Not even considered a good film back in 1935, Dangerous is held together by the mesmerizing performance of Bette Davis. The star is cast as alcoholic, self-destructive stage actress Joyce Heath, a character obviously based on Jeanne Eagels. Wealthy architect Don Bellows (Franchot Tone) becomes convinced that Joyce can be rehabilitated with the "right" stage vehicle, and begins pulling strings to bring her back to the footlights. She rises to the occasion, falling in love with Don in the process. But Joyce becomes convinced that she's a jinx to any man who gets near her, as proven by her spineless, dissolute husband, Gordon Heath (John Eldredge), who refuses to give her a divorce. Deliberately hurting Don's feelings so he will escape her "curse," Joyce determines to rid the world of both herself and her husband. But things don't work out that way, and as a result Joyce is left in an inextricable Ethan Frome-like dilemma at film's end, while Don finds happiness with his socialite Gail Armitage (Margaret Lindsay). It is generally conceded that Bette Davis won her Academy Award for Dangerous because she was denied the Oscar for her performance in the previous season's Of Human Bondage. Dangerous was remade (and considerably reshaped) in 1941 as Singapore Woman.
by Hal Erickson synopsis