Dr. Gillespie is contacted by his old friend Emma Hope, headmistress of a prestigious girls school. She's concerned about Roy Todwell, the young man one of her girls, Marcia Bradburn, has been seeing. Todwell has shown serious bouts of violence over the most minor event and working with a colleague, Dr. Gerniede, Gillespie concludes that the young man is suffering from serious mental illness. He has little success in convincing Todwell's parents of the seriousness of it all - they prefer to take the opinion of their own physician who thinks psychiatry is just a lot of mumbo jumbo - and the young man's condition deteriorates. Todwell soon sets out for New York with only one goal in mind - to kill Dr. Gillespie. Written by
Two cast members in studio records/casting call lists did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. These were (with their character names): Buddy Messinger (Messenger boy) and George Reed (Conover). In addition, Mitchell Lewis and Robert Emmett Keane were mentioned in news items as cast members, but they also did not appear in the movie. See more »
Did doctors really say such thing 60 years ago? Lionel Barrymore utters this line to the naive parents of poor Donna Reed's indeed very troubled suitor.
The first thing he does is kill a dog. This is glossed over by the characters but I can't imagine such a thing happening in a movie today. Certainly not after the famous National Lampoon cover.
This man is played very subtly and frighteningly by Phil Brown -- surely a greatly overlooked actor. Indeed, as his travels carry him farther from Reed and Barrymore, he becomes a killer. And the movie looks, for much of its duration, like a film noir.
It's very suspenseful. And with its hospital setting, it made me think of a movie decades later -- more slick, stylish, surely more expensive: "Dressed To Kill." The comic touches pretty much disqualify it is as a noir: Barrymore flirts with adoring female students; Nat Pendleton faints a couple times. And its being part of the Dr. Kildaire series, even sans Lew Ayres, sort of pulls it from the category too. But it's an interesting sidelight to the noir genre.
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