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A Way in the Wilderness (1940)

Approved  |   |  Short, Biography  |  22 June 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 59 users  
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This Passing Parade entry tells the story of Dr. Joseph Goldberger (1874-1929), a Hungarian immigrant who devoted his life to finding the cause of pellagra, a disease that killed hundreds ... See full summary »



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Title: A Way in the Wilderness (1940)

A Way in the Wilderness (1940) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Complete credited cast:
John Nesbitt ...
Shepperd Strudwick ...


This Passing Parade entry tells the story of Dr. Joseph Goldberger (1874-1929), a Hungarian immigrant who devoted his life to finding the cause of pellagra, a disease that killed hundreds of thousands in the southern United States. Although the medical community believed that the condition was caused by a virus, Goldberger proved that a healthy diet was the cure. Written by David Glagovsky <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Biography






Release Date:

22 June 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Passing Parade No. 14: A Way in the Wilderness  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Follows Unseen Guardians (1939) See more »


Symphony No.5 in E Minor, Op.64
Written by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Excerpts played during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

To Heal The Sick
16 April 2004 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

With almost Biblical intensity, a courageous doctor searches for the cure for a disease which ravaged the South in the years before 1920.

This short film memorably profiles Dr. Joseph Goldberger (1874-1929) and his conquest of the scourge pellagra. Shepperd Strudwick plays the good doctor. The extracts from newsreel footage woven into the narrative give the story historical authenticity. (To be technically specific, the missing protein substance which caused the dietary deficiency was niacin, and was identified after Goldberger's death.)

Directed by Fred Zinnemann, this was part of the MGM series John Nesbitt's Passing Parade, and was narrated by Mr. Nesbitt. Movie mavens will recognize an unbilled Bill Wolfe, W. C. Fields' buddy, appearing for a few moments as a hungry, destitute man.

Often overlooked or neglected today, the one and two-reel short subjects were useful to the Studios as important training grounds for new or burgeoning talents, both in front & behind the camera. The dynamics for creating a successful short subject was completely different from that of a feature length film, something akin to writing a topnotch short story rather than a novel. Economical to produce in terms of both budget & schedule and capable of portraying a wide range of material, short subjects were the perfect complement to the Studios' feature films.

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