IMDb > Dark Victory (1939)
Dark Victory
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Dark Victory (1939) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   6,428 votes »
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Up 110% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Casey Robinson (screen play)
George Emerson Brewer Jr. (from the play by) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Dark Victory on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 April 1939 (USA) See more »
Genre:
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!"
Plot:
A young socialite is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour, and must decide whether she'll meet her final days with dignity. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Supreme tear-jerker is skillfully handled... See more (71 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Bette Davis ... Judith Traherne
George Brent ... Dr. Frederick Steele

Humphrey Bogart ... Michael O'Leary

Geraldine Fitzgerald ... Ann King

Ronald Reagan ... Alec

Henry Travers ... Dr. Parsons
Cora Witherspoon ... Carrie
Dorothy Peterson ... Miss Wainwright
Virginia Brissac ... Martha
Charles Richman ... Colonel Mantle
Herbert Rawlinson ... Dr. Carter
Leonard Mudie ... Dr. Driscoll
Fay Helm ... Miss Dodd
Lottie Williams ... Lucy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Black Ace ... Judith's Horse (uncredited)
Marian Alden ... Judith's Friend (uncredited)
Wilda Bennett ... Judith's Friend (uncredited)
Diane Bernard ... Lucy - a Servant (uncredited)
Richard Bond ... Judith's Friend (uncredited)
Sidney Bracey ... Bartender (uncredited)
Nat Carr ... Doctor (uncredited)
Glen Cavender ... Headwaiter (uncredited)
Mary Currier ... Nightclub Singer (uncredited)
Frank Darien ... Anxious Little Man (uncredited)
Edgar Edwards ... Trainer (uncredited)
Paulette Evans ... Judith's Friend (uncredited)
Jack A. Goodrich ... Doctor (uncredited)
Eddie Graham ... Doctor (uncredited)
John Harron ... George - Man Taking Judith's Coat (uncredited)
Leyland Hodgson ... Judith's Friend (uncredited)
Stuart Holmes ... Doctor (uncredited)
Alexander Leftwich ... Specialist #2 (uncredited)
Frank Mayo ... Judith's Friend (uncredited)
Will Morgan ... Doctor (uncredited)
Jack Mower ... Veterinarian (uncredited)
David Newell ... Judith's Friend (uncredited)
Wedgwood Nowell ... Doctor (uncredited)
Ila Rhodes ... Secretary (uncredited)
John Ridgely ... Man Making Crack About Judith (uncredited)
Speirs Ruskell ... Henry Curtiss - Dr. Steele's Assistant (uncredited)
Cliff Saum ... Moving Man (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre ... Doctor (uncredited)
Amzie Strickland ... Judith's Friend (uncredited)
Rosella Towne ... Girl in Box (uncredited)
William Worthington ... Specialist #1 (uncredited)
Maris Wrixon ... Judith's Friend (uncredited)

Directed by
Edmund Goulding 
 
Writing credits
Casey Robinson (screen play)

George Emerson Brewer Jr. (from the play by) and
Bertram Bloch (from the play by)

Produced by
David Lewis .... associate producer
Hal B. Wallis .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Max Steiner 
 
Cinematography by
Ernest Haller (photography) (as Ernie Haller)
 
Film Editing by
William Holmes (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Robert M. Haas  (as Robert Haas)
 
Costume Design by
Orry-Kelly (gowns)
 
Production Management
Jack L. Warner .... in charge of production
Robert Ross .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frank Heath .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Robert B. Lee .... sound
 
Stunts
Audrey Scott .... riding double: Bette Davis (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Leo F. Forbstein .... musical director
Hugo Friedhofer .... orchestral arrangements by
Howard Jackson .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Max Steiner .... conductor (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Irving Rapper .... dialogue director (uncredited)
Leo Morton Schulman .... technical advisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production Companies
  • Warner Bros. (presents) (as Warner Bros. Pictures Inc.) (A First National Picture)
DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
104 min | West Germany:96 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
In 1938, Barbara Stanwyck and Melvyn Douglas starred in a Lux Radio Theatre version of the play, and in 1939 Bette Davis and Spencer Tracy starred in another radio version of the story.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Judith invades her doctor husband's garage lab, she runs out with a breakfast tray containing a metal dish cover and a porcelain teapot. As she crosses the yard, the tray now contains a different arrangement of ceramic dishes. Upon entering the kitchen, the tray reverts back, but is rotated 180 degrees, with the metal lid near her tummy.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Michael O'Leary:[on the phone] Hello, there. Is this the house? I've been trying to get you.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in White Irish Drinkers (2010)See more »
Soundtrack:
Vienna BloodSee more »

FAQ

What was Judy's diagnosis?
To what does the title "Dark Victory" refer?
Whatever became of Judy's horse?
See more »
15 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
Supreme tear-jerker is skillfully handled..., 4 May 2006
Author: Neil Doyle from U.S.A.

There are three central performances in DARK VICTORY that deserve praise for their sincerity and complete believability--BETTE DAVIS as the spoiled heiress, GEORGE BRENT as the doctor who falls in love with her and GERALDINE FITZGERALD as the conscience of the story, feeling pity and love for her dearest friend.

Davis trounces around through the first half to show us what kind of energy and volatility is flaring beneath the surface--so full of life that when she realizes her illness bears the stamp of "prognosis negative", it's a shock to the audience as well as the actress. She's at her level best in all of the quieter moments--and never more impressive than in the final ten minutes of the film where her character must face the impending death with dignity and the knowledge that she has her husband's love and her best friend's devotion.

The scene in the garden with Fitzgerald at her side is the most luminous in the entire film. It's worth waiting for just to watch two great actresses at work.

Max Steiner's score is fitting at all times--even in the final moments when Bette goes up the stairs accompanied by his melancholy main theme. Edmund Goulding gets sensitive work from his entire cast--with the exception of Ronald Reagan who is given absolutely nothing in the way of character development except to look tipsy in every scene. To say that he is wasted is an understatement. So too is Henry Travers as the doctor who brought Davis into the world. Humphrey Bogart has been criticized for his Irish accent, but he's at least acceptable in a minor role as a horse trainer.

But the three central performances are what hold the film together--and make what is essentially a sob story work so beautifully.

Trivia: George Brent is very effective in the doctor role that was first offered to Basil Rathbone, but then withdrew after a very bad screen test in the part convinced the studio (and Rathbone) that he was all wrong for the role.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (71 total) »

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Reagan Onceuponatimeintheland
Bogart was miscast louis-king
Best Picture of 1939? H_Kivel
PROGNOSIS NEGATIVE! @_@ CatLover93
Bogart's Irish accent...eeeek jenniclaire-1
All those cigarettes kungfuflygirl
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