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The MovieHamlet | Dark Victory

Dark Victory

Never a love so exquisite! She smiled at the cost, and bravely paid the reckoning when her heart’s Happy dancing was ended!

Cancer is a disease that seems to be reserved for courageous screen heroines in particular, but this movie is a fine example of how Hollywood once expertly turned predictability into great entertainment. It’s interesting to see how unrealistically the disease is portrayed – damned if a dying lady should be forced to face death without decent makeup! Bette Davis is very good as the 23-year-old socialite whose carefree life is shattered by a brain tumour. This simple soaper cleverly guides the victim and the audience through feelings of fear, joy of life and later on irrevocable despair. Ronald Reagan is fun in an early part.

1939-U.S. 106 min. B/W. Produced by David Lewis. Directed by Edmund Goulding. Screenplay: Casey Robinson. Cast: Bette Davis (Judith Trahearne), George Brent (Fred Steele), Humphrey Bogart (Michael O’Leary), Geraldine Fitzgerald, Ronald Reagan, Cora Witherspoon… Henry Travers.

Trivia: The original ending, where Judith’s horse wins a race and Michael is moved to tears, was cut. Remade as Stolen Hours (1963) and for TV in 1976.

Three stars

Published by Stefan Hedmark 2002-09-20 10:17

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