Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 8, No. 7. June 13, 1945
In This Our Life — * * * Drama
In This Our Life
* * * Drama
In this our Life is just one hell of a film. In it Bette Davis, the bad sister, and Olivia de Havilland, the good one, have a terrible time amid sordid surroundings and doings. Everybody's very poor, see, but Davis has her eye on Money, but there's a young chap, and also her sister's husband, and she goes away, and then there's an accident, and the family is divided against her, but her sister forgives practically everything, and—oh well, it's all very grim and everyone suffers all the time.
There's something gone wrong with the film that needn't have. I think Bette Davis has said, I haven't Acted for a long time, here goes, and has turned on the bitchiest performance of her somewhat bitch-studded career. Dash it, we know she can act. There's no need to take on like this. The real trouble is that none of the characters seem at all like human beings. They are too bad, too shiftless to be true. Yet, in a way, I suppose the acting is good. One certainly can't say that Davis gives a bad performance. But everybody tries too hard. The characters themselves are so very squalid as to appear grotesque. The photography is good, and the sets excellent.
You'd better see this film, but be prepared to ask yourself whether life is really Worth living. The only consoling factor is that Ellen Glasgow's book hasn't been followed faithfully. It is quite the grimiest and most dreary little yarn I've laid eyes on, and everybody dies.