It wasn't until Police Inspector Tom Patten (Regis Toomey) called the nurse "Miss Pinkerton" that the light dawned! This 66-minute programmer was a remake of the 1932 film MISS PINKERTON, which I saw last September. MISS PINKERTON starred George Brent as the police detective and Joan Blondell as the nurse.
THE NURSE'S SECRET is a solid little programmer -- nothing special, but the mystery is diverting enough to pass an hour. Like MISS PINKERTON, it was based on a novel by Mary Roberts Rinehart. There's a wonderful opening credits graphic with the silhouette of a woman shining a flashlight up and down -- very NANCY DREW.
When Joan Blondell starred in MISS PINKERTON she was in her 20s, while George Brent was in his early 30s. THE NURSE'S SECRET casts a more mature couple in the leads -- Patrick was 39 when the movie was released, and Toomey was in his early 40s. Instead of meeting during the murder investigation, the film establishes that the couple has previously been dating.
Patrick is perky and energetic; Toomey is a favorite of mine, but he's a bit cut-and-dried in the lead role, with nothing special in either the script or his acting to make his character stand out. He made the most of other roles, such as his police lieutenant in CRY DANGER (1951).
The movie was directed by Noel M. Smith. The supporting cast includes Julie Bishop, Ann Edmonds, and Charles Waldron. Look for Faye Emerson in a small role.
THE NURSE'S SECRET is not out on VHS or DVD, but has been shown on Turner Classic Movies. TCM has the trailer available on its website.