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Bette Davis won her first Academy Award for Best Actress in this story of an alcoholic, self-destructive former Broadway star who makes a final bid to return to the Great White Way.
Davis won her first Best Actress Academy Award for her performance in Dangerous as a tempestuous Broadway actress (modelled on Jeanne Eagels) who proves the ruin of a successful New York architect (Franchot Tone). Having nursed a crush on her since seeing her perform on stage as Juliet, the architect throws over his wealthy fiancée to back the alcoholic, self-destructive actress in a bid to return her to the footlights of the Great White Way — unaware that she is married, a secret that will prove everyone's destruction. The Davis-adoring blog "Rants of a Diva" lists Dangerous among Bette's Top Ten performances: "Seeing it 70+ years later, one can see that it stands [as] some of her best work (and definitely better than her second Oscar win for Jezebel three years later)....Bette gets to bitch up a storm and have a ton of fun." "Bette Davis is such an eerie stimulant in this movie that you can see why some people loved her and others hated her, while still others were split.... She hypes it with an intensity that frequently makes you sit up and stare" (Pauline Kael).