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Dark Victory (1939)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 22 April 1939 (USA)
A young socialite is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, and must decide whether or not she'll meet her final days with dignity.

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Writers:

(screen play), (from the play by) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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...
...
...
Dr. Parsons
Cora Witherspoon ...
Carrie
Dorothy Peterson ...
Miss Wainwright
Virginia Brissac ...
Martha
Charles Richman ...
Col. Mantle
...
Dr. Carter
Leonard Mudie ...
Dr. Driscoll
Fay Helm ...
Miss Dodd
Lottie Williams ...
Lucy
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Storyline

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. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"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!"

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 April 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amarga victoria  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the filming of the emotionally-charged scene when Bette Davis's character needs to find her way upstairs to her room after the brain tumor has caused her blindness, the cast and crew and several visitors were watching as Davis grasped the banister and began to feel her way up the steps, one by one. Halfway to the top of the staircase Davis paused, stopped the scene, briskly walked back downstairs and addressed director Edmund Goulding. "Ed," Davis said, "is Max Steiner going to be composing the music score to this picture?" Goulding, surprised by the question, replied that he didn't know, and asked Davis why the matter was important enough to stop the filming of the scene. "Well, either I'm going to climb those stairs or Max Steiner is going to climb those stairs," Davis responded, "but I'll be God-DAMNED if Max Steiner and I are going to climb those stairs together!" See more »

Goofs

When the setting changes to Vermont towards the end of the film, there is snow on the ground and it is obviously winter. Yet most of the trees in front of the house still have leaves on them. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Michael O'Leary: [on the phone] Hello, there. Is this the house? I've been trying to get you.
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Connections

Featured in Midnight Cowboy (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

OH, GIVE ME TIME FOR TENDERNESS
(1939) (uncredited)
Music by Edmund Goulding
Lyrics by Elsie Janis
Sung by Vera Van
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Davis' portrayal of the lead character, Judith Traherne, was one of the most memorable in her screen history…

Judith is a wealthy Long Island society girl given to a dizzy lifestyle… Self-assured of her affluence and her faculty over men, she is unprepared for tragedy, which strikes in the form of a brain tumor… The underlying bravery and courage with which she faces this physical suffering eventually demonstrates the woman of substance that she is…

Among her friends is Ann King (Fitzgerald), her secretary, and handsome young Alex Hamm (Reagan), who directs her toward brain specialist Dr. Frederick Steele (Brent). The doctor diagnoses her illness as one which will end her life within a year… Judith falls in love with him and accepts his proposal of marriage… When she discovers that her tumor is calamitous, she rejects the doctor's proposal considering it an act with compassion…

Davis provides scene after scene with the special magic only she was able of bringing vividly…

Swept into the current of events was Bogart playing an Irish horse trainer, who fails in an attempt to make love to her, yet encourages her to enjoy her time with her true love, George Brent…

The film was remade in 1963 as "Stolen Hours" with Susan Hayward, and as a 1976 TV movie under its original title with Elizabeth Montgomery…


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