Dark Victory (1939)

It has Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart (as an ‘Irish’ groom) and Ronald Reagan. She suffers from ‘a brain tumour’. (Possibly the only film before Regarding Henry which does…)

It’s fabexcept for GEORGE BRENT. Bogart’s a 10, even with his coming-and-going accent. Reagan’s a 6, say (at 28). And Brent is a 1. Yet Brent is who(m) she ‘falls in love with’ and ‘marries’. WTF!?! Is the whole thing a satire about the disastrous choices one makes with a brain tumour?

No. It was ever thus: in 8 (at least) studio movies, the Bette Davis character chose George Brent, just to prove that SHE was the biggest star around…

Which makes me ask: did she EVER have a good leading man? Henry Fonda in Jezebel, Paul Henried in Now Voyager, Errol Flynn in The Private Lives Of Elizabeth And Essex…?

But in All About Eve she had… Gary Merrill!


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I had a stroke on July 26th, 2013. I was a screenwriter. Don’t do that anymore. But have found another way to write.

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