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Prison Nurse (1938)

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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 36 users  
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A state prison is threatened by approaching floods, an epidemic of typhoid fever breaks out among the inmates, the prison's only doctor falls sick, there are only three nurses to administer... See full summary »



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Title: Prison Nurse (1938)

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Cast overview:
Bernadene Hayes ...
Pepper Clancy
Ben Welden ...
Ray Mayer ...
Addison Richards ...
Warden Benson
Doctor Hartman
Minerva Urecal ...
Norman Willis ...


A state prison is threatened by approaching floods, an epidemic of typhoid fever breaks out among the inmates, the prison's only doctor falls sick, there are only three nurses to administer vaccines and take care of stricken patients--and a group of prisoners is planning to use the chaos as a cover for a mass escape. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prison | typhoid | flood | doctor | nurse | See All (17) »


A Maelstrom of Human Emotions!


Drama | Film-Noir





Release Date:

1 March 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alerte au bagne  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (edited)

Sound Mix:

(RCA High Fidelity Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Basically a decent story idea with some really, really dumb logical lapses.
23 April 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

At the State Prison, there is a serious crisis--the place is flooding and the dam might break AND there's an outbreak of typhoid!! There aren't enough doctors to go around and one of the prisoners, Dale (Henry Wilcoxon) is a doctor. At first refuses to help and is a bitter man. However, eventually, after the only doctor takes ill, he agrees--and soon his old attitude returns and he is once again a healer. While this seems like an ideal story, he's in for a surprise when there is a prison break and he is forced as gunpoint to help. Now the authorities think he was part of the breakout and when the escapees are killed, there is no one to corroborate his story. Dale knows this and continues to remain in hiding instead of turning himself in. What's to become of Dr. Dale?!

This film is hard to believe but crosses over to sloppy at times. Occasionally folks in the film behave in ways that make absolutely no sense--such as when the evil killer, just before he dies, tries to inexplicably help Dale prove his innocence!! And, only seconds later, the other guy who could help prove Dale was innocent gets himself killed for absolutely no reason I could think of...other than to make the convoluted plot kind of work! And then there's the ending...oh is it sloppy and stupid!!

Although 15 minutes of the film is missing from this Alpha Video release, I can't see how this would help much since there are too many logical lapses to take the film very seriously. With films like this, I can understand how a once important leading man, Wilcoxon, faded into relative obscurity after starring in "Cleopatra" for Cecil B. DeMille in 1934. He did make many more appearances but his leading man days were over.

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