7.6/10
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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 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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...
...
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Dr. Parsons
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Carrie
...
Miss Wainwright
Virginia Brissac ...
Martha
Charles Richman ...
Col. Mantle
...
Dr. Carter
...
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 George Brent and Henry Travers are discussing Judith's prognosis based on her "pathological reports"; Henry Travers describes the blindness she will suffer just before death as amblyopia. Amblyopia is the loss or lack of development of central vision in one eye that is unrelated to any eye health problem and is not correctable with glasses. It usually develops before the age of six and is not related to cancer. It is sometimes thought to be "lazy eye" but that is actually more correctly called strabismus. 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

Referenced in Relax... It's Just Sex (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Vienna Blood
(1873) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played at the restaurant
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"Dark Victory" a very moving movie with a great message.
29 December 1998 | by See all my reviews

This movie is great. It lets you see how the great actress "Bette Davis" can really act with this performance. At first she is strong and forthright (the way we all remember her) but, then when she faces death turns very compassionate for others. She doesn't dwell on anything she lives every moment as if it was her last. You will see Humphrey Bogart in a supporting role as a horse trainer. Bette plays a 23 yr. old whose father died and mother lives far away and is never around. She lives it up with huge parties and going everywhere. She doesn't worry about anything and let's things wait to happen in years ahead. That all changes with a blink when she enjoys everything and does things she was putting to the side like love. With all that she experiences things she wishes she only had done before. The bottom line - she falls in love and experiences the real meaning of happiness to simply enjoy life. You'll love her performance and the others in the cast too because they all have a place there not just there like in other films for no reason. "Dark Victory" makes all of us want to triumph over life and this film.


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