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Warner Brothers envisioned All This, And Heaven Too as epic the size of Gone with the Wind. The budget increased by a million and boasted seventeen more sets than Wind’s fifty-three.
Director Anatole Litvak said, “Bette Davis was the world’s most expensively costumed governess.”
1. The leading ladies could have been different.
Greta Garbo and Helen Hayes (the studio’s first choice) were considered for the lead, before Bette Davis landed the part. Director Anatole Litvak thought of casting his wife Miriam Hopkins as Davis’ antagonist, believing that she could play “heartless and venomous” from personal experience. Ouch.
2. It was based on a true story.
The movie was based on the novel written by Rachel Field, whose great-aunt was Henriette Deluzy-Desportes. While the director believed Henriette didn’t have a relationship with the Duc, Bette Davis read the book by the Marquis de Sade and believed they were lovers.
3. Boyer was distracted.
During the production, Charles Boyer was glued to his radio listening to news about the war. The director could tell that his lead had his mind on other things, and so Boyer ditched the distraction. However, his nervous condition remained, and he lost ten pounds.