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Bette Davis does it her way with a tour de force performance in Dark Victory, a moving melodrama that snatches triumph from the jaws of mortality. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Socialite Judith Traherne (Bette Davis) lives a lavish but emotionally empty life. Riding horses is one of her few joys, and her stable master (Humphrey Bogart) is secretly in love with her. Told she has a brain tumor by her doctor, Frederick Steele (George Brent), Judith becomes distraught. After she decides to have surgery to remove the tumor, Judith realizes she is in love with Dr. Steele, but more troubling medical news may sabotage her new relationship, and her second chance at life.

Cast & Crew

Bette Davis
Judith Traherne
George Brent
Dr. Frederick Steele
Humphrey Bogart
Michael O'Leary
Ronald Reagan
Alec Hamm
Henry Travers
Dr. Parsons
Virginia Brissac
Martha, housekeeper
Dorothy Peterson
Miss Wainwright
David Lewis
Associate Producer
Hal B. Wallis
Executive Producer
Max Steiner
Original Music
Howard Jackson
Original Music
Edmund Goulding
Non-Original Music
Elsie Janis
Non-Original Music
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Critic Reviews for Dark Victory

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (3)

Audience Reviews for Dark Victory

  • Apr 05, 2021
    1939 is considered one of the greatest years in Hollywood filmmaking and this tearjerker is among the best movies of that year. A Bette Davis performance that will leave you stunned with her beauty and acting range.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Oct 10, 2013
    A woman discovers that she has a brain tumor and falls in love with her doctor. When viewed vis a vis Ikiru, Akira Kurosawa's brilliant film, Dark Victory has a lot to learn. The film posits that a patient's knowledge of his/her condition is detrimental, but Kurosawa is wiser, and the ruminations on mortality and life's usefulness are more poignant and inspiring. Though its embrasure of love, marriage, and romance feel petty against its betters, Dark Victory is a good film in and of itself, propelled by a great Bette Davis performance and George Brent's soulful gazes. Davis is delightful, and the film is saccharine in all the right places. Overall, you should watch this if you can't get a hold of Ikiru.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 23, 2013
    A four hanky tearjerker...well if you are overly sensitive and weep when little children lose their balls down sewer drains. Make no mistake that Bette Davis is great. She always is but the viewer feels too manipulated.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 17, 2013
    Its a pretty silly melodrama that even Bette Davis' absurd acting choices can't save. On a side note, this film also features a terrible supporting performance by Ronald Reagan.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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