Popular and beautiful Fanny Trellis is forced into a loveless marriage with an older man, Jewish banker Job Skeffington, in order to save her beloved brother Trippy from an embezzlement charge, and predictable complications result.
A piano teacher believes that her fiancé was killed on the battlefield. When he miraculously returns, they decide to marry, but are threatened by a wealthy, egotistical composer the piano teacher started dating on the rebound after she became convinced her love had died.
When lovely and virtuous governess Henriette Deluzy comes to educate the children of the debonair Duc de Praslin, a royal subject to King Louis-Philippe and the husband of the volatile and obsessive Duchesse de Praslin, she instantly incurs the wrath of her 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, eventually leading to tragedy.Written by
In the film, the Duc and Duchesse have four children, while the real Duc de Choiseul-Praslin and Duchesse had ten children together. See more »
The Duchess of Praslin is seen licking envelopes in which she has placed letters to her husband, the Duc de Praslin. This film is set in the 1840s; gummed envelopes would not be invented for another 100 years. Correspondence in the 1840s would not be placed in a #10 business envelope anyway as seen in the film. The letters would be be placed in another sheet of paper and then sealed over with a wax seal or simply folded over and sealed with a wax seal, sometimes a ribbon set in the wax as well. See more »
Duc de Praslin:
Will it be any comfort to you to know that when your gone my only happiness will be in knowing I'm sharing your loneliness?
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Bette Davis as a rule did not do period pictures. So while All This And Heaven Too is something of an odd fish among her body of work, it doesn't mean it's not good and Bette is more than up to the task. She plays a children's governess who gets herself all caught up in a scandal involving her employer, a Duke played by Charles Boyer.
The film is based on a true story involving the death of the Duke's wife in this played in an Academy Award nominated performance for Best Supporting Actress by Barbara O'Neil. Bette plays a young woman engaged as a children's governess by a couple whose marriage is already coming apart when she goes to work there. Bette wins the children's affection and that of Boyer even though it is unspoken throughout most of the film, but the undying hatred of O'Neil.
They've got a strange arrangement, the money is all on Barbara's side and her imperious father Montagu Love controls the purse strings. And these are nobility and there are different rules for them. Note after O'Neil dies and Boyer and Davis are arrested how differently as nobility and commoner they are treated.
Interestingly enough another film made around the same time showed the exact same situation. Boyer can only be tried by a jury of HIS peers, meaning the nobility. In The Earl Of Chicago when Robert Montgomery kills Edward Arnold he reserves the right to be tried by the House of Lords in that film.
Whether Boyer was guilty and how complicit Davis actually was in the film and in real life is left up in the air. Remember this was a film made under the infamous Code and a film made now on the same story, might be a little more realistic.
But when you went to a Charles Boyer film and this is his film more than Bette's you wanted and expected romance. Boyer is indeed a tortured and romantic soul, which is what his public paid to see.
All This And Heaven Too is a fine romantic film from a director of same, Anatole Litvak. Besides O'Neil's nomination for Best Supporting Actress which she lost to Jane Darwell for The Grapes Of Wrath that year, it was up for Best Picture and for Best Black and White Cinematography. It's dated because of the Code restrictions, but still wonderful entertainment.
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