Saturday, August 9, 2008

True Toxic Relationships: "Of Human Bondage"

Almost anyone that knows me (in "real" life) knows that I love old movies. I have a painting of Audrey Hepburn in my bedroom. I own Philadelphia Story, Maltese Falcon, and various other older movies.

One of my favorite movies is from 1934 and is called "Of Human Bondage" starring Leslie Howard and Bette Davis. It is wonderful. People think that "toxic relationships" is a new-age thing, but it's not. The movie is about mild-mannered Philip Carey (Howard) who tries his hand at painting and discovers, well...he sucks. He is told to "place his name elsewhere" where club-footed Carey goes to medical school. Along his way, he meets a waitress named Mildred Rogers (Davis) who latches onto him because she knows she can use him.

Because Carey has a club foot, he has a rather low self-esteem, and she knows she can manipulate him and walk all over him to get what she wants. Carey moves on from her and becomes a success at being a doctor. She, on the other hand, doesn't have such a good future.

The movie progresses, and Rogers is still latched onto Carey until the very end trying to get what she wants, using her charms, and manipulating him.

The classic case of a "toxic relationship," and here it black and white.

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