Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tonight's Movie: Dr. Kildare's Strange Case (1940) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

DR. KILDARE'S STRANGE CASE (1940) is the fourth film in the MGM series, available from the Warner Archive as part of the Dr. Kildare Movie Collection.

Watching the Kildare films is rather like being caught up in an engrossing TV series. I find I really look forward to returning to Blair General Hospital, and happily I still have quite a number of Dr. Kildare and Dr. Gillespie films ahead of me.

In DR. KILDARE'S STRANGE CASE the good doctor comes to the aid of a colleague, Dr. Lane (Shepperd Strudwick), who's had a great deal of bad luck with patients dying. When Dr. Lane's latest patient (John Eldredge) survives brain surgery but subsequently goes insane, Dr. Kildare administers dangerous insulin shock therapy in an attempt to cure the patient.

Meanwhile, the rich hospital benefactor from the previous film has built a new clinic and offers Dr. Kildare a lucrative job which even comes with a lovely house. Nurse Mary Lamont (Laraine Day) has stars in her eyes thinking of the wonderful life she and Dr. Kildare could have if he takes the job...but Mary is crushed when she realizes Jimmy wants to keep working with Dr. Gillespie (Lionel Barrymore). Jimmy won't consider marriage as long as he's making a lowly intern's salary of $20 a week.

Once again Dr. Kildare seems to skirt medical ethics, treating a patient in secret, though as it turns out Dr. Gillespie always seems to be pulling strings behind the scenes. And needless to say, the concept of insulin shock therapy is rather fascinating from the modern perspective.

Also returning in this film are regular cast members Alma Kruger, Nat Pendleton, Marie Blake, Samuel S. Hinds, Emma Dunn, Frank Orth, Walter Kingsford, Nell Craig, Tom Collins, and George Reed.

DR. KILDARE'S STRANGE CASE runs 77 minutes. It was directed by Harold S. Bucquet and photographed by John F. Seitz.

Previously reviewed films also available in the Warner Archive's Dr. Kildare Movie Collection: YOUNG DR. KILDARE (1938), CALLING DR. KILDARE (1939), and THE SECRET OF DR. KILDARE (1939).

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD collection. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered at the Warner Archive website. Please note that the initial sets of this series sold at the Warner Archive site are traditionally replicated (pressed) rather than burned on demand.


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