Dark Victory Reviews
I found it to be very charming and romantic and quite sad towards the end. I only wish Davis' character was a bit more developed, as this does veer into melodrama. Overall, though, an enjoyable watch.
George Brent didn't have a lot of personality and a William Powell (or maybe even Bogart?) would have been better suited.
Bogart himself seems so out of place its depressing. What's with the accent? Not only is it bad, but it disappears most of the time. Poor Bogey, stuck as a contract player.
The rest are all fine, they just all get blown off the screen by Davis.
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.
Davis was never more vulnerable or got to show off all of her gifts, and her ending scene is weepie heaven.