Bright Victory

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

Bright Victory
Theatrical poster
Directed byMark Robson
Produced byRobert Buckner
Screenplay byRobert Buckner
Based onLights Out
1945 novel
by Baynard Kendrick
StarringArthur Kennedy
Peggy Dow
Music byFrank Skinner
CinematographyWilliam H. Daniels
Edited byRussell F. Schoengarth
Universal Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • July 16, 1951 (1951-07-16) (Los Angeles)
  • July 31, 1951 (1951-07-31) (New York City)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States


During World War II, Larry Nevins, an American sergeant, 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.

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

One day Larry, unaware that Joe is black, utters a racial slur. This causes a huge rift between Larry and 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 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 they can expect with his disability, and that he wants to relocate rather than be patronized with a menial local job her successful father has offered him. After some thought, Chris tells Larry that she doesn't 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 who had given him hope. 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 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

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


  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.
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