Movie Mirrors Index

Bright Victory

(1951 b 97')

En: 6 Ed: 7

Based on a novel by Baynard Kendrick, a blinded veteran adjusts to his new way of life and acquires a new set of friends.

         In 1943 Larry Nevins (Arthur Kennedy) drives a jeep in North Africa into a dangerous area, where he is shot by a sniper. His eyes are bandaged as he goes to a hospital and then on a plane to the US.

         A doctor takes off his bandages and tests his eyes. Larry realizes he is blind. John Masterson (Richard Egan) tells him this is the worst time. Larry gets out of bed and finds a razor, but an officer stops him from hurting himself.

         A sergeant helps Larry to adapt, and he uses a cane. Lt. Conklin makes Larry tell his mother on the phone that he is blind. Larry goes out to a bar, but he refuses to sit with Judy Greene (Peggy Dow). Larry is tested and can perceive walls. Larry bumps into Joe Morgan (James Edwards), and they become friends.

         At a dance Larry gets to know Judy. He says he has a girl Chris, who has been waiting for three years. Judy kisses Larry goodnight.

         Larry refers to “niggers” and learns that Joe is black. Larry goes out with Judy. He goes to a bank and writes a check. John is visited by his wife and son. Judy takes Larry to meet her sister Janet Grayson (Joan Banks) and her husband Bill Grayson (Jim Backus). While they are fishing, Bill suggests that Larry could become a lawyer. Larry tells Judy that he likes her family. He learns that she is in love with him, but he says he still loves Chris.

         Mr. Nevins (Will Geer) meets with Mr. Paterson (Minor Watson) and Chris Paterson (Julie Adams), who says she loves Larry despite her father’s objections. Mr. Nevins and Claire Nevins (Nana Bryant) welcome their son Larry at the train. Mr. Nevins takes Larry alone for a whiskey. Larry says that he has a Negro friend. Mr. Nevins says that he and his wife are worried.

         Chris welcomes Larry to his party, and they embrace. Larry leaves the party to have a drink alone with Chris. He suggests they take their time, and they kiss. Larry and Chris go to a movie and row a boat. Mr. Paterson offers Larry a job in his plant because he is going to marry Chris. Larry tells Chris that he doesn’t want a charity job. He wants to go somewhere else and asks her to tell him what she wants. Late at night she comes over and says that she can’t. She cries on his shoulder.

         Bill meets Larry at the train and takes him to the blind lawyer, Jess Coe (Larry Keating), who says his wife reads to him. At the station Judy goes to Larry and asks what happened at home. Larry says they have to find their security, and she agrees. He says they are going to be a lawyer, and they embrace happily. While getting on the train Larry hears Joe’s name and tells him he wants to be his friend.

         This romantic drama depicts soldiers learning how to adapt to the loss of sight, and they realize they have other ways of compensating. A southerner realizes that his race prejudice had prevented him from making more friends. He is fortunate to find a woman who truly loves him and is glad to help him.

Copyright © 2007 by Sanderson Beck

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