7.6/10
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80 user 48 critic

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:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Dr. Parsons
...
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

Warner Brothers producer Hal B. Wallis bought the property for Miriam Hopkins, but the lead role went to Bette Davis. 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

Referenced in Archer: Placebo Effect (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Vienna Blood
(1873) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played at the restaurant
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Love or hate her, this film shows why Bette was a star...
5 November 1999 | by (Portland, Oregon) – See all my reviews

By today's standards, "Dark Victory" might seem cliched. Of course, that could be because it was so greatly copied! Here is Bette Davis, a star in the fullness of her talent and ability. Bette simply shines; she owns this film from first frame to last. Ably supported by a wonderful cast (including a somewhat mis-matched Humphrey Bogart as an Irish-brogued horse trainer), it is still difficult to watch the film and not be constantly anticipating Bette's appearance in any scene she isn't in. The ending, even in those days, might have turned out either wimpy or waspish. In Bette's hands, it is neither. It works in a way that literally drains one of emotions. I might also add that, while revealing only a bare back, Bette shows more sensuality than a dozen of today's more "open" actresses.

There is an old disparaging adage about "showing the full gamut from a to b," in this movie Bette not only shows A to Z, but some letters that haven't been invented yet.

Despite my gushing over Ms. Davis, the film is solid in all departments. If you wish to experience when melodrama is great movie-making, see this film.


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