Bright Victory

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Bright Victory
Theatrical poster
Directed byMark Robson
Screenplay byRobert Buckner
Based onLights Out
1945 novel
by Baynard Kendrick
Produced byRobert Buckner
StarringArthur Kennedy
Peggy Dow
CinematographyWilliam H. Daniels
Edited byRussell F. Schoengarth
Music byFrank Skinner
Color processBlack and white
Universal International Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • August 1951 (1951-08)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States

Bright Victory is a 1951 American drama romance war film directed by Mark Robson, and starring Arthur Kennedy and Peggy Dow.[1][2][3]


During World War II, American sergeant Larry Nevins is blinded by a German sniper while fighting in North Africa. He is taken to a Pennsylvania hospital for other blinded soldiers, where he struggles to accept and come to terms with his disability.

Though initially despondent, Larry is taught to orient himself and walk through the grounds and in town by memorization and with use of a cane. He befriends Joe Morgan, another blinded veteran, and Judy, a local bank teller who volunteers by socializing with disabled soldiers.

One day, Larry, unaware that Joe is black, utters a racial slur, causing a rift between Larry and the others. Meanwhile, he progresses well in his recovery, passing a crucial test to see how well he can handle himself on the street. He is cleared for furlough, so Judy takes him to spend a weekend at her sister's nearby cabin, where he goes fishing and is entertained by her family.

From Judy's brother-in-law, Larry learns of a very successful blind lawyer, giving him hope for the future. After dinner, Judy reveals her love for him. Larry tells her that he needs more security and family support and already has a fiancée in his Florida hometown. Somewhat dispirited, he goes home and has a rough time dealing with the racial attitudes of his Southern parents and friends. His fiancée's family is having doubts about his fitness as a son-in-law, and his parents are downcast because of his disability.

Larry is happy to see his fiancée Chris, though he still thinks of Judy. After a bad experience at his homecoming party, he tells Chris the difficulties that they can expect with his disability, and that he wants to relocate rather than be patronized with the menial local job that her successful father has offered him. After some thought, Chris tells Larry that she does not feel strong enough to marry and move far away with him while he struggles to make a new life for both of them.

Returning to the hospital, Larry takes a side trip to Philadelphia and meets the successful blind lawyer played by Frank Wilcox. The lawyer tells him that life is difficult but worth it and that his wife was an invaluable helper to him in his career.

At the train station en route to begin a more advanced rehabilitation course, Larry is unexpectedly reunited with Judy. They joyfully declare their mutual love.

Boarding the train, he hears Joe Morgan's name called. He catches Joe's arm, apologizes for all the hurt he has caused and asks if they can be friends; Joe accepts the apology. They board and sit together as the train pulls out of the station.



Bright Victory was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Arthur Kennedy) and Best Sound Recording (Leslie I. Carey).[4] The film was also entered into the 1951 Cannes Film Festival.[5]

Filming locations[edit]

Part of the film was made at Valley Forge General Army Hospital in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, and the town's name is mentioned in the film. Scenes were also shot in downtown Phoenixville, Kimberton, and at Broad Street Station in Philadelphia.


Robson called it "a very good film" although he admitted "it was a disaster financially."[6]


  1. ^ Liebman, Roy (2017). Broadway Actors in Films, 1894-2015. McFarland. p. 146. ISBN 9780786476855. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  2. ^ Weaver, Tom; Schecter, David; Kiss, Robert J. (2017). Universal Terrors, 1951-1955: Eight Classic Horror and Science Fiction Films. McFarland. p. 184. ISBN 9781476627762. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  3. ^ Armstrong, Richard B.; Armstrong, Mary Willems (2015). Encyclopedia of Film Themes, Settings and Series. McFarland. p. 28. ISBN 9781476612300. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  4. ^ "The 24th Academy Awards (1952) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2011-08-20.
  5. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Bright Victory". Retrieved 2009-01-11.
  6. ^ Higham, Charles (1969). The celluloid muse: Hollywood directors speak. p. 213.

External links[edit]