In This Our Life (1942)
Bette Davis plays a particularly nasty bitch in this one a self centered sociopath. First she dumps her fiancé (George Brent) in order to steal the husband (Dennis Morgan) of her sister played by Olivia de Havilland. De Havilland’s character and their mother (Billie Burke) constantly make excuses or apologize for their sister’s or daughter’s respectively behavior because among other things Davis’s uncle (Charles Coburn) has spoiled her rotten. Hattie McDaniel plays the family maid Ernest Anderson her son who’s given an opportunity to work that few of his race at the time were by de Havilland’s character which figures later in the plot. Lee Patrick also appears.
This is truly a wicked pleasure and there’s more if you want to read in lieu of just watching this film in which Davis’s character goes from evil to insane! After tiring of her forgiving sister’s ex-husband Morgan she drives him (her new husband) crazy with her selfish behavior et al causing him to drink and to reach the brink of suicide. Meanwhile de Havilland and Davis’s ex-fiancé Brent become closer. SPOILER – Davis kills someone in an automobile accident and blames Anderson. Eventually feeling trapped she runs to her “sugar daddy” uncle Coburn to “come clean”. He’s just found out he’s got 6 months to live and she wonders (incredibly) how that could possibly take precedence over him helping her!
Directed by John Huston and based on the Ellen Glasgow novel; Howard Koch (Casablanca (1942)) wrote the screenplay.