounds like a plot from a Tennessee Williams play, "In This Our Life" is based on the novel by Ellen Glasgow. Obviously, Stanley and Roy's father, Asa (Frank Craven), wanted boys, which might have something to do with why his wife Lavinia (Billie Burke), a bedridden neurotic, is an emasculating harpy. But since this is fiction one daughter turns out to be an angel while the other takes the low road in life.
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