IMDb > The Secret of Dr. Kildare (1939)

The Secret of Dr. Kildare (1939) More at IMDbPro »


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Up 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Max Brand (story)
Willis Goldbeck (writer)
View company contact information for The Secret of Dr. Kildare on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 November 1939 (USA) See more »
Dr. Gillespie's cancer has gotten worse, and to force him to take a rest instead of pursuing a sulfa-drug/pneumonia study... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A good entry in the Dr. Kildare series, with Lionel Barrymore providing most of the fun. See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Lew Ayres ... Dr. James 'Jimmy' Kildare

Lionel Barrymore ... Dr. Leonard Barry Gillespie

Lionel Atwill ... Paul Messenger
Helen Gilbert ... Nancy Messenger

Nat Pendleton ... Joe Wayman

Laraine Day ... Nurse Mary Lamont
Sara Haden ... Nora
Samuel S. Hinds ... Dr. Stephen Kildare
Emma Dunn ... Mrs. Martha Kildare
Walter Kingsford ... Dr. S.J. Carew

Grant Mitchell ... John Xerxes Archley
Alma Kruger ... Head Nurse Molly Byrd
Robert Kent ... Charles Herron

Marie Blake ... Sally - Telephone Operator
Martha O'Driscoll ... Mrs. Roberts
Nell Craig ... Nurse 'Nosey' Parker
George Reed ... Conover
Frank Orth ... Mike Sullivan
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Walter Baldwin ... Finch (uncredited)

Don 'Red' Barry ... Collins - Intern (uncredited)
George Chandler ... Pay Orderly (uncredited)
Tom Collins ... Dr. Joiner (uncredited)
Alec Craig ... Telephone Repair Man (uncredited)
Byron Foulger ... Hospital Attendant (uncredited)
Mitchell Lewis ... Adam - Nora's Gardener (uncredited)
Matt McHugh ... Messenger's Chauffeur (uncredited)

Emory Parnell ... Policeman on Gaylor Ave. (uncredited)
William Tannen ... Bates - Intern (uncredited)
Joe Yule ... Lunch Room Counterman (uncredited)

Directed by
Harold S. Bucquet 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Max Brand  story
Willis Goldbeck  writer
Harry Ruskin  writer

Produced by
Lou L. Ostrow .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
David Snell 
Cinematography by
Alfred Gilks 
Film Editing by
Frank E. Hull  (as Frank Hull)
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Set Decoration by
Edwin B. Willis 
Production Management
Charles Stallings .... unit manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles Dorian .... second unit director (uncredited)
Horace Hough .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Randall Duell .... associate art director
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Dolly Tree .... wardrobe
Other crew
Frank Clarke .... pilot (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
84 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Finland:S | Sweden:Btl | USA:Approved | USA:TV-G | USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

Sally, Telephone Operator:Oh, diamonds on men are vulgar.
Joe Wayman:I wish I was vulgar...
See more »
Movie Connections:
Followed by Dr. Kildare's Victory (1942)See more »


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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
A good entry in the Dr. Kildare series, with Lionel Barrymore providing most of the fun., 25 February 1999
Author: Arthur Hausner ( from Pine Grove, California

It's hard to imagine this series without Lionel Barrymore as the cantankerous old wheelchair-ridden Dr. Gillespie, who is perfect counterpoint to the good actor, but rather bland Lew Ayres, playing Dr. Kildare. Without Barrymore, or the likes of him, the series would surely have flopped. The three plots going at once is typical of the series, and handled well by the director Harold S. Bucquet. The film, however, is badly named, because I couldn't tell for sure what Kildare's secret was. The audience is in on several of his deceptions: his quitting Gillespie to force him to rest; his not telling Helen Gilbert he was a doctor; and finally his lying to her about the treatment he was going to give her. Still, the film is fun to watch, especially if you've seen others films in the series and get to know how the various hospital characters interact.

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