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Dark Victory 1939

  • 7.3
    TVGLU rating 7.3/10 71 votes
  • 7.2/10
    TMDB rating
  • 7.6/10
    IMDB rating
  • Approved
    Qualification
  • 237
    visits
    Released
    104 min
    Usa,

    Facts

  • Dark Victory
  • English
  • $
  • $
  • Featured crew

  • Edmund Goulding,
  • Casey Robinson, George Emerson Brewer Jr.
  • Warner Bros,,
  • Tagline : I've Crammed EVERY MINUTE SO FULL of waste. And now there's so little time. I don't know what to do. I'm afraid!

    Awards : Nominated for 3 Oscars.Another 2 wins & 1 nomination.

Overview

Judith Traherne is at the height of young society when Dr. Frederick Steele diagnoses a brain tumor. After surgery she falls in love with Steele. The doctor tells her secretary that the tumor will come back and eventually kill her. Learning this, Judith becomes manic and depressive. Her horse trainer Michael, who loves her, tells her to get as much out of life as she can. She marries Steele who intends to find a cure for her illness. As he goes off to a conference in New York failing eyesight indicates to Judith that she is dying.
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Plot summary

Judith Traherne is at the height of young society when Dr. Frederick Steele diagnoses a brain tumor. After surgery she falls in love with Steele. The doctor tells her secretary that the tumor will come back and eventually kill her. Learning this, Judith becomes manic and depressive. Her horse trainer Michael, who loves her, tells her to get as much out of life as she can. She marries Steele who intends to find a cure for her illness. As he goes off to a conference in New York failing eyesight indicates to Judith that she is dying.
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Review

Bette Davis always cited this as her favourite role: it is probably on a par with Margo Channing in ALL ABOUT EVE as the part which fans identify with as definitive Davis. Naturally, this 1939 film will look a little musty, corny and cliched to modern day viewers, but the poignant sincerity in which Davis instilled via her magnificent performance still has the ability to leave the viewer in helpless tears: you can be dumbfounded to think that something so obviously aimed at your tear ducts could succeed to induce the flow so completely and spontaneously! The role is based upon a 1934 play in which Tallulah Bankhead flopped. The character of Ann King was written especially for the film by director Edmund Goulding: as a kind of Greek Chorus so Judith wouldn't have to complain about the inevitable. Geraldine Fitzgerald, in her American film debut, does a wondrous job with the part of Ann: a beautifully etched supporting performance. As Michael O'Leary, Humphrey Bogart is unfortunately inept in the Irish brogue department (why couldn't they have simply cut out the accent?) and George Brent is adequately wooden as Dr. Frederick Steele whom Judy marries. Davis slams through a gooey collection of cliches in her nerviest style during the early segments but her metamorphasis into a vibrantly humbled married woman is quite a striking contrast to the selfishly brazen spoiled heiress: truly a multi-faceted performance. Ronald Reagan gets to play Alec, one of Judy's drunken swains, and Cora Witherspoon is memorable as the snotty Carrie. The last twenty minutes of the film are expertly crafted and timelessly tear-jerking: the movie sold more kleenex than any other of its day.
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Bette Davis

Judith Traherne

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George Brent

Dr. Frederick Steele

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Humphrey Bogart

Michael O'Leary

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Geraldine Fitzgerald

Ann King

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Ronald Reagan

Alec

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Henry Travers

Dr. Parsons

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Cora Witherspoon

Carrie

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Dorothy Peterson

Miss Wainwright

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Virginia Brissac

Martha

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Charles Richman

Colonel Mantle

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Herbert Rawlinson

Dr. Carter

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Leonard Mudie

Dr. Driscoll

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Fay Helm

Miss Dodd

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Lottie Williams

Lucy

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Black Ace

Judith's Horse

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Marian Alden

Judith's Friend

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Wilda Bennett

Judith's Friend

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Diane Bernard

Lucy - a Servant

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Richard Bond

Judith's Friend

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Sidney Bracey

Bartender

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Nat Carr

Doctor

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Glen Cavender

Headwaiter

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Mary Currier

Nightclub Singer

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Frank Darien

Anxious Little Man

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Edgar Edwards

Trainer

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Paulette Evans

Judith's Friend

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Jack A. Goodrich

Doctor

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Eddie Graham

Doctor

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John Harron

George - Man Taking Judith's Coat

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Leyland Hodgson

Judith's Friend

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Stuart Holmes

Doctor

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Alexander Leftwich

Specialist #2

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Frank Mayo

Judith's Friend

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Will Morgan

Doctor

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Jack Mower

Veterinarian

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David Newell

Judith's Friend

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Wedgwood Nowell

Doctor

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Ila Rhodes

Secretary

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John Ridgely

Man Making Crack About Judith

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Speirs Ruskell

Henry Curtiss - Dr. Steele's Assistant

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Cliff Saum

Moving Man

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Jeffrey Sayre

Doctor

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Amzie Strickland

Judith's Friend

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Rosella Towne

Girl in Box

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William Worthington

Specialist #1

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Maris Wrixon

Judith's Friend

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