7.1/10
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Nurse Marjorie (1920)

Approved | | Drama, Comedy | 4 April 1920 (USA)
Lady Marjorie Donegal becomes a nurse in hospital, much to the dismay of her aristocratic family. She falls in love with one of her patients, a commoner labor leader.

Writers:

(photoplay), (play)
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Arthur Hoyt ...
Anthony, Duke of Donegal
...
Duchess of Donegal
Frank Leigh ...
Lord Douglas Fitztrevor
Clyde Fillmore ...
John Danbury
Frankie Lee ...
Dick Allen
...
Andrew Danbury
Mollie McConnell ...
Mrs. Danbury
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Al Flosso ...
Punch Worker
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Storyline

Lady Marjorie Donegal becomes a nurse in hospital, much to the dismay of her aristocratic family. She falls in love with one of her patients, a commoner labor leader. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

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Release Date:

4 April 1920 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La jolie infirmière  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The play "Nurse Marjorie" by Israel Zangwill first opened on Broadway at the Liberty Theatre on October 3rd, 1906, and ran for 49 performances. The production was staged by Charles Cartwright and the cast included William Hackett, Ernest Mainwaring, Eleanor Robson Belmont, Hassard Short and H.B. Warner. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Charming Film with a Charming Heroine But a Hero Who Wants Shooting
25 March 2017 | by (Crystal Palace) – See all my reviews

'Nurse Marjorie' was adapted by director William Desmond Taylor's regular scenarist Julia Crawford Ivers from a 1906 play by Israel Zangwill, and no attempt appears to have been made to update the material to reflect the seismic social changes that the intervening fourteen years had wrought in Britain. 

Britain by 1920 was in a state of immense social unrest. Many feared (while others were hoping) that a revolution like the one that had recently seen the Tsar of Russia violently overthrown was imminent here. There was also violence convulsing Ireland, the country of origin of Taylor himself and of his lead character Lady Marjorie Killonan, daughter of the Duke of Donegal (her dialogue throughout is written in brogue). Her ghastly English mother is eager to marry her off to a Tory politician, Lord Douglas Fitztrevor; but Lady Marjorie isn't having any. Instead she does her bit by working incognito at a nursing home in Middlesex, where Fitztrevor's political opposite number, the crusading Labour MP for Westhampton, John Danbury, is recuperating after cosmetic surgery on his eyes.

Considering the guy is supposed to be a socialist, his quite extraordinary boorishness towards Marjorie simply because he thinks she's the plain-looking nurse he saw before his bandages went on is particularly egregious; and Marjorie - at least at first - has no illusions about the shallowness of his attraction towards her when they eventually come off.  We are told that the country is on the brink of major industrial unrest, yet "the People's John" (played appropriately charmlessly by Clyde Fillmore) is instead more interested in getting into the petticoats of his pretty nurse than back to work; and he proceeds to neglect both his parliamentary duties and the wellbeing of his country while wasting the staff's valuable time for most of the film's duration. (Nearly a hundred years later, alas, some things plainly still haven't changed much at Westminster.)

Danbury is shown reading 'The Daily Telegraph' rather than 'The Manchester Guardian', and is soon revealed to be a snob to boot, although he eventually declares himself prepared to wed a daughter of the people - provided she's hot enough. On learning that she's actually Lady Killonan his thoughts at long last return to the political vocation he's being so cavalierly disregarding for most of the film; and the means by which they are eventually reconciled is so melodramatic it smacks of desperation on someone's part.

'Nurse Marjorie' is sadly the only surviving film of William Desmond Taylor's starring his charming young protégé, Mary Miles Minter, whose career ended abruptly in scandal when Taylor was murdered two years later, probably by Minter's mother. (A still of Minter from this film is used to illustrate the scandal in Griffith & Mayer's 'The Movies'.) The English setting is convincingly evoked and the film is as graceful, good looking, good humoured and well acted as Taylor's other surviving films from this period. Would that the same could be said of its hero!


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