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Bette Davis as a jinx in '30s melodrama
blanche-214 October 2005
Bette Davis plays a down and out actress who believes she curses everyone she becomes involved with in "Dangerous," one of Davis' Oscar-winning performances. It is in this film and the earlier "Of Human Bondage" that the Davis image really solidifies - high energy, strong, smoking, and smokin'. If she seems at times a little over the top, it can be attributed to the acting style of those days, which was a carryover from the stage. What Davis gives is very much a stage performance - with the invention of talkies, the studios raided the theater for actors who could speak, and Bette Davis was among them. Over the years, with the advent of television, acting has become more intimate, more natural, and Davis' complaint about the newer approach was that it can also be boring. She never was.

Davis costars in this film with Franchot Tone, who plays an architect that brings the Davis character out of the gutter, only to find himself face down in it himself. Smooth and classy, he's the type of leading man that one doesn't see anymore, and he's a good romantic lead for her. The lovely Margaret Lindsay is Tone's discarded fiancé, and there's a wonderful performance by Alison Skipworth as Tone's housekeeper.

Davis, of course, draws all of the focus, with the fire in her eyes, the bite in her voice, and those flashes of vulnerability. She was always a fascinating screen presence, and she won't disappoint you in "Dangerous." "Dangerous" is a little bit dated, but what isn't, 70 years later.
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The Consolation Prize
bkoganbing10 November 2008
We're it not for the fact that Bette Davis won her first Academy Award in Dangerous, this film would hardly be remembered by anyone except the most ardent Bette Davis fans. There were a number of films that woman carried by sheer force of nature and this is probably the best example of one.

Her character of Joyce Heath is rather obviously based on Jeanne Eagels who was only dead six years and who many had vivid memories of on stage and screen. In fact at one point in the film it's mentioned that a play that Franchot Tone is interested in being the financial backer of could only be played by Bette's character Joyce Heath and Jeanne Eagels.

Franchot Tone is a dapper successful young architect to the rich and famous and he's got a few bucks himself and he's engaged to society débutante Margaret Lindsay. But one fateful night he meets up with Bette Davis who was once big, but is now down and out. She broke many a heart in her day and even she considers herself a jinx to any who get involved with her. That don't stop Tone who hears his hormones calling.

You will not forget Bette as the hedonistic and reckless Joyce Heath, she really dominates this film. Because of that and because there was a big outcry about her not even being nominated the year before for Of Human Bondage, Davis got a nomination and to her surprise got the Oscar for Best Actress.

If the criteria for winning an Oscar is carrying a mediocre film to glory than Bette deserved it. There have been a few times in Academy history that a performance of a star just totally dominates the film, the best examples I can think of besides this is Jose Ferrer is Cyrano DeBergerac and Susan Hayward in I Want To Live. But both Jose and Susan had a whole lot better material to work with.

Even Davis while proud of the Oscar thought the film mediocre, the way Elizabeth Taylor felt about Butterfield 8. Part of the reason is that the Code had come into being. If this film had been made a year or two earlier we would not have had the absolute cop out of a finish.

Still Bette's fans will love it, no doubt.
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Bette Davis is captivating
Incalculacable12 April 2006
Bette Davis plays a former actress turned low-life drunk in this highly emotional drama. She is convinced she has a 'jinx' on her because she seems to make bad things happen. A wealthy man recognizes her drunk in a bar and takes her to his country house. Sparks fly. The problem - he's engaged.

Dangerous is a terribly beautiful bittersweet tale and Bette Davis carries it off perfectly. When she is in the scene, your eyes are always on her and nothing else. She is a captivating and riveting actress with pure talent. Her acting style is so easy to like.

The story is incredibly realistic and very thoughtful. The script is very good, every line believable.

Dangerous is a truly good movie with moving, touching and believable performances. Bette Davis shines in her role - one of her earlier dramas. I was surprised and very satisfied with the ending. Wonderful movie.
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Davis' rises above trite and soapy story
kidboots11 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Apparently Bette Davis said she was "punch drunk" from overwork when she was given "Dangerous", or as it was originally called "Hard Luck Dame" very loosely based on the life of Jeanne Eagels. She also said she had to work like 10 men to make something of the script but work she did, as her performance is the only reason for seeking this film out. To me Davis showed how she could rise above a trite, soapy script with, an at times very intense performance.

Joyce Heath (Bette Davis), once a Broadway comet, has been declared a theatrical jinx - ever since her leading man was killed on opening night. She is now a down and out, occasionally working on vaudeville to keep herself supplied with liquor. Don Bellows (Franchot Tone) is a young man who owes Joyce Heath his destiny. Seeing her as a youth he decided to become an architect. He sees her at a seedy bar and when she passes out he takes her to his farm to recover. Miss Davis certainly has some memorable scenes but definitely it is a film to watch only for her performance.

"I've seen you before" - "which doesn't make us old friends".

With the calm of the country, she begins to dream of a comeback and to put her life in order - on her terms. She also wants Don to fall in love with her, which he does, but Don has a fiancé, Gail, (sweet Margaret Lindsay) that he seems to have forgotten about. He decides to produce the play "But to Die" to give Joyce another chance. He also wants to marry her, but Joyce is not so sure and before opening night her secret is revealed - she is already married!!! Gordon (John Eldrege) has always loved her and even though she has wrecked his life, he will never divorce her. Driving him to the country, she drives into a tree, intending to kill them both.

I actually thought this was a dreary film, definitely not one that I would watch if I wanted to see Miss Davis at her most electrifying.
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"A star is born" in reverse
dbdumonteil12 October 2004
Unlike some users ,I do not consider "Dangerous" one of Davis's best parts.Her career is so rich that you can name at least twenty movies that are far superior to this old hat melodrama:have you heard about " little foxes" "All about Eve" "Now voyager "whatever happened to Baby Jane" and the unfairly unknown "lo scopone scientifico" which might be the most extraordinary part she ever played.

"Dangerous" casts Davis as an alcoholic has been actress ;Tone wants her redemption ,so he sacrifices everything,money and fiancée to make the dream come true.The story is finally terribly sententious ,in "the magnificent obsession" mold ,but without Stahl's "enough is enough" side,which makes that director's works so priceless.
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Great Performance of Bette Davis
claudio_carvalho2 November 2013
The aristocratic architect Don Bellows (Franchot Tone) worships the former successful actress Joyce Heath (Bette Davis), who prematurely left the stage considered a jinx, for changing his life for better. When Don goes with his fiancée Gail Armitage (Margaret Lindsay) and a friend to a bar, he sees Joyce completely drunken and penniless, and he takes her to his house in the countryside. Joyce stays there for a period in rehabilitation, and Don falls in love with her and calls off his engagement with Gail. Don also decides to produce a play for her and to get married with Joyce after the opening night. But Joyce has a secret in her past that will affect their lives forever.

"Dangerous" is a melodramatic movie with a great story but a corny conclusion, with Joyce Heath returning to her crippled husband. Bette Davis has a great performance and won her first Oscar of Best Actress. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Perigosa" ("Dangerous")
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One of Bette Davis best performances
FlickJunkie-215 July 2001
Bette Davis began appearing in films in 1931 at the age of 23. She was an extremely hard working actor, and by the time she made this film in 1935, she had appeared in 27 films including `Of Human Bondage' for which she received her first Oscar nomination the year before.

The story is compelling. Don Bellows (Franchot Tone) is an architect who claims that his life was changed forever by a theater performance by a young actress named Joyce Heath (Bette Davis) who came to prominence quickly and vanished almost as fast. He was so moved by her performance that he re-evaluated his life and took on a new direction, moving from being a stockbroker to indulge his more creative side by studying architecture. One day he comes upon Joyce Bellows who is stinking drunk. He recognizes her and attempts to engage her in conversation, but she is cruel and derisive. When she passes out, he takes her back to his place to sober her up and care for her. Despite her decrepit condition, he is captivated by her and falls madly in love with her, breaking off his engagement to Gail (Margaret Lindsay).

Don begins the process of rehabilitating Joyce and though she is resentful and bitter at first, she is won over by his devotion to her and agrees to take a part in a play that she always wanted, a play that he used all his money to back. However, Joyce has a secret that dooms the relationship. She is a dangerous woman who ruins the men who love her. The world comes crashing down on her and on the men in her life.

This is a well-crafted story that keeps the viewer intrigued from beginning to end. Davis is electrifying in the role. I consider this and her performance in `All About Eve' (where she also played a bitter actress) to be her best. She throws herself into the role and delivers a performance that ranges from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. She won her first of two Academy Awards for this film and went on to be nominated a total of 13 times.

This film is a must for anyone interested in Ms. Davis body of work and for the classic film buff in general. I rated it a 10. It is a terrific story that is enhanced by a riveting performance by one of the legends of film.
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Enjoyable drama
raymond-1525 May 2002
Bette Davis plays the "femme fatale" as no other actress before or since. Every scene she plays gives us a riveting performance even though at times we may think it a trifle theatrical. In "Dangerous" she plays the role of Joyce Heath, a great actress, yearning for love which is denied to her. Her frantic outbursts make life for those around her difficult to comprehend. Desperate situations require desperate remedies and in a fit of madness Joyce Heath decides to resolve her difficulties in her own dangerous way.

The ending may appear rather glib but the actors themselves give performances not to be missed and Bette Davis is a worthy recipient of an Academy Award.
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Davis and Tone Shine in Melodrama
harry-7625 September 2000
So let her be flamboyant, if she wants to be. She had audiences riveted to their seats in 1935 with this strong performance.

How remarkable today, in 2000, that this 65-year-old portrayl can still hypnotize. It is solid Bette Davis work, with Franchot Tone lending fine support in every scene.

This legendary actress may chew a bit of scenery here and there, but then that's what makes her work so distinctive: here's a real personality, a star, who puts it all out there. She doesn't apologize either. . . just let's it all hang out and, if you like it, fine--if not, tis no big deal. She seems to have been a born actress, too -- with her style the opposite of the Method. Go on and indicate emotion when you're not up to drawing a sincere response. Keep folks wondering where the real Davis begins and the posing one leaves off. You're so good a what you do, you don't need to worry. . . your fans will lap it up anyway.

Which they did, by the millions. Davis was recently voted the number one film actress of the 20th century in a popular poll by moviegoers. That speaks legions about how her work, after all these years, is still regarded. ###
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The jinx
jotix10011 October 2005
Contrary to what another commentator to this forum says, Bette Davis was not nominated the year before for an Oscar for her excellent work in "Of Human Bondage", a much better film than this one. In 1935, the year after being bypassed for the Academy Award, Hollywood, acting in a forgiving manner, gave her the award as Best Actress. By Ms. Davis' own admission, Katherine Hepburn should have won for "Alice Adams".

We are not saying she wasn't worth it, on the contrary, Ms. Davis always gave her best in all her films. Sometimes, contributors to IMDb, upon sending their comments, have a way of predicting that the film they are reviewing, or one of its actors will receive the nomination, or the award come Oscar time. In fact, as it seems to be in most cases, bypassed actors on a particular year get awards for work, later on, for inferior work they did that year and were overlooked by the fickle voting members of that body before.

"Dangerous" was directed by Alfred Green and based on a story by Laird Doyle. The story of an actress who has fallen victim to alcoholism makes good melodrama. As such, Joyce Heath, Ms. Davis' character, is seen at the beginning of the film as a woman who wants to forget it all, in order to do some serious drinking.

Donald Bellows is a man that was deeply impressed by the actress, who he saw as Juliet in the New York stage, and became obsessed by her artistry. When he meets her at the dive where she is drinking cheap liquor, he believes he can save this woman who is wasting her talent. Joyce, eventually, falls in love with Don, but she is reluctant to marry him, which is a puzzle to us. Little do we know about the secret Joyce Heath is hiding from Don, which comes to haunt her at the end of the film.

Bette Davis transforms herself from the opening scenes where she looks disheveled into the glamorous actress of the theater she really is. Her performance is good, but we have seen much better performances by this glorious actress, before this film, and after. Franchot Tone makes an appealing Donald Bellows, the man who tries to save his idol from her addiction to the bottle. Margaret Lindsay plays Gail, who is engaged to be married to Donald.

This is a film that merits a look by all of Bette Davis' fans, as it will not disappoint.
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Davis' Movie All the Way
nycritic4 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Even in 1935, DANGEROUS was considered a lousy film, but it began the tradition Hollywood has of awarding actors who were ignored the previous year with the golden statuette. Bette Davis, a year after her standout (if imperfect, as it now is considered a furious but over the top) performance in OF HUMAN BONDAGE, made this film and time has proved her right: even in a sub-par movie, she is the only reason to watch it. Less flighty, but still quite close to Mildred Rogers, Joyce Heath is one of those women that need a quick reality check in order to bring them back to Earth. At the start of the movie, she is this washed-up actress who's taken to drinking herself into a near coma and is practically panting in self-hatred. Why, well: she states that she's bad luck, that she's no good, that she is, essentially, Damaged Goods. Does Franchot Tone believe it once he shows up? Not really. He's decided to Help Her Get Back On Her Feet, and that he does, granting Davis first a chance to chew him to bits in a Mildred Rogers type scene, then to confess just how she loves him and will act in a play she's been eyeballing for some time. They make quite a good pair, though, and it's rumored that he's the reason Davis and Crawford decided that they didn't quite like each other after all. For once, Davis doesn't out-shine her leading man as he, even in this sort of too-good-to-be-true kind of guy, manages to stand on his own. A late twist in DANGEROUS doesn't quite work as much as to leave Tone and Davis hanging and in a "doomed relationship" situation, but it's really secondary even when John Eldridge, playing Davis' slacker husband who won't grant her a divorce, is creepy but brief. There is a brief moment reminiscent of ALL ABOUT EVE as well, with Davis as Joyce Heath rehearsing a role for a play that will be her comeback vehicle. All in all, a must for Davis fans, but pretty colorless all the way through.
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Bette Davis May Be Dangerous But The Film Is Unimpressive....
jem1324 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
DANGEROUS is best remembered for being the film that won actress Bette Davis her first Best Actress Academy Award. Her presence breathes life into this comatose production, and for that alone the film receives a '5' rating from me.

A woeful, inadequate script severely hampers what could have been a ponderous, memorable film. Davis, as alcoholic actress Joyce Heath, is required to spout such drivel as "Oh, I love you, I love you, I love you for bringing me back to life!" Similar garbage lines to this fast-tracked John Gilbert's descent from silent stardom to talkies disaster, yet Davis won an Oscar for her role. Go figure.

Of course, the Academy has handed out plenty of undeserved acting awards over the years. Think of Katharine Hepburn in MORNING GLORY and Mary Pickord in COQUETTE- and that's just for starters. Davis was better in at least two dozen other films. See Davis in DARK VICTORY, THE LETTER, THE LITTLE FOXES or ALL ABOUT EVE if you want a truly great performance. Her Oscar win here is often thought of as a holdover award for her work in the 1934 drama OF HUMAN BONDAGE. Indeed, Joyce Heath seems to be channeling Mildred Rogers when she hurls abuse at the man who is trying valiantly to help her (without the horrible Cockney accent, thank God).

DANGEROUS appears to be a reversal of the superior 1932 film WHAT PRICE Hollywood, with an actress instead of an actor needing to be rescued from the throes of despair. Unfortunately, DANGEROUS lacks any of the deep insight into alcoholism (although Davis makes a believable drunk) or the human condition that could have made it into a compelling film. It instead opts for long, drawn-out speeches that seem to stretch the relatively short running time by a mile.

Franchot Tone plays Davis' love interest who meets her(plastered) in a seedy bar. Tone is always worthwhile to watch on-screen yet he fails to do anything particularly memorable with his character here (check him out in MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY if you want to see a terrific Tone performance). At least Davis manages to amp some of her bad lines up a notch in her delivery. Tone never really looks at ease in his role, and the expression on his face seems to say 'My God, get me out of this dog...and fast'. He does generate some electricity with Davis in their love scenes, yet these moments are also lacking in emotional intensity or complexity.

There is nothing really remarkable in DANGEROUS in terms of production design, cinematography, editing or costuming. The direction is particularly uninspired, with only a few despairing close-ups of Davis here and there changing the pace and outlook of the film. The twist near the film's conclusion is meant to knock the viewer for six yet comes off looking fairly predictable. The actor playing Davis' first husband is just plain terrible. Margaret Linsday gets a thankless role in support, and is fairly wooden as the good-girl socialite.

Watch it for Davis, yet nothing else. 5/10.
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better then...
lostngone4ever12 February 2000
A very fast and enjoyable, early Bette Davis movie. She won her first Academy Award nomination and win for this movie, many believe for being overlooked the previous year for her performance in Of Human Bondage. I've seen both and happen to think that the Bondage performance is very overdone (as much as I love her she over acts often) and this performance in Dangerous is deeper and more reserved and yet is still just as riveting, with plenty of scenes for Davis to rip into. Definately worth checking out.
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Becoming Bette Davis
Froster5427 January 2015
Just TERRIBLE--a template for what not to do with Davis for her entire career. Obviously rushed into production to capitalize on the zest Bette brought to "Of Human Bondage" (and winning her her first Oscar as compensation for the slight the year before), this is a hodgepodge of bad writing and bad acting. The fact that she couldn't see it for the stinker it was only means that she was desperate for the opportunity to break the mold and play bad girls. This movie ties itself into absolute knots in order to redeem her for its final moments, but that is only the most egregious of its many, many flaws. Let's see—the wooden Franchot Tone, the wooden dialog (the invented quotations from the "scripts" that "Joyce Heath" is playing are truly absurd), and the fact that the script is so threadbare that there is a lift of the most famous Davis dialog from "Of Human Bondage". Compare "You cad, you dirty swine! I never cared for you, not once! I was always makin' a fool of ya! Ya bored me stiff; I hated ya! It made me SICK when I had to let ya kiss me. I only did it because ya begged me, ya hounded me and drove me crazy! And after ya kissed me, I always used to wipe my mouth! WIPE MY MOUTH!", to this from "Dangerous": "I shouldn't laugh at you, should I? But I can't HELP it. You were so awkward that I almost laughed in your face at first. And then it made me SICK to think that anyone could be stupid enough to be taken in by old tricks. I thought you might at least be amusing, but you turned out to be dull, and stupid and so afraid. Well you needn't be. I won't hurt your Sunday school romance or your oh so nice career. HURT me? Get out of here before you give me hysterics!". Fortunately, better material and far better directors (bless you, William Wyler), waited for her around the corner. Its only redeeming feature is that one can tell that the studio was twisting itself into a pretzel to create a role for a brand new, as-yet-undefined talent, and a brand new, as-yet-undefined female character. The character was womanly, smart, multi-faceted, flawed, unpredictable, kicked at boundaries and took no prisoners. The woman who embodied her was the great Bette Davis.
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Don't leave the past behind just leave it for the better
sol-kay23 October 2005
(Some Spoilers) Generally accepted by everyone for getting the Academy Award in 1935 for "Dangerous". To make up for her being denied it in 1934 as waitress Mildred Rogers in the Sumerset Maugham classic "Of human Bondage". Bette Davis' performance as the down and out former Broadway actress Joyce Heath could have easily have won her that coveted award. Even without the Acadamy's member feeling guilty for not giving it to her the year before.

In some cheap gin joint Joyce is spotted by socialite architect Donald "Don" Berrows, Franchot Tone, who's out painting the town red and green with his fiancée the beautiful and blue-blooded Gail Armitage, Margaret Lindsay, and his friend Ted, Dick Foran. Telling the two that he has to take care of some pressing business Don goes to see Joyce and, after buying her a drink, tells her what an impact she made on his life after he first saw her in a play some five years ago. Joyce had convinced Don to go into a life of creativity, architecture, just by seeing her stunning and creative performance on the theater stage.

Taking Joyce to his country home to dry out Don falls in love with her which causes him to worry about his upcoming marriage to Gail, whom he feels he's cheating on. Breaking the truth to Gail about his and Joyce's feelings for each other and how even if he breaks up with her, which he fully intended to do,it would never be the same between them. Gail hurt and upset gives Don back his engagement ring and calls it,their upcoming marriage,quits.

In an effort to revive Joyce's career Don get's Broadway producer George Sheffield, Pierre Watkin, to direct the play "But to Die" which Joyce was to star in. Don in turn puts up $80,000.00 of his own money to finance the play. With Joyce back in top form opening night looks like it would be a complete success but there's one thing that she didn't tell Don about her past. Something that will later come back to haunt her and that's that she can never marry him! Joyce is already married and her husband Gordon ,Alison Skipworth, the man who's career she destroyed will never give her a divorce! The only way Joyce can get him out of being married to her is like the saying goes :"Untill Death do Us Part".

Bette Davis' performance in "Dangerous" lifts up the movie far above the soap-opera that it's script would have made it with a lesser talented actress. The fine supporting cast also greatly helps Miss.Davis pull the whole thing off successfully. The ending of "Dangerous"is nowhere as predictable as you would have thought in a, at first sight, predictable movie. Joyce seeing the light and instead of hurting the two men in her life, Don & Gordon, uses her selfish destructive and unfeeling personality ,for the very last time, that in a strange twist of fate straightened out all the loose ends in the movie.

It was that decision on Joyce's brought that her back to the life that she discarded so long ago, that she thought she'll never have again.
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Show Biz Clunker Famous for Bette Davis' Consolation Oscar
LeonLouisRicci11 February 2015
This is the Performance from Bette Davis that Won Her the first of two Oscars and it has been well Known that She didn't Think that She Deserved it but was Proud anyway. It was a so called "Consolation" Prize for not winning the previous Year.

The Film itself is Not that Good. A passable Romantic Drama with Franchot Tone opposite Davis. It is Contrived and Forced, Bent and Shaped, but Never manages to be highly Engaging. There are Moments where things Kick in but Overall it just Doesn't Click.

Overall, it is Worth a Watch to see what all the Hoopla is about but the Movie is really a Show Biz Clunker about an Alcoholic Stage Star on the Skids and a Love Quadrangle of sorts that is Heavy Handed Nonsense and never manages to be Smooth Enough for anything more than a Passing Consideration.
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not bad
KyleFurr216 October 2005
This movie was directed by Alfred Green and stars Bette Davis and Franchot Tone. This was Davis's first academy award and was probably given to her because she was passed over the previous year in Of Human Bondage. The movie starts out with Tone engaged to Margaret Lindsay and one night in a bar he sees Davis drinking alone. Tone remembers she once was a great actress but she had some bad luck and is now just a drunk and can't get hired. Tone tries to help her to quit drinking and they become friends. Davis falls in love with him and he loves her too and he wants to get married. Tone's willing to give up everything to be with her but it turns out she's married and her husband won't divorce her. It's a pretty good movie but Davis made some better movies then this one.
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Bette Shines in a Corny Melo
summerfields25 October 2007
Davis is really the only reason to watch this rather mawkish melodrama. The character she plays - Joyce Heath - was possibly modeled on twenties stage sensation Jeanne Eagels. Davis was noted for her electric, kinetic energy by a reviewer of the day who claimed that she would probably have been "burned as a witch" had she lived 300 years priorly.

Bette is particularly fine in the middle of the film, while playing cards with Don Bellows (Franchot Tone) and eating homemade candy; together, they are wonderfully believable and have an interesting chemistry. Notice Alison Skipworth speaking to Tone about women like Davis - who are - in her opinion - indeed dangerous.

It has been said that Bette was infatuated with Tone during the making of this epic and Joan of Crawford shrugged "Oh, I'm afraid that coarse little thing hasn't a chance with my Franchot" The cottage Bellows brings Joyce to in the country is really exquisite; I would like to live in such a place all the time! After about seven different titles, it was Davis who chose "Dangerous"
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Pretty good
Red_Identity30 March 2013
I'm continuing my Bette Davis marathon (that has gone on for weeks now) and from the 9 Davis-nominated performance I've seen, this is probably her weakest. I mean, she's still pretty great because well, it's Davis, but it's also the one performance that up to this point feels somewhat overcooked. Not to say she's bad in it because she's not and she does have some really great scenes. This is recommended to any huge Davis fan as a way to see all of her big films and roles, but I can definitely see why so many dismiss it as a make-up win for Oh Human Bondage, where she is actually better and a lot more interesting. Still, not a bad film at all
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AS BETTE DAVIS SAID " it was a consolation prize".
waelkatkhuda27 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
to be honest i just gave this film 4 points for Mis. Davis performance. which mean all the film was bad bad and bad. the plot is so weak the story is so silly and weak ( they could have made it much better) and all the cast were terrible especially the husband MR.John Eldredge i didn't feel sorry for him at all he is so clumsy and stupid (he had died at the end) now about Bette Davis : to be honest with you her acting was as always great she was full of energy BUT her performance in Of Human Bondage (1934) was much better i recommend it for anyone who wants to see Davis at her peak ( i saw it happened one night 1934) Claudette Colbert was good at her role but not as miss Davis

at the end AS BETTE DAVIS SAID " it was a consolation prize".
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30 years later, this could have been a Ross Hunter film
vincentlynch-moonoi28 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I feel bolstered by the fact that quite a few of our reviewers (not to mention reviewers of the era) are not as impressed with this film as are many others.

But, perhaps I'm being unfair to the film. After all, sound films were just beginning to come into their own in terms of sophistication about this time...so maybe it's decent considering the time frame. But this is NOT Bette Davis in her prime just a very few years later. Very good, but not great (and I should mention that I would rate Davis as the very best American female actress).

I would actually give higher marks here to Franchot Tone. I have long thought he was an underrated actor, and this is one of his best roles.

This is very much a Davis-Tone film. The supporting actors are merely plot devices and get little memorable screen time. Margaret Lindsay was good as the "good" woman.

This film reminded of one we might has seen Ross Hunter make 30 years later. Very sudsy, although that's not to say bad. There are a few awkward dialog conversations early on in the film, but as the film progressed that happened less.

Good Davis, fine tone, good film. But not quite good enough to make it onto my DVD shelf.
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DANGEROUS (Alfred E. Green, 1935) **1/2
Bunuel19769 February 2014
In the summer of 1991, the local TV station proposed a 13-movie season dedicated to Bette Davis; bafflingly, I only opted to record one of the films – THE GREAT LIE (1941), her surprising rosette in the "Halliwell Film-goer's Companion"! Eventually, I acquired all of the others and have even watched most of them – for the record, with the viewing of this one (even if the copy I ended up with displayed intermittent signs of freezing throughout!), I am only left with BORDERTOWN (1935) and A STOLEN LIFE (1946) to catch up with...

Anyway, it was pure coincidence that I watched this on the same day as the Oscar-winning Katharine Hepburn vehicle MORNING GLORY (1933), since this also landed Davis – herself one of Hollywood's foremost female stars – her first Best Actress nod, and in which she similarly played a stage performer (albeit a washed-up rather than an aspiring one…even if only 27 at the time)! Incidentally, while she gives an undeniably strong performance (ironically, among her competition was Hepburn herself in ALICE ADAMS), the film is perhaps best-known as one of a handful deemed as "consolation prizes", where a particular personality was awarded an Oscar for a less 'noteworthy' role after they failed to win the previous year for what looked like a sure bet: in Davis' case, it was OF HUMAN BONDAGE (where she clamorously even failed to obtain an official nomination), while other such famous examples include James Stewart's triumph in THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940) – making up for his loss in MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939) – and Joan Fontaine's in SUSPICION (1941), as opposed to REBECCA (1940)...a practice, I might add, which continues to this day (compare Russell Crowe's 2000 and Denzel Washington's 2001 wins with the ones they were nominated for in their respective previous year)!

As expected, Davis is the whole show here, but Franchot Tone (himself an Oscar nominee that same year, albeit for MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY) is well cast as her leading man and fresh-faced Margaret Lindsay is somewhat typecast as the "other woman". The star is supposedly a "jinx" – as many who were involved with her met a sad fate – so she is shunned by the profession and consequently hits the skids; Tone (who, apparently, was inspired to seek an artistic vocation after watching Davis at work) sees her at a bar and decides to help. Before long, she practically begins to run his life while showing little to no gratitude; he goes so far as to neglect work and fiancée' over his constant attentions for her! Eventually, she sees the error of her ways, he finds the courage to break off his engagement and even lands her a comeback in the role she had always wanted to play. This being a melodrama, however, things do not quite go as planned: the actress not only 'falls off the wagon' during the rehearsal period due to insecurity, but Tone himself keeps harassing her with a marriage proposal – which cannot be honoured because (unbeknownst to him) she is already married! When her husband, who considers Davis his meal-ticket, refuses to give her a divorce, she decides to take matters into her own hands...

In the end, the film remains eminently watchable for several reasons (not least the recognizable Warner Bros. style) – but, sensibly, it pales beside the performances that would constitute the star's greatest years, which were still ahead of her (1938-1946).
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Ugly Bette
GManfred25 August 2013
It's been said many times, but she was much better in "Of Human Bondage". Truly, No one could play a shrew like Bette Davis, and she doesn't disappoint in "Dangerous". The object of her displeasure is Franchot Tone, who tries to rescue her from her alcoholism and rehabilitate her career. And maybe try to hit on her. But she's a jinx and a malice-mouth and he's engaged, and this isn't working out.

Bette gives a typically brilliant performance in a movie with a plot line that's been done before and breaks no new ground, probably so even in the mid-30's. The ending is Hays Office-induced and not as satisfying as it could have been. Franchot Tone is not in top form here and is somewhat mechanical, and the great Alison Skipworth is wasted in a small, insignificant part. "Dangerous" is worth seeing for Bette Davis and to compare this film with her earlier picture. See if you don't agree she was gypped.
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A decent film, but Bette Davis was right--it was far from her best performance and the film was only a bit better than average
MartinHafer4 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I had a hard time deciding whether to score this film 6 or 7. Regardless, it's a slightly better than average film that inexplicably earned its star, Bette Davis, an Oscar for Best Actress. While I am a HUGE fan of Ms. Davis' work, she made many films that were better than this and her performance, while generally good, is a bit too melodramatic to have earned this award. As she later said, she felt this award was a way to make it up to her for not even being nominated the year before for OF HUMAN BONDAGE. A few of her better performances were in THE LETTER, LITTLE FOXES, JEZEBEL (for which she DID win another Oscar), DARK VICTORY, NOW VOYAGER and many others. This award was, in the case of DANGEROUS, a gift.

Franchot Tone plays a big-time architect who spots a faded stage star (Davis) who is down and out and nurses her back to health at his country home. Amazingly, her alcoholism seems to vanish in a matter of a day or two and Tone becomes smitten for this rather surly lady--even though RICH and NICE Margaret Lindsay is already engaged to him. Choosing Davis seemed like choosing a McDonald's Happy Meal over A T-Bone steak from the nicest restaurant in town! The film is diverting and interesting but seldom does it seem credible. You just can't imagine a supposedly smart and talented man like Franchot Tone's character throwing his life away so foolishly nor can you imagine Davis' character feeling selfless and driving into the tree towards the end. Both seemed like soap opera, not a serious drama. While these soapy elements are rather exciting, never do they seem remotely like behaviors of supposedly sane individuals. Because of that, the film can never be seen as great or even near great--just entertaining fluff.
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Dangerous for who? The audience? Well, you have been warned!
JohnHowardReid19 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Executive producers: Jack L. Warner, Hal B. Wallis. Copyright 2 January 1936 by Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. New York opening at the Rivoli, 25 December 1935. U.S. release: 6 December 1935. U.K. release: June 1936. Australian release: 4 March 1936. 8 reels. 78 minutes.

SYNOPSIS: Joyce Heath, a sort of Jeanne Eagels character, whose brilliant but short career in Theatre is eclipsed by her dipsomania, is picked up, washed off, and given a second chance by the elegant young star-struck architect, Franchot Tone.

NOTES: Academy Award, Best Actress, Bette Davis. "It's a consolation prize. This nagged at me. It was true even if the honor had been earned, it had been earned last year. There was no doubt that Hepburn's performance deserved the award."*

Re-made in 1941 as "Singapore Woman" with Brenda Marshall directed by Jean Negulesco.

COMMENT: A melodrama that tries to be smart and sophisticated — and succeeds in neither realm. The melodrama is unintentionally ludicrous and what passed for wit in 1936 is painfully jejune today — or at least the samples in this film are. The stiff acting and incompetent direction don't help either. Miss Davis acts with a peculiar lack of her usual intensity. It's as if she didn't believe in the part either and was content to act it out with a display of superficial mannerisms. Franchot Tone gives an equally shallow characterization, while George Eldredge's portrayal of Miss Davis's husband (admittedly, he has some incredible lines) must rank as one of the most amazingly inept of the 1930s. The rest of the cast is a bit more competent, though, aside from Margaret Lindsay's attractive socialite and Alison Skipworth's housekeeper (she is wasted in this menial part), the roles are quite small.

For the most part, director Alfred E. Green is content to handle the action in long, almost static takes, with cut-in close-ups. All in all, the direction shows not an atom of imagination or flair. Ernest Haller's photography is always flattering to his stars, so much so in fact that it is quite impossible to believe that Miss Davis is the frowzy, drunken sot the script would have us believe.

The film was obviously lensed on a modest budget. Other production credits are par for the course.

As a film, "Dangerous" will interest only soap-opera loving fanatics, or film buffs with a yen for the by-ways of mid-thirties production.

* Quoted from "The Lonely Life: An Autobiography by Bette Davis, with Sandford Dody" (Putnam, New York, 1962). Miss Davis feels she should have received the Award for her work in "Of Human Bondage" (which was not even officially nominated) the previous year. In addition to Hepburn's Alice Adams, the other 1935 Best Actress contenders were Elisabeth Bergner for Escape Me Never, Claudette Colbert in Private Worlds, Miriam Hopkins in Becky Sharp and Merle Oberon in The Dark Angel.
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