- Commentary by Film Historian James Ursini and CNN Film Critic Paul Clinton
- Featurette: Tough Competition for Dark Victory
- Theatrical Trailer
- Subtitles in English, French & Spanish
- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 44 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Released: June 14, 2005
- Originally Released: 1939
- Label: Warner Home Video
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Single Side - Dual Layer
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Dolby Digital Mono - English
- Subtitles - English, French, Spanish - Optional
- Additional Release Material:
- Featurette: 1939: TOUGH COMPETITION FOR DARK VICTORY
- Audio Commentary: James Ursini - Film Historian
- Trailers: Theatrical Trailer
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Description by OLDIES.com:
Bette Davis's bravura, moving-but-never-morbid performance as Judith Traherne, a dying heiress determined to find happiness in her few remaining months, remains a three-hankie classic. Dark Victory was Davis's biggest box-office hit yet and garnered Academy Award nominations for 1939's Best Picture, Actress and Original Score. "If it were an automobile," Newsweek wrote, Dark Victory "would be a Rolls-Royce." It's the perfect match of star and vehicle.
Bette Davis soars in this superb, soapy starring vehicle, chauffeur-driven by director Edmund Goulding (THE GREAT LIE, GRAND HOTEL). A flighty, energetic socialite with a passion for champagne and country living, Judith (Davis) won't admit there's something wrong with her vision until she almost dies in a horse jumping accident. When a handsome doctor (George Brent) examines her, he discovers a rare and incurable brain disease. They fall in love and get married, determined to make every last moment count, aware that she might pass on at any time. A batch of familiar faces helps make these last few months as happy as possible: Geraldine Fitzgerald, terrific as Judith's friend and secretary; Humphrey Bogart, sporting an occasional Irish brogue as a horse trainer; and Ronald Reagan, slurring up a storm as Judith's boozy pal. Although the men acquit themselves nicely, the film belongs to the women, and Davis and Fitzgerald are both first-rate in this typically tough and lovely Warner Brothers tear-jerker.
Description by Warner Home Video:
Bette Davis' bravura, moving-but-never-morbid performance as Judith Traherne, a dying heiress determined to find happiness in her few remaining months, remains a three-hankie classic. But that success would never have happened if Davis hadn't pestered studio brass to buy Dark Victory's story rights. Jack Warner finally did so skeptically. Who wants to see a dame go blind' he asked. Almost everyone: Dark Victory was Davis' biggest box-office hit yet and garnered Academy Award nominations for 1939's Best Picture, Actress and Original Score (Max Steiner).
In one of the roles most identified with Bette Davis, she shows her quicksilver ability to change emotional tempo from flighty high-handedness to despair to brave resignation. As a beautiful, effervescent social butterfly, she leads a carefree life until learning she has a fatal brain tumor. Given a respite by the healing hands of her handsome young doctor, she falls in love with both him and life itself.
Character Study |
Essential Cinema |
- Tallulah Bankhead starred in the original Broadway play on which this film is based.