"Dark Victory" stars the legendary Bette Davis as wealthy socialite Judith Traherne. She leads a life of non-stop fun and partying until a life-threatening disease begins to affect her. The supporting cast includes George Brent as surgeon Frederick Steele and Humphrey Bogart as Judith's horse trainer.
The film has a "soap opera" feeling throughout, and I found some of the plot elements to be hard to believe. But aside from those flaws, this is one classic film that is still compelling and entertaining. Davis is the center of the film, and her performance is wonderful. She brings fire and strength, as well as vulnerability and serenity, to this memorable character. The supporting cast is up to the high standard set by Davis. It's particularly fun to see a young Ronald Reagan as one of Judith's party set. Unfortunately, Bogart's character seems to be neglected by the time the film is over.
The opulent set and costume design make the film a real pleasure to watch, and are superbly enhanced by the film's glorious black-and-white cinematography. Max Steiner's appropriately melodramatic musical score also fits well into the mix. If you love classic movies, I recommend this film highly.