7.6/10
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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

This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Tucson Sunday 9 September 1956 on KDWI (Channel 9); it first aired in Cincinnati Thursday 11 October 1956 on WKRC (Channel 12), in Phoenix Wednesday 21 November 1956 on KVAR (Channel 12), and in Portland OR Friday 4 January 1957 on KLOR (Channel 12). See more »

Goofs

Lottie Williams is credited onscreen as playing "Lucy", but she plays Agatha. Lucy is played by Diane Bernard. 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 »


Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
still gets me after all these years
23 March 2002 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

I was probably 12 years old when I first saw this film on TV. It was shown in two parts and I didn't get to see the second part, so my mother had to tell me what happened. Forty years later, I still cry every time I see "Dark Victory." It remains one of my favorite films for sheer use of Kleenex and my favorite Bette Davis movie, "All About Eve" being right up there with it. I even saw it on the big screen in a revival house when I was in college. Yes, some of the dialogue sounds corny now, like the good doctor saying, "Women never meant anything to me before". But the interesting thing is, when I did see it with an audience, though they laughed as some inappropriate spots, by the end you could hear the sobs on the next block.

There have been comments that Humphrey Bogart seems miscast in a somewhat minor role. I frankly thought he was just fine. He certainly was short enough to be a jockey and he pulled off the brogue. I'm sure it's confusing for some to see him in such a small role in 1939 when only a few years later, he was a total superstar. But he was under contract to Warners and kicked around for years before "High Sierra" and "Casablanca". He obviously wasn't working when "Dark Victory" was cast, so why let him sit around taking a salary and do nothing?

And of course we have Ronald Reagan as a playboy. I actually find him delightful in this film. It called for charm and he had it.

In today's fast-paced world, there's nothing stronger than a message about time and our use of it. "Oh, give me time for tenderness...just give me time." Like Bette's character, I want to hear that song again too, in many more viewings of "Dark Victory."


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