Dark Victory


1h 46m 1939
Dark Victory

Brief Synopsis

A flighty heiress discovers inner strength when she develops a brain tumor.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Apr 22, 1939
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Dark Victory by George Emerson Brewer, Jr. and Bertram Bloch (New York, 9 Nov 1934).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 46m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
11 reels

Synopsis

When Judith Traherne, a gay, irrepressible member of the Long Island horsey set begins to suffer from chronic headaches, her family physician, Dr. Parsons, insists that she see Dr. Frederick Steele, a brilliant young brain surgeon. Judith arrives at Steele's office on the day that he is to retire from surgery because of the death of one of his patients, but, intrigued by Judith's symptoms and charmed by her spirit, he postpones his retirement and takes her case.

After performing delicate brain surgery on Judith, Steele discovers that her tumor is malignant and that she has only ten months to live. Her doctors decide to hide the grim truth from Judith, but Steele is unable to coneal the facts from her best friend, Ann King. After her recovery from surgery, Judith and Steele fall in love and plan to be married. While packing for their move to Vermont, Judith accidentally comes across her case history file and learns of her hopeless prognosis. Angered at Steele and Ann's betrayal, Judith spurns Steele and begins a frivolous pursuit of pleasure, hiding her heartbreak with deceitful gaiety.

When Steele admonishes her to find peace so that she can meet death beautifully and finely, however, Judith realizes that she must extract from life a full measure of happiness in the few brief months she has left with the man she loves. She and Steele are married and decide to carry on as if an entire life stretched ahead of them, ignoring the shadow of death that is ever present. Then, one morning, death comes to Judith and she faces it with courage and dignity, thus winning a victory over the forces of darkness.

Photo Collections

Dark Victory - Bette Davis Publicity Stills
Here are a few stills of Bette Davis taken to help publicize Warner Bros' Dark Victory (1939).

Videos

Movie Clip

Dark Victory (1939) - The Sleepy Trahernes Quick start for this Warner Bros. society melodrama, Humphrey Bogart the Irish horse trainer wakes Geraldine Fitzgerald, secretary and best friend to Bette Davis (as heiress Judith Traherne), eventually joining her still-soused kind-of boyfriend Ronald Reagan, in Dark Victory, 1939.
Dark Victory (1939) - That Cold Scientific Eye Family Doc Parsons (Henry Travers) has maneuvered symptomatic but defiant socialite Judith (Bette Davis) into the path of brain surgeon Steele (George Brent) who, himself traumatized over a patient's death, had been departing to begin his new career in research, in Dark Victory, 1939.
Dark Victory (1939) - Not Another Headache? Socialite Judith (Bette Davis), seeking support from friend Ann (Geraldine Fitzgerald), appears unready for a grim diagnosis delivered by Dr. Steele (George Brent) in Dark Victory, 1939.
Dark Victory (1939) - You've The Spirit In You (Partial Spoiler!) Heiress and relapsed brain tumor patient Judith (Bette Davis) after a day of triumphant riding visits her Irish horse trainer Michael (Humphrey Bogart) who, unaware of her current condition, has long hidden his adoration, in Dark Victory, 1939.
Dark Victory (1939) - A Jealous Scene Loyal Ann (Geraldine Fitzgerald) secretly visits brain surgeon Frederick (George Brent), to discuss his undisclosed fatal prognosis for his patient, her best friend and boss Judith (Bette Davis) who rings up, and who has meanwhile fallen for the doctor, in Dark Victory, 1939.

Trailer

Hosted Intro

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Adaptation
Classic Hollywood
Release Date
Apr 22, 1939
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the play Dark Victory by George Emerson Brewer, Jr. and Bertram Bloch (New York, 9 Nov 1934).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 46m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
11 reels

Award Nominations

Best Actress

1939
Bette Davis

Best Music Original Dramatic Score

1940

Best Picture

1939

Articles

Dark Victory


Between 1932 - when they were both young up-and-comers at Warner Brothers - and 1942 - when she was Warners' top female star - Bette Davis and George Brent appeared in 11 films together. But never were the two more romantically well matched, and more heartbreakingly in love, than in Dark Victory (1939). And for the first time, their romance continued off screen.

Davis and Brent met while making So Big! in 1932. Davis fell for Brent, but it was unrequited. During their next film, The Rich Are Always With Us (1932), Brent was in love with the film's star, Ruth Chatterton, whom he soon married. Over the course of five more films together, Davis and Brent were both otherwise involved, so only a strong friendship developed. By the time they made Dark Victory, however, Brent was newly divorced from Chatterton, and Davis' first husband was divorcing her.

In Dark Victory, Davis plays Judith Traherne, a party-loving heiress with a terminal brain tumor. She falls in love with her doctor, Brent, and after initially worrying that he pities rather than loves her, agrees to marry him and grab whatever happiness she can in the time she has left. It's an intensely emotional role, and Davis' own emotions were then at the breaking point. Her marriage, as well as recent affairs with director William Wyler and Howard Hughes, were over. Although she had begged Jack Warner to buy the play on which Dark Victory was based, a distraught Davis was convinced she couldn't do justice to Judith, and after only a few days of shooting, begged to be released from the film, claiming she was sick. Producer Hal Wallis replied, "Bette, I've seen the rushes - stay sick!"

Director Edmund Goulding did his best to reassure her, and enlisted the help of co-star Brent. Before long, the two stars were having an affair. The film was shot in sequence, and Davis' nervous intensity in the early scenes, glowing romanticism in the middle, and serenity in the end mirrored her own feelings during the filming. Secure in her new romance, Davis claimed she was "a doll" during production of Dark Victory. But the waspish Bette Davis occasionally broke through her docility. Getting ready to shoot her death scene, Davis jokingly asked the director, "Well, Eddie, am I going to act this, or is Max?" meaning composer Max Steiner. Goulding assured her that the drama would be all hers, but Steiner's choirs of angels eventually did escort Judith into the hereafter, to Davis' dismay.

Dark Victory was a three-hanky hit. Filmgoers and critics alike knew their emotions were being manipulated, but so expertly and touchingly that they couldn't help but cheer. Both Davis' performance and Max Steiner's score were nominated for Academy Awards. As for the Davis-Brent romance, it endured through three more films onscreen, and for over a year off screen. Davis later admitted that she had wanted to marry Brent, but he didn't think it would work. But they maintained an enduring affection and respect for each other. "Of the men I didn't marry," Davis would say, "the dearest was George Brent."

Director: Edmund Goulding
Producer: Hal B. Wallis, David Lewis
Screenplay: Casey Robinson, based on the play by George Emerson Brewer, Jr. & Bertram Bloch
Editor: William Holmes
Cinematography: Ernest Haller
Art Direction: Robert Haas
Music: Max Steiner
Principal Cast: Bette Davis (Judith Traherne), George Brent (Dr. Frederick Steele), Humphrey Bogart (Michael O'Leary), Geraldine Fitzgerald (Ann King), Ronald Reagan (Alec Hamin), Henry Travers (Dr. Parsons), Cora Witherspoon (Carrie Spottswood).
BW-105m. Closed captioning. Descriptive video.

by Margarita Landazuri

Dark Victory

Dark Victory

Between 1932 - when they were both young up-and-comers at Warner Brothers - and 1942 - when she was Warners' top female star - Bette Davis and George Brent appeared in 11 films together. But never were the two more romantically well matched, and more heartbreakingly in love, than in Dark Victory (1939). And for the first time, their romance continued off screen. Davis and Brent met while making So Big! in 1932. Davis fell for Brent, but it was unrequited. During their next film, The Rich Are Always With Us (1932), Brent was in love with the film's star, Ruth Chatterton, whom he soon married. Over the course of five more films together, Davis and Brent were both otherwise involved, so only a strong friendship developed. By the time they made Dark Victory, however, Brent was newly divorced from Chatterton, and Davis' first husband was divorcing her. In Dark Victory, Davis plays Judith Traherne, a party-loving heiress with a terminal brain tumor. She falls in love with her doctor, Brent, and after initially worrying that he pities rather than loves her, agrees to marry him and grab whatever happiness she can in the time she has left. It's an intensely emotional role, and Davis' own emotions were then at the breaking point. Her marriage, as well as recent affairs with director William Wyler and Howard Hughes, were over. Although she had begged Jack Warner to buy the play on which Dark Victory was based, a distraught Davis was convinced she couldn't do justice to Judith, and after only a few days of shooting, begged to be released from the film, claiming she was sick. Producer Hal Wallis replied, "Bette, I've seen the rushes - stay sick!" Director Edmund Goulding did his best to reassure her, and enlisted the help of co-star Brent. Before long, the two stars were having an affair. The film was shot in sequence, and Davis' nervous intensity in the early scenes, glowing romanticism in the middle, and serenity in the end mirrored her own feelings during the filming. Secure in her new romance, Davis claimed she was "a doll" during production of Dark Victory. But the waspish Bette Davis occasionally broke through her docility. Getting ready to shoot her death scene, Davis jokingly asked the director, "Well, Eddie, am I going to act this, or is Max?" meaning composer Max Steiner. Goulding assured her that the drama would be all hers, but Steiner's choirs of angels eventually did escort Judith into the hereafter, to Davis' dismay. Dark Victory was a three-hanky hit. Filmgoers and critics alike knew their emotions were being manipulated, but so expertly and touchingly that they couldn't help but cheer. Both Davis' performance and Max Steiner's score were nominated for Academy Awards. As for the Davis-Brent romance, it endured through three more films onscreen, and for over a year off screen. Davis later admitted that she had wanted to marry Brent, but he didn't think it would work. But they maintained an enduring affection and respect for each other. "Of the men I didn't marry," Davis would say, "the dearest was George Brent." Director: Edmund Goulding Producer: Hal B. Wallis, David Lewis Screenplay: Casey Robinson, based on the play by George Emerson Brewer, Jr. & Bertram Bloch Editor: William Holmes Cinematography: Ernest Haller Art Direction: Robert Haas Music: Max Steiner Principal Cast: Bette Davis (Judith Traherne), George Brent (Dr. Frederick Steele), Humphrey Bogart (Michael O'Leary), Geraldine Fitzgerald (Ann King), Ronald Reagan (Alec Hamin), Henry Travers (Dr. Parsons), Cora Witherspoon (Carrie Spottswood). BW-105m. Closed captioning. Descriptive video. by Margarita Landazuri

Geraldine Fitzgerald (1913-2005)


Geraldine Fitzgerald, the Irish born actress who, long in America, distinguished herself as a young ingenue in film classics like Wuthering Heights and later as a first-rate character player in hits such as Arthur, died on July 16 in her Manhattan home, succumbing to a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. She was 91.

Born in Dublin on November 24, 1913, Fitzgerald was educated for a time in a convent school in London. Back in her native Dublin, she happily accompanied her aunt, the Irish actress Shelah Richards, to a theater one afternoon when the director mistook her for an actress, and instructed her "to go backstage and change." An inauspicious start, but it gave her the acting bug. She made her stage debut in 1932 in Dublin's Gate Theater and later appeared in a few forgettable British films: Open All Night (1934), The Ace of Spades, Three Witnesses (both 1935). She made the trip across the Atlantic in 1938 to act with Orson Welles and his Mercury Theater, but agents from Warner Bros. quickly signed her and she was soon off to Hollywood.

She made her film debut in 1939 supporting Bette Davis in Dark Victory, but it was her performance in a second film later in the year that proved to be the most memorable of her career - the role of Isabella Linton in Wuthering Heights. She earned an Oscar® nomination for her turn and stardom should have been around the corner, but Fitzgerald's feuding with studio head Jack Warner (he refused to let her return to the New York stage and she would refuse parts that she thought were inferior) led to some lengthy suspensions of unemployment. Irregardless, Fitzgerald still had some shining moments at Warner Bros. the heady melodrama The Gay Sisters (1942); the superb espionage thriller Watch on the Rhine (1943); Robert Siodmak's terrific, noirish thriller The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (1945); and a tough crime drama where she played opposite John Garfield Nobody Lives Forever (1946).

Fitzgerald returned to New York by the '50s, and found much work in many of the live television dramas that were so popular in the day: Goodyear Television Playhouse, Lux Video Theatre, Studio One, Schlitz Playhouse of Stars; and even some taped television shows: Naked City, Alfred Hitchcock Presents in between her stage demands.

She did return to the screen by the mid-'60s and proved herself a fine character actress in films like The Pawnbroker (1965); Rachel, Rachel (1968); Harry and Tonto (1974); a wonderfully memorable comic turn as Dudley Moore's feisty grandmother in Arthur (1981); and yet another noteworthy performance as Rose Kennedy in the acclaimed mini-series Kennedy (1983). She also appeared in a few television programs: St. Elswhere, Cagney & Lacey, and The Golden Girls before ill-health forced her to retire by the early '90s. Among the relatives that survive her are her son, director Michael Lindsay-Hogg (Brideshead Revisited; a daughter, Susan Scheftel; and her great-niece, the English actress Tara Fitzgerald.

by Michael "Mitch" Toole

Geraldine Fitzgerald (1913-2005)

Geraldine Fitzgerald, the Irish born actress who, long in America, distinguished herself as a young ingenue in film classics like Wuthering Heights and later as a first-rate character player in hits such as Arthur, died on July 16 in her Manhattan home, succumbing to a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. She was 91. Born in Dublin on November 24, 1913, Fitzgerald was educated for a time in a convent school in London. Back in her native Dublin, she happily accompanied her aunt, the Irish actress Shelah Richards, to a theater one afternoon when the director mistook her for an actress, and instructed her "to go backstage and change." An inauspicious start, but it gave her the acting bug. She made her stage debut in 1932 in Dublin's Gate Theater and later appeared in a few forgettable British films: Open All Night (1934), The Ace of Spades, Three Witnesses (both 1935). She made the trip across the Atlantic in 1938 to act with Orson Welles and his Mercury Theater, but agents from Warner Bros. quickly signed her and she was soon off to Hollywood. She made her film debut in 1939 supporting Bette Davis in Dark Victory, but it was her performance in a second film later in the year that proved to be the most memorable of her career - the role of Isabella Linton in Wuthering Heights. She earned an Oscar® nomination for her turn and stardom should have been around the corner, but Fitzgerald's feuding with studio head Jack Warner (he refused to let her return to the New York stage and she would refuse parts that she thought were inferior) led to some lengthy suspensions of unemployment. Irregardless, Fitzgerald still had some shining moments at Warner Bros. the heady melodrama The Gay Sisters (1942); the superb espionage thriller Watch on the Rhine (1943); Robert Siodmak's terrific, noirish thriller The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (1945); and a tough crime drama where she played opposite John Garfield Nobody Lives Forever (1946). Fitzgerald returned to New York by the '50s, and found much work in many of the live television dramas that were so popular in the day: Goodyear Television Playhouse, Lux Video Theatre, Studio One, Schlitz Playhouse of Stars; and even some taped television shows: Naked City, Alfred Hitchcock Presents in between her stage demands. She did return to the screen by the mid-'60s and proved herself a fine character actress in films like The Pawnbroker (1965); Rachel, Rachel (1968); Harry and Tonto (1974); a wonderfully memorable comic turn as Dudley Moore's feisty grandmother in Arthur (1981); and yet another noteworthy performance as Rose Kennedy in the acclaimed mini-series Kennedy (1983). She also appeared in a few television programs: St. Elswhere, Cagney & Lacey, and The Golden Girls before ill-health forced her to retire by the early '90s. Among the relatives that survive her are her son, director Michael Lindsay-Hogg (Brideshead Revisited; a daughter, Susan Scheftel; and her great-niece, the English actress Tara Fitzgerald. by Michael "Mitch" Toole

Ronald Reagan, 1911-2004 - TCM Remembers Ronald Reagan


Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)

Ronald Reagan, the actor turned elected official whose fascinating career saw him develop as a contract player for Warner Brothers studios, to a politician who fulfilled his ambitions by becoming the 40th President of the United States, died at his home in Los Angeles on June 5 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 93.

He was born Ronald Wilson Reagan on February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois to John and Nelle Reagan. When Reagan was nine, his family settled down in the small community of Dixon, about 100 miles west of Chicago. After high school, Reagan enrolled in Eureka College, a small Christian school near Peoria. He graduated in 1932 with a degree in Economics, and pursued a career in broadcasting. His first gig was as a part-time announcer at WOC in Davenport, Iowa. Within a year, WOC had merged with its big-sister station, WHO in Des Moines, and Reagan was hired as a sports announcer.

In the spring of 1937, Reagan drove to Southern California to catch the Chicago Cubs in spring training on Santa Catalina Island. While he was in California, he wrangled a screen test and signed a contract for $200 a week with Warner Brothers. His film debut was rather inauspicious; he portrayed a radio announcer in an innocuous comedy Love is on the Air (1937). He made a few more "B" programmers like Hollywood Hotel (also 1937), and Girls on Probation (1938), before getting his first prominent role opposite Bette Davis in the popular tearjerker, Dark Victory (1939).

Although he seldom got credit for being a good actor, there was no denying that Reagan held his own given the right material: Knute Rockne, All American as the doomed Notre Dame football hero George "The Gipper" Gipp, where he delivered the film's immortal line "Win one for the Gipper!"; Santa Fe Trail in which he ably supports Errol Flynn in one of the boxoffice hits of its era (both 1940); Kings Row (1941), featuring one of his finest performances as a small-town playboy whose legs are amputated by a careless surgeon; and Desperate Journey (1942) where he again supported Flynn in an exciting action picture.

Due to his poor eyesight, Reagan didn't see any action in World War II, so the studio heads assigned him to star in a series of patriotic films produced by the First Motion Picture Unit of the Army Air Forces in Culver City. Between 1942-45, Reagan starred in over 400 of these films. After the war, Reagan still found some good roles: The Voice of the Turtle (1947) proved he had a deft hand at light comedy opposite Eleanor Parker; The Hasty Heart (1949) offered another underrated performance as he ably portrayed the Yank in John Patrick's much heralded wartime play; and Storm Warning (1950) was a slick melodrama that cast Reagan as a crusading District Attorney determined to bring the KKK in a small southern town, with the help of Doris Day and Ginger Rogers!

It was around this time that Reagan became involved in politics. In 1947, he began a five-year term as president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and testified in October of that year before the newly formed House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). He identified suspected Communists Larry Parks, Howard Da Silva and Alexander Knox, all of whom were subsequently called to testify, and subsequently blacklisted. Later records showed Reagan was so concerned about the Communist influence in Hollywood, that he became an FBI informer.

As Reagan became steeped in his political career, his parts throughout the '50s became inferior: the notorious Bedtime for Bonzo (1951); the coy "sex" comedy She's Working Her Way Through College (1952) that cast him as a college professor who romances a stripper! (Virginia Mayo); Cattle Queen of Montana (1955), a sluggish Western that even the redoubtable Barbara Stanwyck couldn't save; and finally Hellcats of the Navy (1957), a stodgy war picture that would be his only film that co-starred his wife Nancy (Davis).

Television offered some salvation. For eight years, (1954-62), Reagan served as the host of General Electric Theater, a televised series of dramas. He also found a niche as GE's goodwill ambassador to employees and to civic and business groups around the country, furthering his taste and honing his craft as a public official. By the mid '60s, Reagan would move into politics entirely, save for one last film, the thrilling The Killers (1964), Reagan's only known villainous role, as a murderous gangster. That same year, he actively campaigned for Republican Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, although Goldwater lost to Lyndon B. Johnson.

Reagan whose profile was riding high, had cemented his future as a successful politician. In 1966, he ran against incumbent Governor Pat Brown for the state of California and won, serving successfully for two terms until 1974.

Reagan began an all-out, two-year drive to wrest the 1976 nomination from incumbent Gerald R. Ford, an appointed vice president who became president on the resignation of Nixon. Reagan fell short by a handful of delegates to the Republican national convention. But Ford lost to Jimmy Carter, and Reagan became the front-runner to challenge Carter in 1980. After defeating Carter, Reagan held two terms as President of the United States (1981-89). After his second term was over, he retired quietly in California. In 1994, it was revealed to the media that Reagan was suffering from Alzheimer's disease; he had been kept out of the public eye since then.

He was married briefly to actress Jane Wyman (1940-48), and had two children; a daughter Maureen and an adopted son, Michael. In 1952, he married a budding film starlet, Nancy Davis, who bore him two more children; a daughter, Patty; and a son, Ronald Jr. Ronald Reagan is survived by Nancy, Michael, Patty and Ron Jr. His daughter Maureen died of Melanoma in 2001 at the age of 60.

by Michael T. Toole

Ronald Reagan, 1911-2004 - TCM Remembers Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) Ronald Reagan, the actor turned elected official whose fascinating career saw him develop as a contract player for Warner Brothers studios, to a politician who fulfilled his ambitions by becoming the 40th President of the United States, died at his home in Los Angeles on June 5 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 93. He was born Ronald Wilson Reagan on February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois to John and Nelle Reagan. When Reagan was nine, his family settled down in the small community of Dixon, about 100 miles west of Chicago. After high school, Reagan enrolled in Eureka College, a small Christian school near Peoria. He graduated in 1932 with a degree in Economics, and pursued a career in broadcasting. His first gig was as a part-time announcer at WOC in Davenport, Iowa. Within a year, WOC had merged with its big-sister station, WHO in Des Moines, and Reagan was hired as a sports announcer. In the spring of 1937, Reagan drove to Southern California to catch the Chicago Cubs in spring training on Santa Catalina Island. While he was in California, he wrangled a screen test and signed a contract for $200 a week with Warner Brothers. His film debut was rather inauspicious; he portrayed a radio announcer in an innocuous comedy Love is on the Air (1937). He made a few more "B" programmers like Hollywood Hotel (also 1937), and Girls on Probation (1938), before getting his first prominent role opposite Bette Davis in the popular tearjerker, Dark Victory (1939). Although he seldom got credit for being a good actor, there was no denying that Reagan held his own given the right material: Knute Rockne, All American as the doomed Notre Dame football hero George "The Gipper" Gipp, where he delivered the film's immortal line "Win one for the Gipper!"; Santa Fe Trail in which he ably supports Errol Flynn in one of the boxoffice hits of its era (both 1940); Kings Row (1941), featuring one of his finest performances as a small-town playboy whose legs are amputated by a careless surgeon; and Desperate Journey (1942) where he again supported Flynn in an exciting action picture. Due to his poor eyesight, Reagan didn't see any action in World War II, so the studio heads assigned him to star in a series of patriotic films produced by the First Motion Picture Unit of the Army Air Forces in Culver City. Between 1942-45, Reagan starred in over 400 of these films. After the war, Reagan still found some good roles: The Voice of the Turtle (1947) proved he had a deft hand at light comedy opposite Eleanor Parker; The Hasty Heart (1949) offered another underrated performance as he ably portrayed the Yank in John Patrick's much heralded wartime play; and Storm Warning (1950) was a slick melodrama that cast Reagan as a crusading District Attorney determined to bring the KKK in a small southern town, with the help of Doris Day and Ginger Rogers! It was around this time that Reagan became involved in politics. In 1947, he began a five-year term as president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and testified in October of that year before the newly formed House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). He identified suspected Communists Larry Parks, Howard Da Silva and Alexander Knox, all of whom were subsequently called to testify, and subsequently blacklisted. Later records showed Reagan was so concerned about the Communist influence in Hollywood, that he became an FBI informer. As Reagan became steeped in his political career, his parts throughout the '50s became inferior: the notorious Bedtime for Bonzo (1951); the coy "sex" comedy She's Working Her Way Through College (1952) that cast him as a college professor who romances a stripper! (Virginia Mayo); Cattle Queen of Montana (1955), a sluggish Western that even the redoubtable Barbara Stanwyck couldn't save; and finally Hellcats of the Navy (1957), a stodgy war picture that would be his only film that co-starred his wife Nancy (Davis). Television offered some salvation. For eight years, (1954-62), Reagan served as the host of General Electric Theater, a televised series of dramas. He also found a niche as GE's goodwill ambassador to employees and to civic and business groups around the country, furthering his taste and honing his craft as a public official. By the mid '60s, Reagan would move into politics entirely, save for one last film, the thrilling The Killers (1964), Reagan's only known villainous role, as a murderous gangster. That same year, he actively campaigned for Republican Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, although Goldwater lost to Lyndon B. Johnson. Reagan whose profile was riding high, had cemented his future as a successful politician. In 1966, he ran against incumbent Governor Pat Brown for the state of California and won, serving successfully for two terms until 1974. Reagan began an all-out, two-year drive to wrest the 1976 nomination from incumbent Gerald R. Ford, an appointed vice president who became president on the resignation of Nixon. Reagan fell short by a handful of delegates to the Republican national convention. But Ford lost to Jimmy Carter, and Reagan became the front-runner to challenge Carter in 1980. After defeating Carter, Reagan held two terms as President of the United States (1981-89). After his second term was over, he retired quietly in California. In 1994, it was revealed to the media that Reagan was suffering from Alzheimer's disease; he had been kept out of the public eye since then. He was married briefly to actress Jane Wyman (1940-48), and had two children; a daughter Maureen and an adopted son, Michael. In 1952, he married a budding film starlet, Nancy Davis, who bore him two more children; a daughter, Patty; and a son, Ronald Jr. Ronald Reagan is survived by Nancy, Michael, Patty and Ron Jr. His daughter Maureen died of Melanoma in 2001 at the age of 60. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Nothing can hurt us now. What we have can't be destroyed. That's our victory - our victory over the dark. It is a victory because we're not afraid.
- Judith
I think I'll have a large order of prognosis negative!.
- Judith
I want you to have a party and be gay. Very, very gay!
- Judith
Here's a tragedy for you. Jessica's Girl has bronchitis and can't possibly last the night. Jessica's Girl is a horse. Poor Jessica's Girl.
- Judith

Trivia

Originally there was to have been a final scene where Judith Traherne's horse wins the Grand National, reducing Michael O'Leary (Humphrey Bogart) to tears. Preview audiences found it anticlimactic and it was cut.

The original play opened in New York on 9 November 1934.

Notes

A 1935 memo from M-G-M production executive David O. Selznick to Greta Garbo discloses that Selznick suggested buying the play Dark Victory as a vehicle for Garbo and Fredric March. At the time, the two were scheduled to make Anna Karenina with George Cukor, but Selznick felt that the picture was too similiar to Garbo's other costume dramas and suggested that she consider Dark Victory instead. In 1936, Selznick offered the lead to Merle Oberon; however, because of complications involving her contract, Oberon refused the role. For additional information on the subject, for The Garden of Allah. Modern sources add that Bette Davis discovered the play in 1938 and touted it to every producer on the Warner Bros. lot. When producer David Lewis and director Edmund Goulding expressed an interest, studio head Hal Wallis agreed to buy the play to keep Davis happy. Warners then bought the play from Selznick for $50,000. Davis claims that Goudling worked on the script and added the character of Judith's best friend Ann so that Judith would never have to complain about her tragedy.
       According to materials contained in the Production Files at the AMPAS Library, to create the appearance of snow, technicians dipped cornflakes in white lead. The lead kept the flakes from blowing away in the strong winds of the San Fernando Valley, where the film was being shot on location. Dark Victory marked the American motion picture debut of Irish-born actress Geraldine Fitzgerald (1913-2005), who previously had appeared on stage and made several British films, The picture was nominated for the following Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Original Score. In 1938, Barbara Stanwyck and Melvyn Douglas starred in a Lux Radio Theatre version of the play, and in 1939 Davis and Spencer Tracy starred in another radio version of the story. In 1963, United Artists released Stolen Hours, also based on the play, starring Susan Hayward and Michael Craig and directed by Daniel Petrie. In 1976, NBC broadcast a television version directed by Robert Butler and starring Elizabeth Montgomery and Anthony Hopkins.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1939

Released in United States on Video April 5, 1988

Released in United States 1939

Released in United States on Video April 5, 1988