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Lora Hart manages to land a job in a hospital as a trainee nurse. Upon completion of her training she goes to work as a night nurse for two small children who seem to be very sick, but something much more sinister is going on. Written by
Col Needham <email@example.com>
James Cagney was originally supposed to play Nick, but when The Public Enemy (1931) became a big hit, it was decided that he should no longer be relegated to supporting roles, allowing the relatively unknown Clark Gable to step in instead. See more »
During the surgery scene, all the doctors, nurses, and observers are wearing face masks but only their mouths are covered. Their noses are sticking out above the masks. There is no point in wearing a surgical mask if the nostrils are exposed. See more »
The young NIGHT NURSE watching two sick little girls finds herself pitted against a gang of heartless criminals.
Barbara Stanwyck is a standout in this taut little film. Independent, resourceful and tough as nails, she pits herself against the bullying authority she encounters in the hospital and the absolute evil she must confront at the bizarre private home where she is sent to work. An intelligent & spirited actress, it was roles such as this which would hasten Stanwyck into becoming one of the biggest film stars of the 1930's.
A fine cast gives Stanwyck ample support. Ben Lyon plays the free spirited bootlegger who takes a shine to Barbara. Brassy Joan Blondell portrays her worldly wise roommate. Charles Winninger brightens his few scenes as a cherubic doctor, as does Edward Nugent as a flirtatious intern. Vera Lewis is properly implacable as the stern head nurse and Blanche Frederici adds a note of strangeness as a distraught housekeeper. Not yet a star, Clark Gable is very effective as a menacing chauffeur.
Movie mavens will recognize Willie Fung as a Chinese patient & Marcia Mae Jones as the sick child who needs the milk bath--both uncredited.
The Pre-Code status of the film is readily apparent. Stanwyck & Blondell are viewed in their lingerie as often as possible and Stanwyck must suffer some mighty rough handling from various villains in the movie. Capping it all off, Barbara exits the film with her new boyfriend, an unrepentant & unpunished crook involved in everything from thievery to murder, a situation certainly not allowed just a few years later.
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