Wednesday, February 23, 2011
All This and Heaven Too (1940).
All This, and Heaven Too (1940). Drama film directed by Anatole Litvak. The screenplay was adapted by Casey Robinson from the novel by Rachel Field. The music was by Max Steiner and the cinematography by Ernie Haller. Cast: Bette Davis and Charles Boyer with Barbara O'Neil, Jeffrey Lynn, Virginia Weidler, Helen Westley, Walter Hampden, Henry Daniell, Harry Davenport, George Coulouris, Montagu Love, Janet Beecher and June Lockhart. Rachel Field's novel is based on actual people and events.
While teaching at a New York girls' school, a teacher shares her romantic story with her students on how she became known as "Mademoiselle D ".
Her story begins as Henriette Deluzy-Desportes, voyages from England to France to work as governess for the family of, Duc de Praslin. She quickly learns of the Duchess's jealous love that she has for her husband, the Duc. Feeling bad for the children, who have emotionally abused and neglected, Henriette wants to give them the love that they have never known. It soon becomes obvious that the Duc, does not love his wife and He and Henriette become close friends. When this friendship causes gossip, the Duc stops seeing Henriette and goes back to his jealous wife.
He visits Henriette and the children at his family estate in Melan. After a few days, the Duchess and her father, the Marechal Sabastiani, arrive and dismiss Henriette with the promise of a letter of reference. Of coarse the letter is never sent and Henriette, unable to find a job lives in poverty. As the love between the duke and Henriette continues to grow, it leads to a tragic ending.
I though Bette Davis and Charles Boyer had wonderful on screen chemistry, in their only film together. Barbara O'Neil, who the year before had played Scarlett O'Hara's mother in "Gone With The Wind", gives an amazing performance as the jealous wife.
Warner Bros. erected 67 sets for this movie, a record at the time.
Bette Davis' 37 costumes cost $1,000 each.
Reportedly, Bette Davis had an affair with director Anatole Litvak while he was still married to Miriam Hopkins. This led to a life-long mutual hatred between the two actresses and added to their on-screen chemistry in their two films together, The Old Maid (1939) and Old Acquaintance (1943).
Contrary to his screen image, 'Charles Boyer' was short, paunchy and had a receding hairline. When Bette Davis first saw him, he was out of costume, so she did not recognize him and tried to have him removed from the set.
The Scandal revolving around the case of Choiseul-Praslin's murder of his wife was one of the contributing factors to the 1848 Revolution.
In the film, the Duc and Duchess have four children, while the real Duc de Choiseul-Praslin and Duchess had ten children together.
Henriette Deluzy-Deportes is an ancestor of Rachel Field, the author of the book the movie is based on.
Barbara O'Neil was extremely unhappy with how her character was portrayed on screen; she felt that the Duchess should be less glamorous and much older looking so that it would make more sense that her character would have more reason to be jealous of the much younger Henriette.
The budget for this film was ridiculously high for a Warner Brothers production; Warner Brothers was famed for releasing films with low production costs. Jack Warner wanted a film that would be similar to "Gone with the Wind" and spared no expense in trying to achieve his goal.
The murder of the Duchess de Praslin contributed to the outbreak of the French revolution.
A snow globe features in the movie. Snow globes are thought to have originated in France in the early 1800s and contained many tiny chips of fine porcelain.
Was June Lockhart's second film, and first credited role. Out of the four children starring in the movie, she was the only one to continue acting in to adulthood.
Reportedly it took forty minutes to dress Bette Davis each day in her historically accurate costumes with several layers of under garments and corsets to help her maintain the correct posture and movement
There are over 150 different paintings featuring in the movie. Set building and set decoration took nearly 70% of the film budget.