All This and Heaven Too (1940) starring Bette Davis, Charles Boyer
Synopsis of All This and Heaven Too
All This and Heaven Too: In 1840’s France, a governess falls in love with a duke. This leads to disaster for her when the wife dies, and she becomes a suspect. In addition, the death turns out to have major political impact for the entire country.
Bette Davis and Charles Boyer star in this romantic drama about a French nobleman who falls in love with his childrens’ governess, causing a tragic scandal in 19th-century France. The wife becomes jealous of the governess, despite there being no evidence. Neither the governess, nor the husband, act out on their feeling in any way. But that doesn’t stop the wife’s jealousy:
Duchesse de Praslin: Mademoiselle Deluzy, just a moment.
Henriette Deluzy-Desportes: But, Madame, I’m supposed to… Monsieur’s downstairs…
Duchesse de Praslin: Monsieur’s downstairs, yes. I am here to make sure that you understand, this time you’ve gone too far, Mademoiselle. You are to leave this house into which you’ve brought evil and sin!
Henriette Deluzy-Desportes: Yes, Madame, there is evil in this house, but it was here before I came. ‘Twas not I who brought it.
Duchesse de Praslin: What intrigue there is beneath that mask of innocence! It was not enough for you to be a governess! No, you had to conspire to become the mistress of my household! To steal from me everything that was mine, including the affections of my children!
Henriette Deluzy-Desportes: Affections can not be stolen, Madame, they are given freely or not at all. If you’d ever been a mother to your children, if you’d earned their love instead of driving them away, nothing I could’ve done would ever make them turn away from you to…
Duchesse de Praslin: You’ve used them shamelessly to attract him! To separate him from me!
Henriette Deluzy-Desportes: Is it possible you’ve finally deceived yourself into believing…
Duchesse de Praslin: Have you not one shred of decency? How dare he entice you to come here to confess that you and he… to admit openly without delicacy that you…
Henriette Deluzy-Desportes: Why do you stop? I challenge you to accuse me of what you know is not true!
Duchesse de Praslin: I am not here to challenge you in a matter that is personable between myself and Monsieur le Duc! I am here to dismiss an unsatisfactory servant!
Eventually, the jealous wife takes her own life. But, the specter of her death — and the suspicion of murder — still keeps the two apart.
Duc de Praslin: Will it be any comfort to you to know that when you’re gone my only happiness will be in knowing I’m sharing your loneliness?
Bette Davis at the height of her phenomenal screen stardom. Charles Boyer in his only screen pairing with la Bette. A plot rich in mystery and grand emotion. A powerful period drama honored with three 1940 Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. Fans get all this in All This, and Heaven Too. From Rachel Field’s fact-based best seller, the story follows Henriette (Davis), governess at the Paris home of the Duc de Praslin (Boyer) and his jealous wife (Barbara O’Neil).
When governess and nobleman are drawn to each other, the Duchess erupts in fury and meets a bloody fate. Soon Henriette and the Duc face a world eager to believe the Duc murdered his wife. And that gentle Henriette was a willing accomplice.
Cast of characters
- Bette Davis (All About Eve; The Whales of August) … Henriette Deluzy-Desportes
- Charles Boyer (Gaslight; Conquest (1937)) … Duc de Praslin
- Jeffrey Lynn (It All Came True) … Henry Martyn Field
- Barbara O’Neil (Gone with the Wind) … Duchesse de Praslin
- Virginia Weidler (Best Foot Forward) … Louise de Praslin
- Helen Westley (Death Takes a Holiday 1934) … Madame LeMaire
- Walter Hampden (The Silver Chalice; Sabrina) … Pasquier
- Henry Daniell (The Body Snatcher; Sherlock Holmes: The Woman In Green) … Broussais
- Harry Davenport (You Can’t Take It With You) … Pierre
- George Coulouris (Murder on the Orient Express ) … Charpentier
- Montagu Love (The Mark of Zorro) … Marechal Sebastiani
- Janet Beecher (The Mark of Zorro) … Miss Haines
- June Lockhart (Sergeant York) … Isabelle de Praslin
- Ann E. Todd … Berthe de Praslin
- Richard Nichols … Reynald de Praslin
- Fritz Leiber (A Tale of Two Cities) … Abbe Gallard
- Ian Keith (Mary of Scotland 1936) … DeLangle
- Sibyl Harris … Mlle. Maillard
- Edward Fielding … Dr. Louis
- Mary Anderson (Gone with the Wind) … Rebecca Jay
- Ann Gillis (Edison the Man) … Emily Schuyler
- Peggy Stewart (Terror in the Wax Museum) … Helen Lexington
- Victor Kilian (Only Angels Have Wings) … Gendarme
- Madge Crane … Madame Gauthier
- Based on the true story of the Duc de Choiseul-Praslin, a French politician who was accused of the brutal murder of his wife Fanny Sebastiani in 1848. Praslin committed suicide via poison while under house arrest, causing the murder trial to be annulled.
- Although only hinted at in the last moment of the movie, the real-life Henriette Deluzy-Deportes eventually married Henry Martyn Field
- The scandal revolving around the case of Choiseul-Praslin’s murder of his wife was one of the contributing factors to the 1848 revolution.
- Although classified as a love story, the two leading characters (Henriette and the Duc) never kiss, nor does the Duc ever kiss his wife.