Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review: In This Our Life (1942)

My contribution for the Dueling Divas blogathon at Backlots.

IMDb Synopsis: A young woman dumps her fiancée and runs off with her sister's husband.

I've been contemplating over the last few weeks about which film I wanted to write about for this blogathon. My original choice was The Dark Mirror in which Olivia de Havilland  plays twins, but I wasn't able to find it online. Instead, I chose John Huston's In This Our Life which pairs de Havilland alongside Bette Davis.

Davis and de Havilland made several films together, and in most of them they play rivals, as they do here. This time, the reason for their strife being that Davis runs off with de Havilland's husband (played by Dennis Morgan, who I consider to be extremely underrated). Other actors worth mentioning are George Brent as Davis' fiancee and Charles Coburn. 

The characters the actresses play in this film are the type of roles they were most commonly known for- Davis is a "bee" with an "itch", and de Havilland is convincing as a kind but strong woman who doesn't let her sister and her husband's actions destroy her life.

Overall, I wouldn't consider In This Our Life to be the greatest of either Davis or de Havilland's work (that's saved for Now, Voyager and The Snake Pit) but they both deliver solid performances and the film is definitely worth watching.

3.5/5 stars

1 comment:

  1. I have read that Bette Davis had exercised much control and input over her appearance in the role of Stanley, but her fans, at the time of this film's initial run, were much disappointed and shocked by Bette's hair and make-up choices!

    I really love "In This Our Life." Its story is layered with conflicts, loyalties and rivalries. There is even the suggestion of incest lurking about. And a sub-plot involving Parry, a black character, is worth historically noting for its positive, supportive viewpoint during the pre-Civil Rights era of the 1940's.
    And a truly fine cast overall, I must say.