Friday, July 03, 2015

Tonight's Movie: Dr. Kildare's Victory (1942) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

DR. KILDARE'S VICTORY (1942) is a strong entry in MGM's long-running Dr. Kildare series. It was also Lew Ayres' ninth and final film in the series. All nine films are part of the Dr. Kildare Movie Collection from the Warner Archive.

Dr. Jimmy Kildare (Ayres) is still dealing with grief owing to the tragedy which befell him in DR. KILDARE'S WEDDING DAY (1941). He copes by burying himself in work, and in his free time he mentors a young doctor (Robert Sterling) and nurse (Jean Rogers) who want to get married.

Said doctor and nurse run afoul of regulations regarding the emergency room "territory" of Blair General Hospital and a neighboring hospital.

Meanwhile Dr. Kildare is wooed by flashy socialite patient Cookie Charles (Ann Ayars), who has fallen head over heels for the good doctor and won't take no for an answer.

There are some touching moments, but the film's overall mood is much lighter than in DR. KILDARE'S WEDDING DAY (1941), and there are some nice bits of comedy, with Dr. Carew (Walter Kingsford) and Nurse "Nosy" Parker (Nell Craig) having some amusing moments to shine.

Around this time Ayres became embroiled in controversy over his conscientious objector status. He had one other film released in 1942, FINGERS AT THE WINDOW (1942), and then was offscreen for the duration of the war, returning to films with THE DARK MIRROR (1946). During the war he served as a medic in the South Pacific as well as a chaplain's aide.

Ayars, made up to look somewhat like then still rising MGM actress Ava Gardner, comes on too strong, but Sterling and Rogers are an appealing young couple.

Regular cast members on hand include Alma Kruger, Frank Orth, Marie Blake, George Reed, Gus Schilling, Barbara Bedford, and Eddie Acuff. Familiar faces in the supporting cast include Louis Jean Heydt, Barry Nelson, Frank Faylen, Mary Field, and Edward Gargan.

DR. KILDARE'S VICTORY is unusual in that it was directed by W.S. Van Dyke, rather than Harold S. Buquet, and it also has a longer running time than most of the Kildare films, clocking in at 92 minutes.

The movie was filmed by William H. Daniels.

Previously reviewed films also available in the Warner Archive's Dr. Kildare Movie Collection: YOUNG DR. KILDARE (1938), CALLING DR. KILDARE (1939), THE SECRET OF DR. KILDARE (1939), DR. KILDARE'S STRANGE CASE (1940), DR. KILDARE GOES HOME (1940), DR. KILDARE'S CRISIS (1940), THE PEOPLE VS. DR. KILDARE (1941), and DR. KILDARE'S WEDDING DAY (1941).

The DR. KILDARE'S VICTORY DVD includes the trailer and an unaired pilot for a DR. KILDARE TV series starring Lew Ayres.

As I conclude watching this set, I highly recommend the Dr. Kildare Movie Collection which has provided many hours of most enjoyable entertainment.

Next we'll turn our attention to the Dr. Gillespie Movie Collection!

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 from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop. Please note that the initial sets of this series sold at the WBShop are traditionally replicated (pressed) rather than burned on demand.


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