All This, and Heaven Too is a 1940 American drama film made by Warner Bros.-First National Pictures, produced and directed by Anatole Litvak with Hal B. Wallis as executive producer. The screenplay was adapted by Casey Robinson from the novel by Rachel Field. The music was by Max Steiner and the cinematography by Ernie Haller.
The film stars Bette Davis and Charles Boyer with Barbara O'Neil, Jeffrey Lynn, Virginia Weidler, Helen Westley, Walter Hampden, Henry Daniell, Harry Davenport, George Coulouris, Montagu Love, Janet Beecher and June Lockhart.
Rachel Field's novel is based on the true story of Field's great-aunt, Henriette Deluzy Desportes, a French governess who fell in love with the Duc de Praslin, her employer. When Praslin's wife, the Duchesse, was murdered, Henriette was implicated. It was a real-life scandal that brought down France's King Louis-Philippe in 1847.
Mademoiselle Henriette Deluzy-Desportes (Bette Davis), a French woman, starts teaching at an American girls school. She is confronted by the tales and gossip about her that circulate among her pupils and, thus provoked, she decides to tell them her life story.
Mademoiselle Deluzy-Desportes is governess to the four children of the Duc de Praslin (Charles Boyer) and the Duchesse de Praslin (Barbara O'Neil) in Paris during the last years of the Orleans monarchy. As a result of the Duchesse's constantly erratic and temperamental behavior, all that remains is an unhappy marriage, but the Duc remains with his wife for sake of their children.
Through her warmth and kindness the governess wins the love and affection of the children and their father, but also the jealousy and hatred of their mother. She is forced to leave and the Duchess refuses to give her a letter of recommendation to future employers. The Duc confronts his wife and she invents alternate letters taking opposite attitudes, which in fact she has not written and does not intend to write. Her account enrages him and leads to her murder.
The Duc de Praslin is in a privileged position; as a peer his case can only be heard by other nobles. He refuses to confess his guilt or openly to admit his love for Henriette, which is a way to protect her as she is under suspicion of complicity in the murder. Ultimately the Duc takes poison to prevent himself confessing the truth to the authorities; however, he lives long enough to reveal it to another of his servants, Pierre (Harry Davenport), a kindly old man who had early warned the governess to escape the de Praslin household. She is released by the authorities.
Henriette's French class is moved by her account. She had been recommended for the teaching position "in the land of the free" by an American minister, Henry Field (Jeffrey Lynn), to whom she had expressed a loss of faith while in prison. He proposes marriage and Henriette accepts.
- Bette Davis as Mlle. Henriette Deluzy-Desportes
- Charles Boyer as Charles Laure Hugues ThÃ©obald, Duc de Choiseul-Praslin
- Barbara O'Neil as Frances Altarice Rosalba SÃ©bastiani, Duchesse de Choiseul-Praslin
- June Lockhart as Isabelle de Choiseul-Praslin
- Virginia Weidler as Louise de Choiseul-Praslin
- Ann E. Todd as Berthe de Choiseul-Praslin
- Richard Nichols as Reynald de Choiseul-Praslin
- Jeffrey Lynn as Reverend Henry Martyn Field
- Sybil Harris as Mlle. Hortense Maillard, the Duchess's attendant
- George Coulouris as Charpentier, the valet
- Harry Davenport as Pierre, the grounds keeper
- Montagu Love as Marshal Horace FranÃ§ois Bastien SÃ©bastiani de la Porta
- Helen Westley as Mme. LeMaire
- Henry Daniell as Broussais
- Walter Hampden as Pasquier
- Ann Gillis as Emily Schuyler
- Marilyn Knowlden as Marianna Van Horn
Awards and nominations
A successful but expensive costume drama, it was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Picture; O'Neil was nominated for Best Supporting Actress; and Ernest Haller for Best Cinematography.
- All This, and Heaven Too at the Internet Movie Database
- All This, and Heaven Too at AllMovie
- All This, and Heaven Too at the TCM Movie Database
- All This, and Heaven Too at the American Film Institute Catalog