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Dark Victory (Sous-titres franais)

Edmund Goulding    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Dark Victory (DVD)

Amazon.ca

Critic Pauline Kael called this shamelessly enjoyable, vintage Bette Davis weepie a "kitsch classic" and time hasn't diminished its ability to give the tear ducts a good flushing. Davis plays a swinging socialite, living the fast life of booze, smokes and--with the help of Humphrey Bogart as her Irish stableman--raising thoroughbred horses. When a brain tumour starts giving her headaches and eroding her vision, she falls in love with her surgeon (George Brent), who grows more determined than ever to cure her. Davis gives one of her most vibrant performances and her costars also include Ronald Reagan and Geraldine Fitzgerald. The film received Oscar nominations for best picture, best actress and for Max Steiner's score. --Jim Emerson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful performances rise above the soapiness Oct. 21 2003
Format:DVD
"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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Bette Davis vehicle Dec 24 2002
Format:DVD
"Dark Victory" is atypical for a Hollywood movie made in 1939 [or for that matter, for one made today] because it deals with terminal illness and it doesn't have a happy ending. The medical profession back then was less honest about the subject. A common procedure was to assure the patient that they were doing fine, even when the prognosis was negative. This deceptive practice and other factors date the movie, but Bette Davis' stunning performance as Judith Traherne always has and always will define the movie. For that reason alone, it is still eminently watchable.
Judith is a vivacious, carefree member of Long Island society. Her passions are parties, her friends and her horses. After being thrown from her favorite horse, she admits to her best friend, Ann [Geraldine Fitzgerald] that the cause of the accident was a sudden blurring of her vision. This, she admits, is not the first time she's had this problem. After much cajoling of the stubborn, frightened Judith, Ann gets her to a specialist, Dr. Frederick Steel [George Brent], who diagnosis her as having a rare illness. An operation, which is unsuccessful, ensues, but the truth is withheld from Judith. During all this, patient and doctor fall in love with each other. Both the illness and Steel's well intended but deceitful way of dealing with it led to serious complications.
Fitzgerald is excellent as Ann, George Brent [a matinee idol in his time] is adequate, but Humphrey Bogart, whose stardom was sill several years away, is wasted as Michael, Judith's horse trainer. His Irish accent is not at all good. You'll hardly notice, though, because your thoughts and eyes will always be on Davis. She displays virtually every human emotion, seemingly without effort. One of her great scenes is the one in which Dr.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Bette Davis' greatest performances Dec 8 2002
By A Customer
Format:DVD
"Dark Victory" is atypical for a Hollywood movie made in 1939 [or for that matter, for one made today] because it deals with terminal illness and it doesn't have a happy ending. The medical profession back then was less honest about the subject. A common procedure was to assure the patient that they were doing fine, even when the prognosis was negative. This deceptive practice and other factors date the movie, but Bette Davis' stunning performance as Judith Traherne always has and always will define the movie. For that reason alone, it is still eminently watchable.
Judith is a vivacious, carefree member of Long Island society. Her passions are parties, her friends and her horses. After being thrown from her favorite horse, she admits to her best friend, Ann [Geraldine Fitzgerald] that the cause of the accident was a sudden blurring of her vision. This, she admits, is not the first time she's had this problem. After much cajoling of the stubborn, frightened Judith, Ann gets her to a specialist, Dr. Frederick Steel [George Brent], who diagnosis her as having a rare illness. An operation, which is unsuccessful, ensues, but the truth is withheld from Judith. During all this, patient and doctor fall in love with each other. Both the illness and Steel's well intended but deceitful way of dealing with it led to serious complications.
Fitzgerald is excellent as Ann, George Brent [a matinee idol in his time] is adequate, but Humphrey Bogart, whose stardom was sill several years away, is wasted as Michael, Judith's horse trainer. His Irish accent is not at all good. You'll hardly notice, though, because your thoughts and eyes will always be on Davis. She displays virtually every human emotion, seemingly without effort. One of her great scenes is the one in which Dr.
Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars BETTE'S PERSONAL FAVOURITE. Sept. 26 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Davis performances don't get any better than her classic portrayal of Judy Traherne, the lively, irresponsible 23 year-old Long Island heiress who finds inner peace before her untimely death via a brain tumour. Because this classic film is quite possibly the most famous of all vintage tear-jerkers, it is best to leave out plot details so as not to ruin the experience for first-time viewers. Just know that this was Davis's favourite film because it contained the performance she was the most satisfied with. Granted, to modern day viewers, Bette's highly charged, kinetic energy - particularly in the early scenes - may appear eccentric, almost laughable, because it's the likes of which actors don't display nowadays......But keep watching.....Bette's metamorphasis into a fully contented, married woman with an inner glow about her is astounding to observe and you may later understand the underlying cleverness of Davis's contrasting moods. It's a vivid, multi-faceted performance which contains many elements of genuine human emotions: selfishness, hedonism, love, vulnerability, anger, self-pity, compassion & maturity thru inner peace. Very beneficial to the film is the character of Ann King, Judy's best friend and secretary. Not in the original play, director Edmund Goulding created her as a kind of Greek Chorus, so that Judith wouldn't have to complain about the inevitable. Geraldine Fitzgerald gives superb support: Davis always praised her Irish-born co-star (in her American debut) commenting in her memoirs that Ann was "so beautifully played by Fitsie". If ever a movie held the honour of selling more Kleenex than any other, it would have to take notes from this 1939 Bette Davis vehicle, because it's a 24K gold-plated Cadillac with few peers. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars "Dark Victory (1939) ... Bette Davis ... Edmund Goulding (Director)...
Warner Bros. Pictures presents "DARK VICTORY" (1944) (104 min/B&W) -- Starring: Bette Davis, George Brent, Humphrey Bogart, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Ronald Reagan, Henry Travers, Cora... Read more
Published on March 20 2011 by J. Lovins
4.0 out of 5 stars "I'm young and strong and nothing can touch me."
Judith Traherne (Bette Davis) is a self-absorbed socialite who dabbles in horses. When a surgeon (George Brent) discovers she has inoperable cancer, he opts not to tell her. Read more
Published on Oct. 15 2010 by Kona
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Classic, Sorry DVD!
When you see grade z movies being issued with beautiful transfers and 1 to 2 extra discs of extras, you would think one of the great screen classics would receive similar respect. Read more
Published on Feb. 2 2004 by Jery Tillotson
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark Victory: Bette Sees With Blinding Eyes
Bette Davis's career was built on two types of roles: the 'serious' actress of films like THE PETRIFIED FOREST, where she tends to radiate emotion within a tightly focused... Read more
Published on July 23 2002 by Martin Asiner
5.0 out of 5 stars One of her most lovely
Bette looks gorgeous and will make you cry and smile. This film is great. I had no idea what all the fuss about her was til I saw this film. Read more
Published on July 11 2002 by Raechel Reiter
1.0 out of 5 stars Hilariously bad
This is one movie that plays like a Carol Burnett sketch from start to finish. The climax, where Davis tries to hide her blindness from her husband, had me cramping up from... Read more
Published on March 27 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pure Classic
One of my very favorites of Bette's films. When the movie begins she is so self absorbed, as are the people she surrounded herself with. Read more
Published on Oct. 12 2001 by M. Potter
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful Drama
THe title gave me an impression of some type of war movie. Truly Davis's character has adversity that strikes at the core of emotion. Read more
Published on Aug. 27 2001 by John D. Hernandez Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of its Time
This could have been just another Hollywood tearjerker but thanks to good direction and realistic performances by Bette Davis and George Brent this turns out to be a very emotional... Read more
Published on July 5 2001 by hille2000
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