6.4/10
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14 user 7 critic

Green Light (1937)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 20 February 1937 (USA)
A brilliant young surgeon takes the blame for a colleague when a botched surgery causes a patient's death and buries himself at a wilderness research facility.

Director:

Frank Borzage

Writers:

Milton Krims (screen play), Lloyd C. Douglas (from the novel by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Errol Flynn ... Dr. Newell Paige
Anita Louise ... Phyllis Dexter
Margaret Lindsay ... Frances Ogilvie
Cedric Hardwicke ... Dean Harcourt (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Walter Abel ... John Stafford
Henry O'Neill ... Dr. Endicott
Spring Byington ... Mrs. Dexter
Erin O'Brien-Moore ... Pat Arlen
Henry Kolker ... Dr. Lane
Pierre Watkin ... Dr. Booth
Granville Bates ... Sheriff
Russell Simpson ... Sheep Man
Myrtle Stedman ... A Nurse
St. Luke's Episcopal Church Choristers St. Luke's Episcopal Church Choristers ... (as St. Luke's Choristers)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eddy Chandler Eddy Chandler ... Policeman (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

When his colleague Dr. Endicott is late for an operation, Dr. Newell Paige decides to proceed with Mrs. Endicott's scheduled surgery. The surgery had already been postponed from the previous day and Paige is convinced the surgery needs to go forward without delay. Part way through the operation however, Endicott arrives and takes over only to make a serious error. When a hospital inquiry finds Dr. Paige responsible for Mrs. Dexter's death, he is forced to resign. By chance he meets Mrs. Dexter daughter, Phyllis, and while there is a mutual attraction, she rejects him when she learns his true identity. With little else to do, Paige decides to join his one time hospital colleague in Montana, Dr. John Stafford, who is continuing his tests into spotted fever. Paige is impatient however and decides to test a possible cure on himself. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

ERROL FLYNN In His First Modern Role

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 February 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La lumière verte See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$513,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The names of researchers who died trying to track down the source of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, that John relates to Dr. Paige are real. See more »

Goofs

When Paige rides up on his horse, it is more than obvious that it's stuntman, not Flynn. He dismounts to the right of the horse, but the next action cut showing Flynn has him in front of the animal, not on its side. See more »

Quotes

Dean Harcourt: I'm alive simply because I have a job to do. You take away my job, you take away my life.
Dr. Newell Paige: Yes, a man must have something to live for, musn't he?
Dean Harcourt: Or something to die for.
Dr. Newell Paige: [Smiles] I can't think of something to die for. However, maybe something will turn up.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The available video version in Argentina was lifted from an old 16mm print in English with Spanish subtitles. The credits were replaced with Spanish language translations. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Errol Flynn (1961) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Self Sacrifice And Good Works
8 August 2010 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Because Green Light was done under the banner of Cosmopolitan Pictures for Warner Brothers, I've got a feeling that William Randolph Hearst might have originally intended Anita Louise's part for his amour Marion Davies. The thought of Marion Davies and Errol Flynn together in a film boggles the mind, but I'll bet Hearst would not have wanted Flynn opposite Davies for personal reasons as Errol was just starting to acquire his reputation as a rake.

W.R. provided Flynn with a change of pace that he requested. After doing adventure films Captain Blood and Charge Of The Light Brigade, Flynn wanted something different. Green Light is based on a Lloyd C. Douglas novel of spiritual values and Universal had just had a smash hit in Magnificent Obsession that made Robert Taylor a major star. No doubt Hearst persuaded Jack Warner to get the film rights for Davies, but then Marion couldn't go through with it. The story does center on the man however and that was never something you would see in a Davies film.

Errol Flynn plays an idealistic young surgeon who takes the rap for a botched operation that his mentor Henry O'Neill performed. Resigning the hospital he goes to work for research scientist Walter Abel who is looking for a cure for spotted fever in the west which is deadly to humans and livestock. Along the way he meets and falls for Anita Louise who is the daughter of the woman who died on the operating table, Spring Byington.

Presiding over all of this is an Episcopal bishop played by Cedric Hardwicke. In her last hours Byington is heard listening to a broadcast by radio of one of Cedric Hardwicke's inspirational sermons. Hardwicke functions as the author's voice, he shares with the other characters and the audience the philosophy of self sacrifice and good works that Lloyd C. Douglas had. With all these people being so noble and self sacrificing, you know it has to turn out all right.

Flynn never quite nails down the character which would have been ideal for Tyrone Power over at 20th Century Fox. Still he gives it a good try and the audience did respond. But it would be a long time before Jack Warner would cast him in a modern drama.

For me the character I remember best is that of Margaret Lindsay who plays a nurse who really has it bad for Errol, but who loyally steps aside and even helps Louise get together with Flynn. Now THAT'S a sacrifice.


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