Dark Victory (1939)

EDMUND GOULDING

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1939.  Warner Bros..  Screenplay by , from the play by , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1939.  

It always amazes me that my fellow campy queens who run around quoting  lines (“Fasten your seat belts…blah blah blah…what a dump…blah blah blah”) don’t reach for any quotes from this particular show of Betteness with the same fervour.  Running around like a well-oiled piston from room to room with excitement and verve as headstrong socialite Judith Traherne, Davis looks like she’s begging on her knees to be satirized. She’s also wonderful (of course), and though the film is dated and somewhat cornball (movies up until The Three Faces of Eve that deal with medical subject matter tend to be so) it’s always a very enjoyable tearjerker. Judith learns that her brain operation wasn’t a success and that she has a lethal brain tumour and will go blind before she dies. How does she deal with it? Sporting the latest fashions, of course!!! Davis had seen the play with Tallulah Bankhead (she filmed another Bankhead vehicle play a year later when she did The Little Foxes) and told Jack L. Warner it would make a great vehicle for her. His response, now famous: “Who wants to see a dame go blind?” He was wrong, of course, and the film became one of Davis’ biggest hits. Lots of fun for such a sad movie.

Dark Victory

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s