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Green Light (1937)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 20 February 1937 (USA)
A brilliant young surgeon takes the blame for a colleague when a botched surgery causes a patient's death and buries himself at a wilderness research facility.

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(screen play), (from the novel by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Dr. Newell Paige
...
Phyllis Dexter
...
Frances Ogilvie
...
Dean Harcourt (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
...
John Stafford
Henry O'Neill ...
Dr. Endicott
...
Mrs. Dexter
Erin O'Brien-Moore ...
Pat Arlen
Henry Kolker ...
Dr. Lane
...
Dr. Booth
Granville Bates ...
Sheriff
...
Sheep Man
...
A Nurse
St. Luke's Episcopal Church Choristers ...
(as St. Luke's Choristers)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eddy Chandler ...
Policeman (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

When his colleague Dr. Endicott is late for an operation, Dr. Newell Paige decides to proceed with Mrs. Endicott's scheduled surgery. The surgery had already been postponed from the previous day and Paige is convinced the surgery needs to go forward without delay. Part way through the operation however, Endicott arrives and takes over only to make a serious error. When a hospital inquiry finds Dr. Paige responsible for Mrs. Dexter's death, he is forced to resign. By chance he meets Mrs. Dexter daughter, Phyllis, and while there is a mutual attraction, she rejects him when she learns his true identity. With little else to do, Paige decides to join his one time hospital colleague in Montana, Dr. John Stafford, who is continuing his tests into spotted fever. Paige is impatient however and decides to test a possible cure on himself. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Warner Bros. Ranch, Calabasas, California, USA

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 February 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La lumière verte  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After his first two starring films, "Captain Blood" and "The Charge of the Light Brigade," Errol Flynn asked Warners to find him a non-swashbuckling role. "Green Light" was the result. However, he was back with sword in hand for his next, "The Prince and the Pauper." See more »

Goofs

When Paige rides up on his horse, it is more than obvious that it's stuntman, not Flynn. He dismounts to the right of the horse, but the next action cut showing Flynn has him in front of the animal, not on its side. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Newell Paige: What would religion be without music?
Mrs. Dexter: There was religion long before there was music.
See more »

Connections

Version of Luz da Esperança (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Green Light" is full of rewards
6 August 2007 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Though not a 'period piece' "Green Light" dates much more than its Errol Flynn-starring predecessors "Captain Blood" and "Charge of the Light Brigade". And that's not necessarily a bad thing. The film was made when the Art Deco-1930s were in full flower. Frank Borzage's direction and the cinematography are beautifully impressionistic and occasionally artsy in a then-modern way as well. Flynn's smiles a bit too broadly and too often in early scenes, in a seeming bid to bring across a likable character. When he shifts attention to others he is much more natural and believable in the film.

Sir Cedric Hardwicke is well cast as the venerable Anglican reverend Dean Harcourt. His booming baritone voice put across his character's appeals for faith and other Christian virtues which are immediately believable (though his pipe-smoking is a bit incongruous with such a character).

One drawback of the film is that its script literally contorts to AVOID the direct mention of Jesus Christ, or the quotation of any recognizable Scriptures (until the finale), substituting semi-mystical pieties and somewhat vague aphorisms of encouragement. It is strongly implied that Flynn's character has undergone a conversion by the time the picture concludes, but it is never expressly stated.

Anita Louise, a lovely blonde, plays one of the women vying for Flynn's affections. Playing the role of her mother is Spring Byington, a delightful busybody in "Charge of the Light Brigade", but here a radiant Christian woman, full of faith, hope, and love which Flynn's initially-sceptical character comments upon long after her scenes are over.

The screenplay and film editing are not as sharp as those of Flynn's most beloved films, and Max Steiner's music is beautifully romantic but oddly unmemorable---which is hard to believe considering his catalog of work (the rousing "Charge of the Light Brigade", for instance, or the classics "The Wizard of Oz" or "Casablanca"). The choristers (boys) of St. Luke's Episcopal Church effectively lend their voices to a few scenes, and would do so in Flynn's follow-up film, "The Prince and the Pauper".

"Green Light" is a diamond in the rough, a neglected gem, and somewhat of a spiritual cousin to Hollywood's "One Foot in Heaven" which starred Fredric March as a minister some four or five years later. It is aired on occasion on TCM (Turner Classic Movies), but has yet to be officially released on videocassette or DVD.

In retrospect it is a bit of surprise choice for an Errol Flynn role, as the film is not nearly so high-budgeted as his preceding pictures. But he desired to prove himself as an actor, not just an action hero in the Douglas Fairbanks Sr. mode, and this was his first non-swashbuckler in which to essay the sort of role Ronald Colman took on in "Arrowsmith" six years earlier.


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