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The Secret of Dr. Kildare (1939)

Approved | | Drama | 24 November 1939 (USA)
Dr. Gillespie's cancer has gotten worse, and to force him to take a rest instead of pursuing a sulfa-drug/pneumonia study, Kildare refuses to assist Gillespie, and instead accepts a case of... See full summary »

Director:

Harold S. Bucquet

Writers:

Max Brand (story), Willis Goldbeck | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lew Ayres ... Dr. James 'Jimmy' Kildare
Lionel Barrymore ... Dr. Leonard Barry Gillespie
Lionel Atwill ... Paul Messenger
Helen Gilbert ... Nancy Messenger
Nat Pendleton ... Joe Wayman
Laraine Day ... Nurse Mary Lamont
Sara Haden ... Nora
Samuel S. Hinds ... Dr. Stephen Kildare
Emma Dunn ... Mrs. Martha Kildare
Walter Kingsford ... Dr. S.J. Carew
Grant Mitchell ... John Xerxes Archley
Alma Kruger ... Head Nurse Molly Byrd
Robert Kent ... Charles Herron
Marie Blake ... Sally - Telephone Operator
Martha O'Driscoll ... Mrs. Roberts
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Storyline

Dr. Gillespie's cancer has gotten worse, and to force him to take a rest instead of pursuing a sulfa-drug/pneumonia study, Kildare refuses to assist Gillespie, and instead accepts a case of hysterical blindness. She's also the daughter of a millionaire who could help the hospital. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 November 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El secreto del Dr. Kildare See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film received its initial television broadcast in New York City Thursday 14 March 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2) it first aired in Hartford CT 9 May 1957 on WHCT (Channel 18), in Philadelphia 18 June 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), in New Haven CT 27 June 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), in Minneapolis 30 June 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), in Altoona PA 4 July 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), in Phoenix 14 July 1957 on KPHO (Channel 5), in Norfolk VA 6 August 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), in Seattle 12 October 1957 on KING (Channel 5), in Chicago 4 February 1958 on WBBM (Channel 2), in San Francisco 6 February 1958 on KGO (Channel 7), and in Los Angeles 25 April 1958 on KTTV (Channel 11). See more »

Quotes

Dr. Leonard Barry Gillespie: Only two kinds of people don't want to see doctors; those that know that they're well, and those that know they're not.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dr. Kildare's Strange Case (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Kildare tries to help Gillespie and a young woman
1 March 2008 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

In 1939's "The Secret of Dr. Kildare," the young doctor is faced with a tough decision. Dr. Gillespie's cancer has exacerbated, and he cannot continue his lab experiments as he once did. Of course, he's refusing to stop. So Kildare quits, knowing Gillespie can't do the work without him. He takes over instead the care of a young woman, Nancy Messenger (Helen Gilbert), who has some emotional issues. Her father (Lionel Atwill) isn't sure what to do about her, so Kildare gains her confidence and tries to get to the bottom of her problems. Meanwhile, Kildare's parents (Samuel S. Hinds and Emma Dunn) come to visit. It turns out that the senior Dr. K has a potentially terminal heart problem and has come to New York for a second opinion. This, too, is a Secret of Dr. Kildare - because he doesn't tell his son.

What made this series a great success was the interrelationships of the characters. Lionel Barrymore is a great Dr. Gillespie, and his relationship with Kildare, with his head nurse, Molly Byrd (Alma Kruger) and Dr. Carew (Walter Kingsford) are lively ones of affection cut with bellowing. Laraine Day is Mary Lamont, who's in love with Kildare, but things haven't really heated up between them yet. She, too, has her moments with Gillespie. At one point while recuperating from a weak spell, he asks her to order him a steak, baked potato and apple pie. Lamont never changes expression, picking up the phone to get him gruel and weak tea.

Though the plot line involving Nancy Messenger is oversimplified and not terribly realistic, this is nevertheless a good episode in the Kildare series. Some trivia - Helen Gilbert, who plays Nancy, in real life was married for one year to gangster Johnny Stompanato, Lana Turner's boyfriend who was killed by her daughter Cheryl.


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