Have you ever heard the saying that the best place to hide something is in plain sight–out in the open? That belief proved true in the movie Dark Victory. I saw this terrific movie on a Saturday night on KET’s Movie Classics.
Bette Davis plays the part of Judith. She is 23 years old, wealthy, and both parents have passed away. Her life is spent having fun at parties; drinking until she can hardly stand up with her pal, played by Ronald Reagan.
Judith’s close friend, Ann, and her doctor who delivered her into this world, both know there’s something wrong with Judith’s health. Together they get her in to see a well-known younger doctor. This doctor removes a tumor from Judith’s brain. The surgery is a success, but the patient has less than a year to live. The tumor will return. No one wants to know this, but she finds out accidentally. She will suddenly go blind, and hours later die painlessly.
As the fact sinks in, the boss over Judith’s horse stables tells her an especially fine horse is in danger of dying. After all this stirs around her mind a while, she goes to her stables. The stables’ boss, played by Humphrey Bogart, who is also a friend, weakens Judith’s tough shell she has built around herself. She tells him she will soon die.
An important thing happens. He says, “no, no, no you Ms. Judith!” She almost cries. He says, “I will pray for you.” At that moment Judith reacts as if a jolt of electricity has gone through her body. She must leave.
After some more wild living, she finds the doctor who operated on her. Did he remember telling her he wanted her to find, have, peace? She tells him she is so very tired from looking for peace. She’s tried everything, but nothing works. Where is this peace? He says, “It is within you.” She seems to put together what the stables’ boss and the doctor have told her. She moves to a smaller town in the country surrounded by some of the few people who really care about her, and she them. And you would be glad, I’m sure, to face death, and meet it as well as Judith does.
I was very glad to see how the character, Ronald Reagan played, reacted to Judith’s sickness! He had drank with Judith to try to be close to her. Now he’s sober and took life seriously. It is so like Reagan’s real life. He was so busy doing work for his country until he found out that he had Alzheimer’s.
He wrote in a letter of good-bye to all but his immediate family. He went home and waited for the end.
Solomon asked God for wisdom, and that is for sure a good thing to have. Even better, I think, is peace; unless peace comes with wisdom? What do you think? What do you want from God?
Mary C. Albertson