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Dr. Kildare's Crisis (1940)

Passed | | Drama | 29 November 1940 (USA)
Nurse Mary Lamont is excited about her brother's impending visit. The young man's strange behavior puzzles Dr. Kildare who believes he may be hiding a serious illness.



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Complete credited cast:
Walter Kingsford ...
Alma Kruger ...
Bobs Watson ...
Tommy, the Crippled Child
Nell Craig ...
George Reed ...
Frank Orth ...
Sally, Hospital Receptionist
Foghorn Murphy (as Horace MacMahon)


Dr. Jimmy Kildare and Nurse Mary Lamont are all sent to get married and her brother Doug Lamont has come to New York. When Jimmy meets him he notices strange behavior on his part such as sudden inattention or acting as if he was hearing sounds that are non-existent. The doctor starts to diagnose him and comes to the conclusion that he probably has epilepsy, a hereditary disease that could conceivably affect Mary as well, even though she has never shown any symptoms. Dr. Kildare is worried about this part of medicine and how you tell someone that they have a disease that they can do nothing about. It's left to Dr. Leonard Gillespie to come up with a solution and ensure that Jimmy and Mary can still get married. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 November 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Vitória do Dr. Kildare  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Medical Society of New York wrote a letter to the PCA protesting the way epilepsy was presented in the movie. They objected to the claims that epilepsy is inherited, that it is curable and that it leads to insanity. See more »


When Dr Gillispie finishes reading the note from Mary, he says "Fine girl, that Mary" and puts the note on his desk with a thump, and with the next cut, it immediately appears in Dr. Kildare's hands. See more »


Dr. Leonard Gillespie: It doesn't do a man any good to tell him he has an incurable disease. Eventually the divine power which put us all here manages to remove the fear of death and replaces it with a great understanding.
See more »


Followed by Dr. Kildare's Victory (1942) See more »

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User Reviews

Disappointing entry into the series
15 October 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Dr. K, Dr. Gillespie, and nurse Mary are all involved in "Dr. Kildare's Crisis," a 1940 "Dr. Kildare" film which stars regulars Lew Ayres as Kildare, Laraine Day as Mary, Lionel Barrymore as Dr. Gillepsie, Alma Kruger as the nursing supervisor. Robert Young appears as Mary's brother Doug. Kildare and Mary are planning their wedding when Douglas comes to visit. He has a plan to help unskilled labor become skilled, and needs the support of one of Kildare's grateful ex-patients.

Unfortunately it's downhill from there, due to a very weak script. Kildare, without examining Mary's brother, decides he has epilepsy on the basis that Douglas sometimes seems to hear noises no one else hears. This makes Mary afraid to marry Kildare for fear of having him end up with a sick wife or epileptic children. She becomes hysterical and wants to return home with her brother. Well, this plot line is so pathetic that the New York Medical Society wrote a letter in protest about the way epilepsy is treated in the film - that it's curable, that it can be inherited, and that it can lead to insanity. Also, how could Mary, a trained nurse, go so crazy and insist on dumping Kildare, whom she's been chasing for years? Really preposterous behavior on the part of the characters. The audience knows them by now and it's pretty bewildering.

The series would be over in 1942 and become the "Dr. Gillespie" series, which retained Barrymore and Alma Kruger. Lew Ayres was persona non grata for being a conscientious objector in World War II, though he did work on the front lines as a medic. MGM didn't care, they just wanted to be rid of him. When he returned from the war, the handsome Ayres did some of his best work, receiving an Oscar nomination for "Johnny Belinda," and continuing his career until 1994. Laraine Day, though MGM never seemed to know what to do with her,(happily, she was loaned out a lot) is lovely as Mary, and of course, due to her involvement with Kildare, Mary becomes a casualty in this series. Dr. Gillespie, starring in his own movie series, would mellow. Both the Kildare and Gillespie series were very popular. It's a shame that this film seems so out of place.

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