Ever since one of her leading men was killed on opening night, stage actress Joyce Heath has been labeled a jinx. Though formerly wildly successful, the jinx label has Joyce's career in ruins, and now, a shell of what she once was, she has turned to the bottle. While drinking gin in a cheap bar one night, Joyce is recognized by one of her ardent fans---architect Don Bellows (Franchot Tone); though Joyce really wants to be left alone in her drunkenness, Don proceeds to tell her how moved he was by her performance in Romeo and Juliet. When Joyce passes out, Don takes her to his home, where she can sleep off the liquor.
With a house in the country---to which he only goes on weekends---Don offers Joyce an invitation to stay for the week. In the beginning, Joyce drinks first thing in the morning, but by the time Don returns at the end of the week, she has begun to look and feel better.
Though Don's initial intent is to help Joyce rehabilitate her life and, thus, restore her career, things go further than that, and he ends up kissing her. Eventually, he breaks things off with his fiance, Gail Armitage (Margaret Lindsay), and asks Joyce to marry him. Additionally, though Joyce still thinks of herself as a jinx and tries to talk him out of it, Don puts up the money to produce the play which will re-launch her career.
Rehearsals of the play go well, and it is anticipated that the show will be a huge success. It seems as if life is smiling on Joyce Heath again and that the jinx is broken...but is it? How everything plays out is the balance of the film.
Dangerous features another fabulous performance by the simply amazing Bette Davis. The character she portrays---struggling, boozing Joyce Heath---is complex, and it is those types of characters which allow Miss Davis's talent to shine brightly. Quite simply, I think she is the best dramatic actress of all time...nearly always turning out an Academy Award-winning performance. Interestingly, though she won the Oscar for her work in Dangerous, Bette is on record (per Robert Osborne's informational snippet) as saying that she didn't feel she deserved the win for this role. Though she thought her work in Of Human Bondage (for which she wasn't even nominated) the year before was Oscar worthy, she felt 1935's win belonged to Katharine Hepburn for her work in Alice Adams. Funny, I've seen Alice Adams, and I am absolutely not in agreement with Bette. I think she was beyond Oscar worthy here in Dangerous and that The Academy chose the right actress for the win. At any rate, Bette will absolutely not disappoint in this film.
Franchot Tone was kind and endearing. I really loved his character---a man of integrity and honesty. There was great chemistry between him and Miss Davis. It's easy to understand how love of that man could bring to life a years-long feud. There is a twist in this film---one which I never anticipated---and though I would have liked a different ending, I do think it had the right ending!!
Definitely see this one if you can. It's newly out on DVD (released last month), so you ought to be able to track it down.