Dark Victory

1939

Dark Victory

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

86%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 21

81%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,205
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Dark Victory Photos

Movie Info

Bette Davis earned an Oscar nomination for her role in this classic four-hanky tearjerker. Judith Traherne (Bette Davis) is a very wealthy Long Island heiress whose life is a constant whirl of cocktails, parties, and wild living. Despite her hedonistic lifestyle, Judith derives little pleasure from life except for her horses, cared for by stable master Michael O'Leary (Humphrey Bogart). When Judith begins suffering from headaches and dizzy spells, Dr. Frederick Steele (George Brent) gives her the bad news: she has a brain tumor that could threaten her life if not treated immediately. Judith consents to surgery, and Frederick informs her that the operation was a success. A grateful Judith quickly falls in love with Frederick, and they plan to marry. However, the tumor returns, and when Judith discovers that she has only a few months to live, she calls off the wedding, convinced that Frederick is marrying her only as an act of pity for a dying woman. A major success and perennial favorite, Dark Victory was later remade as Stolen Hours with Susan Hayward and as a TV movie starring Elizabeth Montgomery.

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Cast

Bette Davis
as Judith Traherne
George Brent
as Dr. Frederick Steele
Humphrey Bogart
as Michael O'Leary
Ronald Reagan
as Alec Hamin
Cora Witherspoon
as Carrie Spottswood
Henry Travers
as Dr. Parsons
Dorothy Peterson
as Miss Wainwright
Charles Richman
as Col. Mantle
Leonard Mudie
as Dr. Driscoll
Fay Helm
as Miss Dodd
Jack Mower
as Veterinarian
Ila Rhodes
as Secretary
Frank Darien
as Anxious Little Man
Rosella Towne
as Girl in Box
Nat Carr
as Doctor
Maris Wrixon
as Judith's Friend
Richard Bond
as Judith's Friend
Wilda Bennett
as Judith's Friend
Leyland Hodgson
as Judith's Friend
Mary Currier
as Judith's Friend
David Newell
as Judith's Friend
Marian Alden
as Judith's Friend
Paulette Evans
as Judith's Friend
Frank Mayo
as Judith's Friend
Sidney Bracey
as Bartender
Speirs Buskell
as Dr. Steele's Assistant
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Critic Reviews for Dark Victory

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (1)

Audience Reviews for Dark Victory

  • 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
  • Sep 05, 2010
    This is a good movie, with good actors, and a good story. It's a dramatic and exciting thriller. I saw it a while ago, but I remember it was good.
    Aj V Super Reviewer

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