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Without question, DARK VICTORY ($25) is about the best known and most entertaining tearjerker to ever come out Warner Bros. Bette Davis stars in DARK VICTORY as Judith Traherne, a fun loving society playgirl who discovers that she has a brain tumor. George Brent is Frederick Steele, the doctor who reluctantly takes her case, and falls hopelessly in love with his terminally ill patient. DARK VICTORY is a wonderfully inspiring tale, one that shows that life is precious and all too fleeting. Davis gives a marvelous Oscar nominated performance, bringing to full life a character who is transformed by her experience. Through Davis we see Judith change from a shallow, self-centered individual, to someone full of love and depth. Davis makes one feel that every day should be lived to its fullest because the quantity of life isn’t as important as the quality. DARK VICTORY is a beautifully acted film that features some outstanding supporting performances. Humphrey Bogart is wonderful as Michael O'Leary, Judith’s stable manager and horse trainer. Geraldine Fitzgerald portrays Ann King, Judith’s best friend and confidant. Ms. Fitzgerald’s performance is rich, rewarding and almost as moving as Ms. Davis’ is. Ronald Reagan and Henry Travers are also featured in the fine cast.

MGM Home Entertainment has done a terrific job transcribing DARK VICTORY to DVD. The black and white transfer is beautiful thanks to Ernest Haller’s glossy cinematography. The film element is in great shape considering that the film is almost sixty years old. There are only minor blemishes on the element. The black and white transfer is striking; everything is sharp and detailed. The transfer has deep, rich blacks and good contrast. MPEG-2 compression artifacts were never noticeable on this DVD.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack sounds quite good for a film of this vintage. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

The interactive menus offer access to a theatrical trailer, as well as the standard scene selection feature.

As far as old style Hollywood Entertainment goes, DARK VICTORY is tough to beat; plus the DVD looks great. Recommended.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1999 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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