Young Dr. Kildare is still being trained at General Hospital by old, crusty Dr. Gillespie. This time, he tries to rehabilitate Gregory Lane, a brain surgeon depressed over losing too many patients (and incidentally Kildare's romantic rival for nurse Mary Lamont). Lane's losing streak takes a new turn when one of his patients survives...but seems to be insane. Or is the man's strange obsession with Friday the clue to a mystery? To find out, Kildare must take a terrible risk. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
At about 11 minutes, Dr. Gillespie and Dr. Kildare drink the same glasses of milk twice. Furthermore, the full and empty bottles of milk on the table during the lunch change their positions, and sometimes vanish, between shots. See more »
Growing up in the '60s, my Dr. Kildare was Richard Chamberlain, but my mother's Dr. Kildare was the attractive Lew Ayres. In the MGM serial, Dr. Kildare was called Jimmy by his nurse girlfriend (later his wife) Mary Lamont, played by lovely Laraine Day. His boss, Dr. Gillespie, was played by Lionel Barrymore.
In this entry into the series, Kildare attempts to save the reputation of a neurosurgeon (Sheppard Strudwick) who has had a streak of bad luck, i.e., his patients have died. When a patient makes it through surgery but appears to have become demented, Kildare administers insulin shock therapy, an accepted form of treatment until the 1950s to treat psychotic disorders. The treatment put the patient into a coma and upon awakening, saline was given as well as glucose to terminate the treatment. Insulin shock therapy had some efficacy in schizophrenia that was of less than 2 year duration. Kildare's explanation of how it worked and what it treated deviated somewhat from the above description.
The subplot is Kildare's hesitance to ask Mary to marry him because it would entail waiting awhile, and his competition for her affections from the aforementioned doctor.
Barrymore as Gillespie seems a lot more irascible around Kildare than he did when the series revolved around him later on. Lew Ayres created a huge hoopla when he became a conscientious objector during World War II, and MGM got rid of the Kildare character; theaters were refusing to show Ayres' films. Ayres did serve in the military as a medic on the front lines and resumed his career, winning an Oscar nomination for "Johnny Belinda." He worked almost until his death in 1996. But post-war, he only played Dr. Kildare on the radio in the early '50s.
The very likable and excellent cast elevates the series, and this is one of the better Kildare films.
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