IMDb > Sister Kenny (1946)
Sister Kenny
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Sister Kenny (1946) More at IMDbPro »

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Popularity: ?
Down 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Dudley Nichols (screen play) &
Alexander Knox (screen play) ...
View company contact information for Sister Kenny on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 October 1946 (USA) See more »
A woman made for love . . . but whose service to humanity became her destiny!
Elizabeth Kenny, as a young nurse out in the Australian bush discovers an effective treatment for polio... See more » | Full synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win See more »
User Reviews:
"And They Shall Walk" See more (10 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Rosalind Russell ... Elizabeth Kenny

Alexander Knox ... Dr. McDonnell

Dean Jagger ... Kevin Connors
Philip Merivale ... Dr. Brack

Beulah Bondi ... Mary Kenny
Charles Dingle ... Michael Kenny

John Litel ... Medical Director
Doreen McCann ... Dorrie
Fay Helm ... Mrs. McIntyre
Charles Kemper ... Mr. McIntyre
Dorothy Peterson ... Agnes
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Burke ... Undetermined Minor Role (scenes deleted)
Karolyn Grimes ... Carolyn
Teddy Infuhr ... Boy (scenes deleted)
Jane Allen ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Gertrude Astor ... Doctor (uncredited)
Walter Baldwin ... Mr. Ferguson (uncredited)
Richard Bartell ... Doctor (uncredited)
George Barton ... Doctor (uncredited)
Mary Bayless ... Nurse (uncredited)
Joseph E. Bernard ... Ticket Taker (uncredited)
Patricia Berry ... Small Role (uncredited)
Bonnie Blair ... Waitress (uncredited)
Lee Bonnell ... San Francisco Reporter (uncredited)
Egon Brecher ... Frenchman (uncredited)
Bruce Brewster ... Small Role (uncredited)
Virginia Brissac ... Mrs. Johnson (uncredited)
Bobby Burns ... Parent at Clinic (uncredited)
Al Choals ... Doctor (uncredited)
Sally Cleaves ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Connie Conrad ... Doctor (uncredited)
Edith Conrad ... Doctor (uncredited)
Jennifer Cook ... Baby (uncredited)
Judy Cook ... Baby (uncredited)

Ellen Corby ... Hospital Scrub Woman (uncredited)
Jeanne Criswell ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Jackie Curry ... Doctor (uncredited)

Sheryl Deauville ... Singing Child with Polio (uncredited)
Earl Dobbins ... Farmer (uncredited)
Gloria Donovan ... Girl (uncredited)
Charles Dorety ... Reporter (uncredited)
Ralph Dunn ... Brisbane Policeman (uncredited)
Melinda Erickson ... Girl (uncredited)
Betty Fairfax ... Nurse (uncredited)

Franklyn Farnum ... Doctor at Medical Conference (uncredited)
Harry Flannery ... Commentator (uncredited)
Monica Folts ... Girl (uncredited)
Francis Ford ... Patrick O'Shea (uncredited)
Jack Gargan ... Reporter at Dock (uncredited)
Nancy George ... Small Role (uncredited)
Wilda George ... Doctor (uncredited)
Betty Gillette ... Nurse (uncredited)
Mary Gordon ... Mrs. Gordon (uncredited)
Vincent Graeff ... Boy (uncredited)
Clara Griggs ... Small Role (uncredited)
Mischa Gutterson ... Doctor (uncredited)
Bobbie Hale ... Cabby (uncredited)
Charlie Hall ... Airport Attendant (uncredited)

Charles Halton ... Mr. Smith (uncredited)
Carl Hanson ... Doctor (uncredited)
Lumsden Hare ... Dr. Shadrack (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Doctor at Medical Conference (uncredited)
Eddie Hart ... Doctor at Medical Symposium (uncredited)
Alf Haugan ... Doctor (uncredited)
Mame Henderson ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Len Hendry ... Doctor (uncredited)
Sue Ann Hockett ... Girl (uncredited)

Gloria Holden ... Mrs. McDonnell (uncredited)
Beulah Hubbard ... Doctor (uncredited)
David Hughes ... Doctor (uncredited)
Brandon Hurst ... Mr. Todd - Landlord (uncredited)
Lloyd Ingraham ... Farmer (uncredited)
Warren Jackson ... Doctor (uncredited)
Eddie Kane ... Reporter (uncredited)
Nancy Lee Kane ... Baby (uncredited)
Edward Keane ... Reporter (uncredited)
Tom Kingston ... Doctor (uncredited)
Connie Lamont ... Nurse (uncredited)
Ivy Lane ... Small Role (uncredited)
Buddy Langeston ... Boy (uncredited)
Bertha Ledbetter ... Nurse (uncredited)
Alan Lee ... Alan - the Farm Hand (uncredited)
Ruth Lee ... Mother (uncredited)
Nan Leslie ... Nurse (uncredited)
David Levitt ... Doctor (uncredited)
Orley Lindgren ... Boy (uncredited)
Doris Lloyd ... Matron (uncredited)
Leota Lorraine ... Minor Role (uncredited)
James Loucke ... Farmer (uncredited)
Sam Lufkin ... Photographer (uncredited)
Irene Mack ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Thomas Martin ... Doctor at Medical Conference (uncredited)
David Martinson ... Cobbler (uncredited)
Janet Sue Marx ... Girl (uncredited)
Eric Mayne ... Doctor (uncredited)

Frank McClure ... Doctor at Medical Symposium (uncredited)
Larry McGrath ... Doctor (uncredited)
Harry McKim ... Boy (uncredited)
Ruth Miles ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Daphne Moore ... Waitress (uncredited)
John Moss ... Doctor (uncredited)
Diane Nance ... Girl (uncredited)
Myra Nelson ... Nurse (uncredited)
Georgie Nokes ... Gordy (uncredited)
B.G. Norman ... Boy (uncredited)
Noralee Norman ... Girl (uncredited)
Bob O'Connor ... Doctor (uncredited)
Anne O'Neal ... Nurse (uncredited)
Vivien Oakland ... Secretary to Dr. Gideon (uncredited)
Charles Pawley ... Orderly (uncredited)
Bob Pepper ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Jackie Pfender ... Boy (uncredited)
Hilda Plowright ... Saleslady (uncredited)

'Snub' Pollard ... Man at Barn Dance (uncredited)
Allan Ray ... Photographer (uncredited)

Frank Reicher ... Dr. Chuter (uncredited)
Waclaw Rekwart ... Doctor at Medical Conference (uncredited)
Donna Lynne Rodgers ... Small Role (uncredited)
Jeffrey Sayre ... Elizabeth's Dance Partner (uncredited)
Eli Schmudkler ... Newsboy (uncredited)
Dick Scott ... Reporter (uncredited)
Barbara Smith ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Warren Smith ... Doctor (uncredited)
Paul Stanton ... Dr. Gideon (uncredited)
Larry Steers ... Doctor at Medical Conference (uncredited)
Robert Strong ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Tex Swan ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Bob Templeton ... Intern (uncredited)
David Thursby ... Angus Frazier (uncredited)

Regis Toomey ... New York Reporter (uncredited)
Ray Toone ... Doctor (uncredited)
Arthur Tovey ... Doctor at Medical Conference (uncredited)
Clare Verdera ... Mother of Boy (uncredited)
John P. Wade ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Nellie Walker ... Farmer's Wife (uncredited)

Ray Walker ... Doctor at Minneapolis Lecture (uncredited)
Elena Warren ... Nurse (uncredited)

Directed by
Dudley Nichols 
Writing credits
Dudley Nichols (screen play) &
Alexander Knox (screen play) and
Mary McCarthy (screen play)

Sister Kenny  based on "And They Shall Walk" by (as Elizabeth Kenny) &
Martha Ostenso  in collaboration with

Produced by
Edward Donahue .... associate producer (as Edward Donahoe)
Dudley Nichols .... producer
Original Music by
Alexander Tansman  (as Alexandre Tansman)
Cinematography by
George Barnes (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Roland Gross (edited by)
Art Direction by
Albert S. D'Agostino 
William Flannery  (as William E. Flannery)
Set Decoration by
Harley Miller (set decorations)
Darrell Silvera (set decorations)
Makeup Department
Fred B. Phillips .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
John Burch .... unit manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Harry D'Arcy .... assistant director
Sound Department
Clem Portman .... sound
Earl A. Wolcott .... sound
Special Effects by
Vernon L. Walker .... special effects
Linwood G. Dunn .... optical effects (uncredited)
Paul Eagler .... transparency projection shots (uncredited)
Albert Simpson .... matte paintings (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Eddie Pyle .... second camera (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Travis Banton .... costumes: Rosalind Rossell
Music Department
C. Bakaleinikoff .... musical director
Earl B. Mounce .... music mixer (uncredited)
Other crew
Jack Gage .... dialogue director
C.J. Davis .... research director (uncredited)
Valerie Harvey .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
116 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | UK:A (original rating) | USA:TV-G (TV rating) | USA:Approved (certificate #11315)

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 »
Factual errors: 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 YouSee more »


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23 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
"And They Shall Walk", 7 December 2001
Author: lugonian from Kissimmee, Florida

"Sister Kenny" (RKO Radio, 1946), directed by Dudley Nichols, stars Rosalind Russell in a respectful biography of Elizabeth Kenny (1886-1952), a Australian nurse who fought her entire life to bring her own methods of treating polio victims to international acceptance. For her performance as Sister Kenny (The title "Sister," which is often associated with that of a nun, is an Australian term for "Nurse"), Rosalind Russell, was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actress, and a worthy award, but lost to Olivia De Havilland in "To Each His Own" (Paramount, 1946).

The story, which runs almost two hours, opens with Elizabeth Kenny graduated to nurse, traveling to the Aussie where she encounters the ravages of infantile paralysis. She becomes so involved with her efforts to ease the pain of the children who have become polio sufferers that she finds little time for romance with Kevin Connors (Dean Jaggers). Sister Kenny develops a system of therapy based upon the maintenance of a bright mental outlook, to continue her effort to move apparently paralyzed muscles, continuous hot packs to the affected muscles, and the abandonment of all splints. While one of the most respected doctors in the medical profession, Dr. Brack (Philip Merivale), criticizes and ridicules Kenny's supposed unorthodox methods, it is Doctor Aeneas McDonnell (Alexander Knox), a Scottish physician, who believes in her ideas, but gets into trouble with the medical superiors.

In the supporting cast are Beulah Bondi as Mary Kenny; Charles Dingle as Michael Kenny; Doreen McCann as Dorrie, the little girl suffering from polio (muscle spasms) who becomes Kenny's first curable patient; among others. But it is Rosalind Russell, who has left a legacy in her career as "Auntie Mame" on both stage and screen, giving a standout performance covering a 40-year period in the life of Sister Kenny. One of the highlights in the story includes the now middle-aged Kenny's heated encounter with the inflexible Dr. Brack in the operating room in front of stadium of observing medical students, fighting for her rights to continue her own methods of treating children with polio. In spite of everything, nothing stops Sister Kenny, who gets to set up her own medical institute in Minnesota.

While not as famous as some of the 1930s bio-pics, including "The Story of Louis Pasteur" (1936) with Paul Muni, "Sister Kenny" is worth viewing not only as a history lesson but a look at the true story of one woman's struggle in proving her theory over what she believes to be wrongly treated by the medical profession, and standing up against them. In as much that it's quite obvious that the screenwriters rearranged portions of Kenny's life to give it a satisfying story, it avoids the usual clichés found in some other biographical dramas, with the final results being quite satisfactory. Another plus to the story are the authentic use of sets and costumes worn in the period for which the story takes place.

"Sister Kenny" is sadly an overlooked gem that is worthy of rediscovery. It's available on video cassette and is currently presented on either American Movie Classics or Turner Classic Movies. (***1/2)

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