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Payment on Demand (1951)

Approved | | Drama | 3 February 1951 (USA)
The film is about divorce but with flashbacks as to why divorce occurs.

Director:

Curtis Bernhardt
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bette Davis ... Joyce Ramsey
Barry Sullivan ... David Ramsey
Jane Cowl ... Emily Hedges
Kent Taylor ... Robert Townsend
Betty Lynn ... Martha Ramsey
John Sutton ... Anthony Tunliffe
Frances Dee ... Eileen Benson
Peggie Castle ... Diana Ramsey
Otto Kruger ... Ted Prescott
Walter Sande ... Swanson
Brett King Brett King ... Phil Polanski
Richard Anderson ... Jim Boland
Natalie Schafer ... Edna Blanton
Katherine Emery ... Pat Gates
Lisa Golm ... Molly
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Storyline

Well-to-do Joyce Ramsey is the dominant and domineering force in her household comprised of her lawyer husband David Ramsey, their young adult daughter Diana Ramsey and their late teenaged daughter Martha Ramsey. Everything Joyce has done in the course of her marriage to David has been in the pursuit of wealth, prestige, comfort and security for her and the family, which belies her and David's humble beginnings. Their current wealth and status began with a white lie told by Joyce to one of David's potential clients when David was still struggling as a lawyer, that lie which had the consequence of Joyce, and by association David, stepping on the back of a friend as they climbed the social ladder, Joyce never to look back after this and subsequent such actions. Joyce has no real idea of how her actions have negatively affected David's feelings for her, Joyce who is blindsided when David asks her for a divorce in no longer loving her. As such, Joyce has no idea why David wants the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

I MADE HIM ... now I'LL break him! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

3 February 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Story of a Divorce See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gwenaud Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Davis' 3 year-old daughter Barbara (Always called, "B.D.") makes her debut in the first of her 2 film roles as Joyce's daughter as a young girl. (The other was the neighbor's daughter in "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane." See more »

Goofs

Shadow on the wall to the right as it pulls back from the conference room after the divorce settlement meeting. See more »

Quotes

Joyce Ramsey: [to husband David] You tell me what it's worth to be civilized...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Stardust: The Bette Davis Story (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

A Woman's Intuition
(uncredited)
Music by Victor Young
Lyrics by Ned Washington
Sung by Bette Davis
See more »

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User Reviews

 
How much she's alienated him
7 April 2014 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

In Payment On Demand Bette Davis gets the shock of her life when husband Barry Sullivan asks her for a divorce. They seem to be the perfect couple with two daughters both about to leave the nest. They are a social success in their small town, something that Bette has striven very hard for. Possibly too hard.

If it is true that RKO held up Payment On Demand to see how All About Eve would fair, they needn't have worried. Bette under the direction of Curtis Bernhardt whom she knew and worked with in her days at Warner Brothers gave her just the right direction for a spirited performance. Before All About Eve she had left Warner Brothers under a cloud with the stinker Beyond The Forest fresh in everyone's mind.

It takes her the whole film to realize how much she's alienated her attorney husband Sullivan. They're a great social success, but he's lost friends in the process. Particularly Kent Taylor, a young attorney who Sullivan started out in practice with. You have to see how Davis in her helpful way accomplishes that.

In the supporting cast singled out should be stage great Jane Cowl as Bette's mentor and friend who has gone down a path that she foresees for Davis. Also John Sutton who plays a shipboard lounge lizard that Davis pulls back from. A timely telegram from one of her daughters helps.

Though the order they were made was reversed, Payment On Demand proved to be an excellent followup film to All About Eve. Bette Davis was definitely back on top.


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