Calling Dr. Gillespie (1942)

84 mins | Drama | 1942

Director:

Harold S. Bucquet

Cinematographer:

Ray June

Editor:

Elmo Veron

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The characters of "Roy Todwell" and "Marcia Bradburn" reappeared in the 1943 film Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case , in which "Gillespie" tries to obtain psychiatric help for Roy, who has been incarcerated, and who is eventually killed after a prison escape. Donna Reed reappeared as Marcia in the latter film, but Roy was portrayed by John Craven. According to a HR news item, M-G-M wanted to borrow from Twentieth Century-Fox actor Frank Orth, who frequently appeared in the Kildare/Gillespie films as "Mike Ryan," owner of a tavern popular with "Blair General Hospital" staff members, but he did not appear in the released version of this film. Other actors mentioned in news items, whose appearances in the released film have not been confirmed, include: Barbara Bedford, Frances Raeburn, Monty Collins, Mitchell Lewis, Robert E. Keane and Ruth Dwyer.
       News items, information in M-G-M story files at the USC Cinema-Television Library and the AMPAS Library file on Calling Dr. Gillespie reveal the following information about the production: The title of Kubec Glasmon's original story, written in Jun 1937, was Dr. Kildare's Triple X , and an early working title of the picture was Marked in Scarlet . It began filming in mid-Feb 1942 and shortly thereafter was known as Born to Be Bad . At that time, two months after the United States's entry into World War II, it was to be another in M-G-M's "Dr. Kildare" series, starring Lew Ayres as Kildare. In addition to Ayres, actress Ann Ayars was cast in the film, reprising the role of "Cookie Charles," a character she portrayed in Dr. ... More Less

The characters of "Roy Todwell" and "Marcia Bradburn" reappeared in the 1943 film Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case , in which "Gillespie" tries to obtain psychiatric help for Roy, who has been incarcerated, and who is eventually killed after a prison escape. Donna Reed reappeared as Marcia in the latter film, but Roy was portrayed by John Craven. According to a HR news item, M-G-M wanted to borrow from Twentieth Century-Fox actor Frank Orth, who frequently appeared in the Kildare/Gillespie films as "Mike Ryan," owner of a tavern popular with "Blair General Hospital" staff members, but he did not appear in the released version of this film. Other actors mentioned in news items, whose appearances in the released film have not been confirmed, include: Barbara Bedford, Frances Raeburn, Monty Collins, Mitchell Lewis, Robert E. Keane and Ruth Dwyer.
       News items, information in M-G-M story files at the USC Cinema-Television Library and the AMPAS Library file on Calling Dr. Gillespie reveal the following information about the production: The title of Kubec Glasmon's original story, written in Jun 1937, was Dr. Kildare's Triple X , and an early working title of the picture was Marked in Scarlet . It began filming in mid-Feb 1942 and shortly thereafter was known as Born to Be Bad . At that time, two months after the United States's entry into World War II, it was to be another in M-G-M's "Dr. Kildare" series, starring Lew Ayres as Kildare. In addition to Ayres, actress Ann Ayars was cast in the film, reprising the role of "Cookie Charles," a character she portrayed in Dr. Kildare's Victory , which was shot in Oct 1941, but was not yet released. A short time after shooting was completed on Born to Be Bad , Ayres declared himself a conscientious objector to war and was confined to an internment camp. News items in Apr 1942 noted boycotts by exhibitors of Ayres's films and adverse public reaction to his stance, although several news items reported some support for tolerance of Ayres's position. On 3 Apr 1942, well-known publicist Russell Birdwell took out a full-page ad in trade publications defending Ayres, and on 13 Apr 1942, a HR article reported that ITOA theaters would continue to play Ayres's films because it was "inconsistent with Americanism" not to show them.
       On 14 Apr 1942, HR reported that Ayres had been reclassified by the government, thus decreasing the "fuss" over his unpopular stance, and on 19 May 1942, it was reported that he was serving in the U.S. Medical Corps. During the height of the controversy, however, M-G-M executives decided to re-shoot much of Born to be Bad to exclude the "Dr. Kildare" and "Cookie Charles" characters and turn it into a new film featuring "Dr. Gillespie" as the main character, yet retaining the central story of "Roy" and "Marcia." Philip Dorn was then selected to replace Ayres and the film's title was changed to Calling Dr. Gillespie . Most reviews still referred to it as a "Dr. Kildare" film, but all subsequent films in the series were called "Dr. Gillespie" pictures.
       A number of actors were considered or tested for the part of Gillespie's new chief assistant. According to HR , these included Rod Cameron, Dana Andrews, Cornel Wilde, Larry Parks and Charles Drake. According to news items in HR in 1943, M-G-M was planning to have at least one film in the series feature a woman doctor. A script by M-G-M staff physician Dr. Helen Jones was to be directed by Willis Goldbeck and produced by Carey Wilson under the title Dr. Gillespie's Woman Doctor or Dr. Gillespie's Lady Doctor , but the film was never made. Van Johnson appeared in four Dr. Gillespie films from 1942 to 1944 as "Dr. Randall 'Red' Adams," a young physician aspiring to be Gillespie's chief assistant. In three of those films, Keye Luke as Chinese-American "Dr. Lee Wong How," portrayed Johnson's rival. Luke revived his character in the 1947 film, Dark Delusion, the last of the series (see below).
       Born to Be Bad would have been Ayres' last M-G-M film. His last released M-G-M film was Fingers at the Window (see below). Ayres resumed his acting career in 1946 in The Dark Mirror (see below) and sporadically appeared in films and television over the next four decades. For additional information on the "Dr. Kildare" and "Dr. Gillespie" series, consult the Series Index and see entry to the 1938 film Young Dr. Kildare in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.5251. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
27 Jun 1942.
---
Daily Variety
17 Jun 42
p. 3.
Film Daily
17 Jun 42
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jan 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Feb 42
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Feb 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Feb 42
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Feb 42
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Feb 42
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Mar 42
p. 4, 15
Hollywood Reporter
4 Mar 42
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Mar 42
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Mar 42
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Apr 42
p. 1, 5
Hollywood Reporter
2 Apr 42
p. 1., 15433
Hollywood Reporter
3 Apr 42
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Apr 42
p. 4, 14
Hollywood Reporter
10 Apr 42
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Apr 42
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Apr 42
p. 1, 6
Hollywood Reporter
15 Apr 42
p. 2, 7-8.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jun 42
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Jul 42
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Apr 43
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Apr 43
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Aug 43
p. 1.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
20 Jun 42
p. 725.
New York Times
9 Jul 42
p. 17.
Variety
17 Jun 42
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
WRITERS
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
SOUND
Rec dir
MAKEUP
Hair styles
PRODUCTION MISC
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Max Brand.
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Titles:
Doctor Kildares Triple X
Born to Be Bad
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 9 July 1942
Production Date:
4 February--late March 1942
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
16 June 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11431
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
84
Length(in feet):
7,536
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
8257
SYNOPSIS

Marcia Bradburn, who is completing her last year at Emma Hope's finishing school, is overjoyed that her father has given permission for her to become engaged to Roy Todwell. When she meets Roy in the school garden, he begs her to elope with him and becomes sullen when Marcia insists that they wait. Then suddenly, Roy throws a rock at his cocker spaniel and kills it after the dog wimpers at a train whistle. A sobbing Marcia goes to Emma, who calls her old friend, wheelchair-bound Dr. Leonard Gillespie of New York City's Blair General Hospital. Gillespie summons staff member Dr. John Hunter Gerniede, a surgeon who has recently arrived from Holland and wants to transfer to psychiatry. On Saturday evening, Gillespie and Gerniede go to a dance at the school so that Gerniede can surreptitiously observe Roy. Gerniede asks Marcia to take Roy to the spot where he killed the dog, and sees that Roy does not remember the incident. A few days later, after the boy has been examined at Blair, Gillespie and Gerniede tell Roy's parents that he has a serious mental illness that needs treatment. Because their family physician, Dr. Ward O. Kenwood, thinks that Roy has merely been working too hard at school, his parents refuse to accept Gillespie's diagnosis and take him home. That same afternoon, Marcia and Roy go shopping and while staring at a model train set in a store window, he becomes violent and tears the display apart. Marcia then goes to Dr. Gerniede and tells him what happened. Kenwood and Roy's parents still do not accept Roy's illness, but Marcia resolves to help ... +


Marcia Bradburn, who is completing her last year at Emma Hope's finishing school, is overjoyed that her father has given permission for her to become engaged to Roy Todwell. When she meets Roy in the school garden, he begs her to elope with him and becomes sullen when Marcia insists that they wait. Then suddenly, Roy throws a rock at his cocker spaniel and kills it after the dog wimpers at a train whistle. A sobbing Marcia goes to Emma, who calls her old friend, wheelchair-bound Dr. Leonard Gillespie of New York City's Blair General Hospital. Gillespie summons staff member Dr. John Hunter Gerniede, a surgeon who has recently arrived from Holland and wants to transfer to psychiatry. On Saturday evening, Gillespie and Gerniede go to a dance at the school so that Gerniede can surreptitiously observe Roy. Gerniede asks Marcia to take Roy to the spot where he killed the dog, and sees that Roy does not remember the incident. A few days later, after the boy has been examined at Blair, Gillespie and Gerniede tell Roy's parents that he has a serious mental illness that needs treatment. Because their family physician, Dr. Ward O. Kenwood, thinks that Roy has merely been working too hard at school, his parents refuse to accept Gillespie's diagnosis and take him home. That same afternoon, Marcia and Roy go shopping and while staring at a model train set in a store window, he becomes violent and tears the display apart. Marcia then goes to Dr. Gerniede and tells him what happened. Kenwood and Roy's parents still do not accept Roy's illness, but Marcia resolves to help him. At home, Roy imagines that Gillespie is against him and only pretends to take the sleeping medicine that Kenwood gives him. He then gets dressed and flees his room. Some time later, when Blair nurse Parker finds an unsigned, threatening postcard addressed to Gillespie, she shows it to hospital chief Dr. Walter Carew. Carew consults Gerniede, who thinks that he knows what is causing Roy's problems and, after calling Marcia, determines that loud piercing noises, such as train whistles, trigger Roy's violent outbursts. Hoping to keep the threats from Gillespie, Carew assigns muscular orderly Joe Wayman to act secretly as Gillespie's bodyguard. Meanwhile, in Detroit, Roy takes up with a dancehall girl named "Bubbles." Hoping to impress her, Roy arranges to purchase an expensive automobile C.O.D. The dealer and his mechanic then go to the address that Roy has given them, an unoccupied house, and Roy kills them both. That evening, at a restaurant, Roy goes to the men's room and hears a piercing sound, then walks out of the restaurant in a daze and kills a policeman. Some time later, when Marcia and Emma see Roy outside the school, they telephone Gerniede, who suggests that for her own protection, Marcia stay in his place at the hospital. After locking Marcia in his apartment, Gerniede discovers a broken picture of a train and knows that Roy is nearby. Although Carew initiates security procedures, Roy poses as a doctor and is able to get into Dr. Gillespie's unoccupied offices. When Gerniede goes to the office, he finds it empty, but discovers that a large scalpel is missing from a cabinet. He then goes to check on Marcia, who is not in the apartment. Meanwhile, in one of the hospital laboratories, Marcia, whom Roy had telephoned, approaches and begs him to call Gerniede. Although Roy says that he will kill Gillespie, he lets her call Gerniede to tell him where they are. When Gerniede, Gillespie and the police arrive, Gillespie convinces the police to let him and Gerniede talk privately with Roy. While pretending that he wants help, Roy secretly grabs a gun that he had earlier hidden in Gillespie's desk and is about to shoot when Joe enters the room and knocks the gun away. Several months later, Gerniede learns that he is being transferred to the psychiatry department, and Gillespie assures the graduating Marcia that Roy, who is now in prison, did not know what he was doing. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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