6.2/10
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4 user 1 critic

A Child Is Born (1939)

Approved | | Drama | 6 January 1940 (USA)
A maternity ward, staffed by sympathetic nurses, serves mothers-to-be from all walks of life. These include a happy mother of a large family; a secretly-married teenager who thinks their ... See full summary »

Director:

Lloyd Bacon

Writers:

Mary M. Axelson (based on the play by) (as Mary McDougal Axelson), Robert Rossen (screen play)
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Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Geraldine Fitzgerald
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Geraldine Fitzgerald ... Grace Sutton
Jeffrey Lynn ... Jed Sutton
Gladys George ... Florette
Gale Page ... Miss Bowers
Spring Byington ... Mrs. West
Johnnie Davis ... Ringer Banks
Henry O'Neill ... Dr. Lee
John Litel ... Dr. Brett
Gloria Holden ... Mrs. Kempner
Johnny Downs ... Johnny Norton
Eve Arden ... Miss Pinty
Fay Helm ... The Woman
Louis Jean Heydt ... Mr. Kempner
Nanette Fabray ... Gladys Norton (as Nanette Fabares)
Jean Sharon Jean Sharon ... Mrs. Banks
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Storyline

A maternity ward, staffed by sympathetic nurses, serves mothers-to-be from all walks of life. These include a happy mother of a large family; a secretly-married teenager who thinks their parents won't approve of either their children's marriage or baby; a woman who is trying for a living child despite a history of stillbirths; a showgirl who doesn't want a child, and who is shocked to find she is having twins; and a convicted murderess whose husband is forced to choose between saving her or the baby. Written by afsnowbird

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 January 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Quando a Vida Começa See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$40,500
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Tucson Tuesday 25 September 1956 on KDWI (Channel 9); it first aired in Los Angeles Wednesday 10 October 1956 on KNXT (Channel 2), in Indianapolis Thursday 11 October 1956 on WISH (Channel 8), in Los Angeles Sunday 2 December 1956 on KNXT (Channel 2), and in Wichita Tuesday 8 January 1957 on KAKE (Channel 10). See more »

Connections

Version of Life Begins (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

My Melancholy Baby
(1911) (uncredited)
Music by Ernie Burnett
Lyrics by George A. Norton
Sung a cappella by Gladys George
Reprised by her when she gets to hold her baby
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User Reviews

 
Get out the handkerchief!
14 January 2001 | by MbarnumSee all my reviews

Get ready for an emotional roller coaster! One minute you'll be laughing the next minute the tears will be streaming down your cheeks! This is the story of one hospital's maternity floor and the women who are staying there waiting to have their babies. Geraldine Fitzgerald gives a fine performance as Mrs. Grace Sutton, a young lady, like any other, going to the hospital to have a baby...only she is handcuffed! She has evidently murdered a man (though no explanation is given as to the circumstances)and will likely spend the rest of her life in prison. The stress of being in jail and having a baby is proving to be too much for her. Gloria Holden (star of Dracula's Daughter a few years earlier) plays a woman who is worried about losing her first child. Spring Byington has a field day as a gal who is now popping out her 6th child, and a very young Nanette Fabray is a teenager whose mother doesn't know she is having a baby, or that she is even married! Then there is Gale Page as the oh so professional nurse, and Eve Arden in a rare non-comedic role as another nurse. But the stand-out performances are by Jeffrey Lynn as the tragic husband of the incarcerated mom-to-be and Johnnie Davis as another franticly nervous spouse! These and a few other characters play out this underrated film which, while slightly dated, is sure to wring out the tears in just about everyone! I give it 10 stars!!!


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