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Calling Dr. Gillespie (1942)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | August 1942 (USA)
Dr. Gillespie is called in to investigate when a young man suffering from mental problems disappears on a killing spree.



(characters), (story) | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. John Hunter Gerniede
Marcia Bradburn
Roy Todwell
Joe Wayman
Molly Byrd
Emma Hope
Walter Kingsford ...
Dr. Walter Carew
Nurse 'Nosey' Parker
Ruth Tobey ...
Susan May 'Susie' Prentiss
Frank Marshall Todwell
Dr. Ward O. Kenwood
Sally, Receptionist
Mrs. Marshall Todwell
Clifford Genet


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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Thriller


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

August 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dr. Kildare's Triple X  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film was initially telecast in Philadelphia Saturday 13 April 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), followed by New Haven CT 20 April 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), by New York City 22 April 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2), by Altoona PA 28 April 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), by Chicago 6 May 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), by Hartford CT 25 May 1957 on WHCT (Channel 18), by Miami 3 June 1957 on WCKT Channel 7), and by Honolulu 12 June 1957 on KHVH (Channel 13); in Los Angeles it was first telecast Tuesday 29 September 1959 on KTTV (Channel 11). See more »


Dr. Leonard Gillespie: To be successful in love you've got to be a doggone good liar. I mean it, both before and after marriage.
See more »


Follows Dr. Kildare's Crisis (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

"It must have been a great honor to have been entertained by John Quincy Adams."
14 December 2014 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Dr. Gillespie (Lionel Barrymore) is asked by an old friend for help with a young man named Roy Todwell (Phil Brown) who may be going crazy. Along with psychiatrist Dr. Gerniede (Philip Dorn), Gillespie tries to convince Roy's parents that he needs medical help before he hurts someone. But they are resistant and soon Roy has gone on a full-blown killing spree, with every intention of making Dr. Gillespie his next victim.

The first of MGM's Dr. Gillespie series starring Lionel Barrymore. The series is a continuation of the Dr. Kildare series without star Lew Ayres. This movie attempts to set up a possible replacement for Ayres in thickly-accented Philip Dorn, but it doesn't click. Dorn is fine but the mentor/mentee relationship between Gillespie and Kildare isn't there. Phil Brown makes for a really creepy psychopath. The movie wastes no time showing us how nuts he is -- he kills a little dog in his first scene! Lovely Donna Reed appears as the object of the psycho's affections. Most of the regular supporting cast from the Kildare series is still around here and enjoyable as ever. This includes Alma Kruger, Nat Pendleton, Nell Craig, and Marie Blake. Ava Gardner has a bit part with a couple of lines near the end.

There's a lot of nitpicking of the Kildare/Gillespie movies by some modern viewers who are indignant that a movie made in the 1940s has outdated medical knowledge. This seems especially true whenever the movies addressed psychological cases, such as with this one. I, for one, find these parts of the film interesting as historical curiosities. It gives us a window into how such things were viewed in the past. Why hold it to a modern standard just to mock it is beyond me. This is my favorite of the Gillespie series. Possibly my favorite from both series. A later movie, Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case, would follow up on the events in this one.

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