The University of Wisconsin Press

Film Studies


Dark Victory
Edited, with an Introduction by Bernard F. Dick
Tino Balio, Series Editor

Wisconsin/Warner Bros. screenplay series

Dark Victory, released in 1939, was a daring movie for its time. it de picted its heroine, Bette Davis, dying of a brain tumor. The film blended romance and realism so successfully that it is still a model for movies about death and dying today.

Bette Davis drew upon every mood she had ever expressed—insouciance, impatience, anger, passion, acquiescence. She worked hard at the role, reveling in a story that, according to her account, she had actively campaigned for. She also benefited greatly by the professional talents of director Edmund Goulding and screenwriter Casey Robinson and a supporting cast that included Humphrey Bogart.

Wisconsin/Warner Bros. screenplay series
Tino Balio, series editor

Bernard F. Dick is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He has written several books, including Anatomy of a Film (1978) and Billy Wilder (1980).

See also the recent University of Wisconsin Press book, Edmund Goulding's Dark Victory: Hollywood's Genius Bad Boy by Matthew Kennedy, about the director of Dark Victory.

Tino Balio, Professor in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is the author of United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars, United Artists: The Company That Changed the Film Industry, and the editor of The American Film Industry as well as the 22 volume Wisconsin/Warner Bros. Screenplay series, all published by the University of Wisconsin Press. He directed the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theatre Research from 1966 to 1882.

Media & bookseller inquiries regarding review copies, events, and interviews can be directed to the publicity department at or (608) 263-0734. (If you want to examine a book for possible course use, please see our Course Books page. If you want to examine a book for possible rights licensing, please see Rights & Permissions.)

the cover of Dark Victory features a black and white still from the movie. A woman in a dark hat is standing between a aman and a woman who are seated at a restaurant table.

December 2005

LC: 81-050822 PN
216 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 18 illus.

Book icon
Paper $24.95 x
ISBN 978-0-299-08764-7
Shopping cart ADD TO CART
  Review cart contents
Secure checkout


Home | Books | Journals | Events | Textbooks | Authors | Related | Search | Order | Contact

If you have trouble accessing any page in this web site, contact our Web manager.

Updated July 18, 2011

© 2011, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System