12 user 6 critic

Sister Kenny (1946)

Approved | | Biography, Drama | 10 October 1946 (USA)
An Australian nurse discovers an effective new treatment for infantile paralysis, but experiences great difficulty in convincing doctors of the validity of her claims.



(screen play), (screen play) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Dr. McDonnell
Kevin Connors
Philip Merivale ...
Dr. Brack
Mary Kenny
Charles Dingle ...
Michael Kenny
Medical Director
Doreen McCann ...
Fay Helm ...
Mrs. McIntyre
Mr. McIntyre
Dorothy Peterson ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Burke ...
Undetermined Minor Role (scenes deleted)
Teddy Infuhr ...
Boy (scenes deleted)


Elizabeth Kenny, as a young nurse out in the Australian bush discovers an effective treatment for polio, but can't get official recognition or sanction for her techniques and theories. For more than three decades (while she tells her fiancée she can't marry him, and repeatedly confronts the pigheaded orthopedic specialist Dr. Brack), she is prevented from treating acute cases and is ridiculed, while she seeks formal recognition for the efficacy of her treatment. Written by Kathy Li

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A woman made for love . . . but whose service to humanity became her destiny!


Biography | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 October 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amor sublime  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Wikipedia article on Elizabeth Kenny lists notable individuals who had been polio patients of Sister Kenny. Among those listed are Alan Alda, Dinah Shore and "Rosalind Russell's nephew." It is known that Rosalind Russell had campaigned long to portray Sister Kenny in film. Her nephew's treatment may have been a factor in that interest. See more »


Whilst addressing a forum of doctors, Sister Kenny is asked whether she remembers the final paragraph of the oath she took to become a registered nurse, and she recounts that paragraph. The real Sister Kenny received no formal nursing training and was not a registered nurse. She enlisted as a nurse in the army in WW1 backed by a letter from a doctor stating she had experience working in a bush hospital and was given the title Sister by the army. See more »


Happy Birthday to You
(1893) (uncredited)
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
Sung by children to Rosalind Russell
See more »

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User Reviews

Sister Elizabeth Kenny
28 July 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie was most interesting to find and watch. At the age of three I had polio and received the Sister Kenny treatment in Minnesota during an epidemic. The results were as dramatic as the movie portrays. After one month in the hospital I walked out and without braces. My ability to speak clearly returned slowly but completely and my legs remained normal except for extreme exercise which would result in intense pain only relieved by wet heat and massage- that too eventually faded away especially after discovering the benefits of calcium and magnesium for the nerves and muscles.

The film was interesting and a commentary on medical protectionism that has merit as a present day commentary regarding alternative medicine. The US government also issued a commemorative stamp in Sister Kenny's honor. It really did deserve the Golden Globe award for Rosalind Russell's acting.

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