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Nurse Anne Lee blames herself for a fatal mistake of her sister Lucy, who also is a nurse. Anne loses her job, and gets a new one at a poorly equipped country hospital. There she falls in love with Dr. Prescott, who is battling with Mr. Bowly, the chairman of the local hospital board, who also makes Anne's life miserable. But then a virulent epidemic begins... Written by
Stephan Eichenberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
1940's "Vigil in the Night" was a dramatic departure for comedic actress Carole Lombard, in a serious performance that never descends into cliché. Anne Lee (Lombard) is a conscientious nurse dedicated to duty, yet accepts blame for the death of a little boy who perished while her derelict younger sister Lucy (Anne Shirley) was off making tea. Joe Shand (Peter Cushing) is in love with Anne, who refuses his marriage proposal, and finds employment at another hospital, where she hopes her sister will eventually join her once she earns her certificate. Instead, Lucy impulsively marries Joe and moves to London, where they have a falling out, Lucy again finding trouble while Anne loyally stands by her. Brian Aherne is fine as a doctor who falls for Anne, and special mention must go to Ethel Griffies' eccentric performance as head matron. This was only Peter Cushing's third feature, and while his six minutes on screen are on par with the other films he made in those two years in Hollywood, he shares the screen with Lombard in all four, and earned some critical notice as well, one reviewer even comparing him to Spencer Tracy.
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