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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

Greta Garbo was the original choice for Judith Traherne. Merle Oberon was also considered for the role. See more »

Goofs

In her hospital bed, Judith's nightgown moves on and off her shoulders several times. 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

Referenced in Melrose Place: Deja Vu, All Over Again (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Great Performances In This Bittersweet Love Story
18 July 2001 | by sddavis63See all my reviews

"Dark Victory" features a superb performance by Bette Davis, portraying Judy Traherne, a socialite struggling to come to terms with terminal brain cancer, a diagnosis that ironically brings her the greatest joy of her life, as she falls in love with and marries the doctor who diagnosed her, also superbly played by George Brent.

There's nothing really to dislike in this movie. The basic point is simple to figure out: whatever darkness you may face, make the best of it and live life to the fullest, because even in darkness there may be victory. The supporting cast is tremendous, particularly Geraldine Fitzgerald as Ann King, Judy's friend and assistant who helps her through this bewildering time of conflicting emotions. The movie is not exactly filled with suspense and there's no dramatic death scene, but the emotion is raw all the way through, and the sympathy the viewer feels for this couple who are so much in love but have so little time to enjoy it is very real.

This is very well done, and well worth a look see. I would rate it as a 7/10.


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