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Vigil in the Night (1940)

Approved | | Drama | 9 February 1940 (USA)
A nurse loses her job after selflessly taking the blame for a fatal mistake her sister and co-worker made; she is subsequently employed at a poorly-equipped hospital, where she finds romance and tragedy.

Director:

George Stevens

Writers:

Fred Guiol (screenplay), P.J. Wolfson (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Carole Lombard ... Anne Lee
Brian Aherne ... Dr. Robert S. Prescott
Anne Shirley ... Lucy Lee
Julien Mitchell Julien Mitchell ... Matthew Bowley
Robert Coote ... Dr. Caley
Brenda Forbes Brenda Forbes ... Nora Dunn
Rita Page Rita Page ... Glennie
Peter Cushing ... Joe Shand
Ethel Griffies ... Matron East
Doris Lloyd ... Mrs. Martha Bowley
Emily Fitzroy ... Sister Gilson
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Storyline

Nurse Anne Lee blames herself for a fatal mistake of her sister Lucy, who also is a nurse. Anne loses her job, and gets a new one at a poorly equipped country hospital. There she falls in love with Dr. Prescott, who is battling with Mr. Bowly, the chairman of the local hospital board, who also makes Anne's life miserable. But then a virulent epidemic begins... Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 February 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Angeli della notte See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The production of the movie was held up several weeks when Carole Lombard was admitted to the hospital after suffering a miscarriage. The press dubbed it an 'appendectomy' to cover up. See more »

Goofs

The oxygen cylinder contents gauge on the tank that nurse lee brings to the child's bedside shows nearly three-quarters full. This represents a large volume of oxygen. The contents could not go down as fast as is shown here. Even if she took the regulator off and opened the cylinder all the way (which would make an ear-splitting noise) it wouldn't go down that fast. An H tank (which is the size shown in the film) holds 7100 cubic liters of oxygen. Oxygen being given with oxygen mask could not drain the tank shown in that short time. See more »

Quotes

Matron East: This is not the finest hospital in England and I dare say I'm not the most lenient Matron. I'll stand no nonsense and I offer no favoritism. You're entitled to one half a day a week off, if you're lucky. Extra duty, if you're not. No smoking. No cosmetics and you share a bedroom. Those are the conditions here, neither better nor worse than I have explained them. If they're not your liking, I'd appreciate your stepping out now rather than wasting your time or mine. I hope you'll be happy here.
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"There's no cease fire in our war"
11 August 2014 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Carole Lombard apparently took some advice from husband Clark Gable about Vigil In the Night. Just as Gable never even attempted a British accent in Mutiny On the Bounty, Lombard eschewed an accent as did Anne Shirley in Vigil In the Night. The rest of the cast is from Hollywood's British colony in this adaption of an A.J. Cronin novel.

Just as that other Cronin work The Citadel is dedicated to the doctors, this one is a shout out to the under-appreciated nurses. Lombard and her sister Shirley are nurses, Lombard a veteran and Shirley just getting started.

When a young diphtheria patient is lost to Shirley's inattention, Lombard takes the rap for her and the film is about Lombard trying to get back to the top of her profession. There's a bit of guilt in Lombard as she feels she may have pressured Shirley to following the same profession. Along the way Lombard meets Brian Aherne who is a similarly dedicated doctor.

They also have to deal with millionaire rake Julien Mitchell who is the head of the hospital board with the power to help and who won't do it, saying they have to economize. He even cites the war as an excuse. As Lombard so graphically points out there's no truce or cease fire in their war against disease.

It's hard to believe that the madcap Carole Lombard of My Man Godfrey is the same stoic nurse in Vigil In the Night. But carry off the role she does. In this film her acting is all in the eyes.

Not as well known as the film adaptions of other A.J. Cronin work like The Keys Of The Kingdom and Hatter's Castle, and The Citadel. But Vigil In The Night can hold its own with any of the other three.


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