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The Secret of Dr. Kildare (1939)

Approved | | Drama | 24 November 1939 (USA)
Dr. Gillespie's cancer has gotten worse, and to force him to take a rest instead of pursuing a sulfa-drug/pneumonia study, Kildare refuses to assist Gillespie, and instead accepts a case of... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Helen Gilbert ...
Nancy Messenger
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...
Sara Haden ...
Nora
Samuel S. Hinds ...
Emma Dunn ...
Walter Kingsford ...
Dr. S.J. Carew
...
John Xerxes Archley
Alma Kruger ...
Robert Kent ...
Charles Herron
...
Sally - Telephone Operator
...
Mrs. Roberts
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Storyline

Dr. Gillespie's cancer has gotten worse, and to force him to take a rest instead of pursuing a sulfa-drug/pneumonia study, Kildare refuses to assist Gillespie, and instead accepts a case of hysterical blindness. She's also the daughter of a millionaire who could help the hospital. Written by Kathy Li

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Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

24 November 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El secreto del Dr. Kildare  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Leonard Barry Gillespie: Even good doctors often forget that fear is a tyrant over the body as well as the mind. People can acquire the evil results of every disease just through fear alone.
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Connections

Follows Young Dr. Kildare (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

a Kildare a day
14 June 2004 | by (Massachusetts) – See all my reviews

"The Secret of Dr. Kildare" shines as a multi-threaded gem, typical of the Kildare series. And this time the master may teach his pupil, but the pupil has a lesson of his own to give the great Dr. Gillespie. Three main twists populate this inviting plot, all of which come together in a heart warming conclusion, in true Dr. Kildare fashion. The first centers on the mysterious symptoms of a wealthy young female patient. The second involves the progression of the cantankerous Dr. Gillespie's illness. And the third focuses on the sudden, terminal diagnosis of Dr. Stephen Kildare. Our poor young doctor certainly has his hands full in this well paced and droll mystery. And while Dr. Kildare may be keeping lots of secrets in this one, he is certainly not the only one.

The interwoven plot lines keep the viewer entertained with anticipation and concern; however, Lionel Barrymore's outstanding performance as the cranky, brilliant, and always lovable Dr. Gillespie really steals the show. Lew Ayres offers a convincing and commendable job as the altruistic protege, while Laraine Day provides a lovely and supportive co-star, shining in a particularly touching bedside scene with Barrymore. But it cannot be said too often that this film gains so much from _all_ of the characters involved -- from Kildare's amiable parents, to the inexorable Head Nurse Byrd and the doctors' ever copacetic assistant, Conover. The conclusion ties the story lines together with typical charming optimism, but then if you aren't watching these films as part of the doctor's feel-good prescription, then you might be missing the point.


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