Dark Victory

(1939, Directed by Edmund Goulding)
Dark Victory

Starring Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, George Brent, Geraldine Fitzgerald, and Ronald Reagan. 104 min.

When 23-year-old socialite Judith Traherne suffers from severe headaches and double vision, a famous medical specialist discovers she has a lethal brain tumor. She undergoes a seemingly successful operation and begins a romance with her doctor. However, the doctor realizes that the operation was in fact not successful and that she has less than six months to live. He conceals this from her but she eventually discovers the truth and must decide how best to live the remainder of her life. A classic of the “women’s film” genre, Dark Victory grapples with issues of love, life, death, and a woman’s right to make her own medical choices.

Part of the 2014–2015 film series at the Schlesinger Library. Admission is free and open to the public.