Dr. Leonard Gillespie, for several reasons and not all medically related, asks a young surgeon, Dr. Tommy Coalt, to go to a small town and replace a local doctor while he is on vacation. ... See full summary »
Dr. Leonard Gillespie, for several reasons and not all medically related, asks a young surgeon, Dr. Tommy Coalt, to go to a small town and replace a local doctor while he is on vacation. There, Coalt is asked to sign commitment papers on a young lady, Cythia Grace, for reasons of insanity. Coalt thinks there is something amiss in Our Town and King's Row, and begins his own investigation. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
The last of the highly successful Dr. Kildare/Dr. Gillespie series which foreshadowed the later popularity of medical shows on TV, "Dark Delusion" has its moments, though overall routine with the psychological mumbo jumbo at times unintentionally humorous. The most entertaining scenes are the ones with veteran character actor Keye Luke as Dr. Lee Wong How, especially the part where he tries to convince a heart patient that he really isn't a heart patient; and the teasing confrontations between Dr. Gillespie (Lionel Barrymore) and Nurse 'Nosey' Parker--almost a comic version of Nurse Ratched before her time. The character of Napoleon portrayed by Ben Lessy is fun to watch, in particular his final appearance.
The story centers as always on the medical staff and patients of Blair General Hospital. This time a new doctor, Dr. Tommy Coalt (played by the somewhat bland James Craig), is having serious bedside-manners problems since he always tells the truth the way he sees it to patients and staff alike. How do you get rid of an unwanted employee without causing an unnecessary blowup? Either promote him to a higher level bureaucratic position where he becomes nothing more than a highly paid pencil pusher or send him to a nowhere place such as Bayhurst where nobody cares, just thankful there's a physician in town.
But Dr. Coalt is still an unruly colt. This time he takes on the entire medical profession by becoming involved with a young lady, Cynthia Grace (Lucille Bremer),who has been diagnosed as having a mental problem. Dr. Coalt is determined to cure her without confining her to an institution the way her family doctor has advised. Cynthia's father has also been persuaded to institutionalize his daughter. Sent by Dr. Gellispie to appraise the situation, Dr. Lee Wong How (Luke) reports back by telephone, "The good news is Dr. Coalt is not in jail yet."
The acting is mixed. Barrymore, Luke, and Jayne Meadows give the best performances. Why Jayne Meadows couldn't make it as a viable screen personality is a mystery. Perhaps she reminded the movie goers of too many other actresses in comparable roles.
If you're a fan of the series, then "Dark Delusion" will be enjoyed. For others, the going may be rough in spots but the high points will still be high points.
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