English nurse Edith Cavell is matron in a small private hospital in German-occupied Brussels during WWI. When the son of a recently deceased patient escapes from a German prisoner-of-war ... See full summary »

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(story "Dawn"), (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
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Capt. Heinrichs
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Mme. Rappard
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Mme. Moulin
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Hugh Gibson
Sophie Stewart ...
Sister Watkins
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Nurse O'Brien
Robert Coote ...
Bungey
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Pierre
Gui Ignon ...
Cobbler
Lionel Royce ...
Gen. Von Ehrhardt
Jimmy Butler ...
Jean Rappard (as James Butler)
Rex Downing ...
François Rappard
...
Lt. Schultz
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Storyline

English nurse Edith Cavell is matron in a small private hospital in German-occupied Brussels during WWI. When the son of a recently deceased patient escapes from a German prisoner-of-war camp, Cavell aids him to reach Holland and safety. This leads to Cavell, a local noblewoman, the grandmother of the escaped prisoner-of-war, and others to form an organization to help Belgian, French, English and other soldiers escape as well. Eventually the Germans become aware of what's happening and take action. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

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Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

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Release Date:

1 September 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Enfermeira Edith Cavell  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

The bible verse Cavell reads in the night, "Appoint out for you cities of refuge whereof I spake unto you..." is from Joshua 20:2. See more »

Connections

Version of The Woman the Germans Shot (1918) See more »

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User Reviews

A lesson in Hun diplomacy
25 November 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Before her popular "London Suite" escapism of the late 40s Anna Neagle achieved early fame for her biopics - Nell Gwyn, Queen Victoria & Amy Johnson portrayed with dignity & feeling,when necessary. This was even more evident in Edith Cavell under the sincere & sympathetic direction of husband,Herbert Wilcox. Her martyrdom & heroism to both her calling & beliefs that "patriotism is not enough" was commemorated after WW1 with the erection of a famed statue in London's Charing X Road,still there, so in the film the ending was never in doubt. Wilcox repeated his 1928 "Dawn" with Sybil Thorndyke without histrionics or dramatics and a bunch of popular stars in more untypical reserved roles except George Sanders who was getting into his stride after "Lancer Spy" as the stiff,autocratic Hun determined to uphold the intransigency of the "rules of war" & expediency irrespective of pleadings of British diplomats up to the very last and the decision of the court-martial against this dignified British nurse - all of which Kubrick later reflected so vividly in "Paths Of Glory". It is interesting to compare the Hun his descendant/counterpart, the Nazi and his downfall - each had their degrees of corporate conquest & world domination whatever the cost. The basic tale of Nurse Cavell running her small Belgian underground escape route for soldiers & fliers under the noses of the enemy is narrated in brief factual episodes. The short closing scenes of her arrest,brief imprisonment,quick execution & memorial service in Westminster Abbey are moving & dignified as directed by Wilcox, a name in high regard among British filmgoers for almost 20 years irrespective of their unfortunate later bankruptcy. By this time Anna Neagle's figure & appearance as a dancer had changed noticeably since her earlier buxom parts in such as "The 3 Maxims"(Later remade as "Trapeze")doing very realistically what Betty Hutton did very realistically later for de Mille. Regrettably, many copies of this rarely seen film have deteriorated especially the sound track which can be muffled & inaudible. Happily,my video copy was taped before it reached this state.


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