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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.

Director:

Edmund Goulding

Writers:

Casey Robinson (screen play), George Emerson Brewer Jr. (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:
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 ... Col. Mantle
Herbert Rawlinson ... Dr. Carter
Leonard Mudie ... Dr. Driscoll
Fay Helm ... Miss Dodd
Lottie Williams 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 | Plot 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 April 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amarga victoria See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Judith Traherne (Bette Davis) drives a 1938 Buick convertible. See more »

Goofs

(at around 56 mins) There is a brief shot of a violinist miming badly to the soundtrack. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Also available in computer-coloured version. See more »

Connections

Featured in Women He's Undressed (2015) 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

 
Another great Davis drama from 1939
26 July 2003 | by FilmOtakuSee all my reviews

In a previous review of a Bette Davis film, I alluded to her amazing range; she can either play the bitch or she can play the martyr. In Dark Victory, she gets to do both. As Judith, she finds out that at the ripe age of 23 and at a very inconvenient time in her social calendar, that she has a fatal brain tumor. George Brent plays the doctor who diagnoses her, and of course, her love interest. Members of a fine supporting cast include a very young Humphrey Bogart, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Ronald Reagan. (Who hilariously plays a social playboy/boozehound.)

This film is definitely a classic, and is a fun one to watch – it's worth it just to watch the scene in the restaurant when Bette orders a `Prognosis Negative' after she finds out that she is dying. Dark Victory is yet another piece of evidence that 1939 was the golden year of cinema.

--Shel


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