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Dr. Kildare's Strange Case (1940)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 12 April 1940 (USA)
Young Dr. Kildare tries to help an unlucky brain surgeon and his seemingly insane patient.

Director:

Harold S. Bucquet

Writers:

Max Brand (story), Willis Goldbeck (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lew Ayres ... Dr. James 'Jimmy' Kildare
Lionel Barrymore ... Dr. Leonard Gillespie
Laraine Day ... Nurse Mary Lamont
Shepperd Strudwick ... Dr. Gregory 'Greg' Lane
Samuel S. Hinds ... Dr. Stephen Kildare
Emma Dunn ... Mrs. Martha Kildare
Nat Pendleton ... Joe Wayman, Ambulance Driver
Walter Kingsford ... Dr. S.J. 'Walter' Carew, Hospital Administrator
Alma Kruger ... Molly Byrd, Superintendant of Nurses
John Eldredge ... Henry Adams, Amnesia Patient
Nell Craig ... Nurse 'Nosey' Parker
Marie Blake ... Sally, Hospital Switchboard Operator
Charles Waldron Charles Waldron ... Dr. 'Egghead' Squires, Messinger Inst.
George Lessey ... Rufus Ingersoll
Tom Collins ... Dr. Joiner
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Storyline

Young Dr. Kildare is still being trained at General Hospital by old, crusty Dr. Gillespie. This time, he tries to rehabilitate Gregory Lane, a brain surgeon depressed over losing too many patients (and incidentally Kildare's romantic rival for nurse Mary Lamont). Lane's losing streak takes a new turn when one of his patients survives...but seems to be insane. Or is the man's strange obsession with Friday the clue to a mystery? To find out, Kildare must take a terrible risk. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 April 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El extraño caso 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 was first telecast in New Haven CT Sunday 3 March 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), followed by Altoona PA Sunday 10 March 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10) and by Los Angeles Thursday 28 March 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11); It first aired in Phoenix 12 May 1957 on KPHO (Channel 5), in Norfolk VA 20 May 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), in Minneapolis 27 July 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), in Philadelphia 29 September 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), in Seattle 19 October 1957 on KING (Channel 5), in Chicago 25 January 1958 on WBBM (Channel 2), in San Francisco 27 September 1958 on KGO (Channel 7), and, finally by New York City 18 November 1959 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »

Goofs

At about 11 minutes, Dr. Gillespie and Dr. Kildare drink the same glasses of milk twice. Furthermore, the full and empty bottles of milk on the table during the lunch change their positions, and sometimes vanish, between shots. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Leonard Gillespie: The operation was a success but the patient died.
See more »

Connections

Followed by 3 Men in White (1944) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the more entertaining of the Dr. Kildare series
28 November 2009 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

I always enjoyed the Dr. Kildare series. The casting was excellent, especially Lionel Barrymore as the irascible Dr. Gillespie. If it were not for him, I doubt this series would have been as popular as it was. I believe this is number four in the series, and by this time Dr. Kildare and nurse Mary Lamont are in love, but Dr. Kildare only makes twenty dollars a month as an intern, so he doesn't feel like he can support a wife. Thus he has made no promises to Mary. Remember, back in these days (1940) women always quit their jobs when they got married. Thus Mary has started dating a young brain surgeon, who also has happened to lose a lot of patients lately. He finally gets suspended from the hospital when the last of his patients has gone insane seemingly as a result of the surgery he has performed.

At this point Dr. Kildare takes up the case of proving that the patient is not insane as a result of the surgery by jolting him back to sanity via insulin shock therapy. This primitive method that was long a mainstream treatment for mental patients involves injecting someone with a large dose of insulin and then sitting back and seeing what develops. As a diabetic I can tell you what develops, sweating followed by seizures, possibly followed by death or coma. However, the medical profession, which had a primitive understanding of diabetes and insulin seventy years ago, thinks that what happens is that the human brain regresses back to its primitive self, then back to its evolved present and that the patient's sanity is sometimes restored in the process. This is how Dr. Kildare explains it in the film and it is both hilarious and somewhat shocking.

There are some other jaw-droppers such as after long hours in surgery when all the doctors and nurses involved light up a cigarette - in the hospital, still in their surgical gowns. Note that there is no such thing as biomedical monitoring equipment - nurses just come by each patient and "look in on them". There are a few things that are better in 1940 than today. For one, Dr. Gillespie isn't afraid to hand out straight talk to patients about their culpability involving their conditions. Today doctors are afraid to mention that an overweight patient might lose a little weight and improve their situation because they are so fearful of lawsuits.


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