The People vs. Dr. Kildare (1941)

76-77 mins | Drama | 2 May 1941

Director:

Harold S. Bucquet

Cinematographer:

Clyde De Vinna

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film, which was the seventh in the "Dr. Kildare" series, was Dr. Kildare's Crisis . This film marked the first appearance in the Dr. Kildare series of Red Skelton, who portrayed orderly "Vernon Briggs." For additional information on the series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry for Young Dr. Kildare in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; ... More Less

The working title of this film, which was the seventh in the "Dr. Kildare" series, was Dr. Kildare's Crisis . This film marked the first appearance in the Dr. Kildare series of Red Skelton, who portrayed orderly "Vernon Briggs." For additional information on the series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry for Young Dr. Kildare in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.5251. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
10 May 1941.
---
Daily Variety
30 Apr 1941.
---
Film Daily
8 May 41
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Feb 41
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Mar 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Mar 41
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Apr 41
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
3 May 1941.
---
New York Times
8 May 41
p. 21.
Variety
7 May 41
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
WRITERS
Based on an orig story by
Based on an orig story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Max Brand.
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Title:
Dr. Kildare's Crisis
Release Date:
2 May 1941
Production Date:
6 March--4 April 1941
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
29 April 1941
Copyright Number:
LP10443
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
76-77
Length(in feet):
7,019
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
7234
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Skater Frances Marlowe, who has just signed a lucrative contract with an ice show, is driving with her manager, Dan Morton, when her car crashes into a truck. Dr. James Kildare and his fiancée, nurse Mary Lamont, see the accident and help the victims, who are only slightly hurt, except for Frances, who has a fractured leg and a ruptured spleen. Because Jimmy is certain that Frances will die from internal bleeding if he does not operate immediately, he performs the surgery before the ambulance arrives. Back at Jimmy's hospital, New York's Blair General, Jimmy gives her a transfusion under the watchful eye of his mentor, Dr. Leonard Gillespie. Meanwhile, Morton arrives with an insurance investigator and overhears switchboard operator Sally and orderly Vernon Briggs joke about finding a half-empty whiskey bottle in the car Jimmy was driving, unaware that Jimmy used the whiskey for an impromptu antiseptic. Eight weeks later, the cast is taken off Frances' leg, but she is unable to move it. She then becomes hysterical and screams accusations that her paralysis is Jimmy's fault. Jimmy and Gillespie have no idea what is causing the paralysis and are shocked when Frances changes hospitals and sues Jimmy for malpractice in the amount of $100,000. Jimmy must face a trial and Gillespie is worried that a jury of laymen will side with the patient instead of the doctor. After several staff members are served with subpoenas, hospital administrator Dr. Walter Carew wants to settle the case out of court, but Jimmy insists on going through with it. Realizing that if he had let Frances die on the road, he would not be facing ... +


Skater Frances Marlowe, who has just signed a lucrative contract with an ice show, is driving with her manager, Dan Morton, when her car crashes into a truck. Dr. James Kildare and his fiancée, nurse Mary Lamont, see the accident and help the victims, who are only slightly hurt, except for Frances, who has a fractured leg and a ruptured spleen. Because Jimmy is certain that Frances will die from internal bleeding if he does not operate immediately, he performs the surgery before the ambulance arrives. Back at Jimmy's hospital, New York's Blair General, Jimmy gives her a transfusion under the watchful eye of his mentor, Dr. Leonard Gillespie. Meanwhile, Morton arrives with an insurance investigator and overhears switchboard operator Sally and orderly Vernon Briggs joke about finding a half-empty whiskey bottle in the car Jimmy was driving, unaware that Jimmy used the whiskey for an impromptu antiseptic. Eight weeks later, the cast is taken off Frances' leg, but she is unable to move it. She then becomes hysterical and screams accusations that her paralysis is Jimmy's fault. Jimmy and Gillespie have no idea what is causing the paralysis and are shocked when Frances changes hospitals and sues Jimmy for malpractice in the amount of $100,000. Jimmy must face a trial and Gillespie is worried that a jury of laymen will side with the patient instead of the doctor. After several staff members are served with subpoenas, hospital administrator Dr. Walter Carew wants to settle the case out of court, but Jimmy insists on going through with it. Realizing that if he had let Frances die on the road, he would not be facing a trial, Jimmy feels that he must uphold the physician's right and duty to operate under emergency circumstances. During the trial, it is established that the liquor bottle was found in the car and Reynolds, Frances' attorney, suggests that Jimmy had been drinking. Further testimony makes Jimmy's case seem hopeless until Vernon suggests that the bottle in the car came from "a drunk driver." Kildare goes to see the other driver in the accident, trucker Bob Hackley, and learns that he placed the bottle in the car because he did not want to be accused of driving drunk. Hackley also says that Frances might have prevented the collision but "seemed paralyzed" when she saw his truck. Jimmy then theorizes that Frances was suffering from a congenital spinal condition, and evidence indicates that her condition may have flared up after several falls on the ice just prior to the accident. Frances is convinced to undergo a new examination that seems to confirm Jimmy's diagnosis, but Reynolds urges her to postpone any operation until after she wins the case. Gillespie's impassioned testimony for a physician's freedom to attend a patient under emergency conditions results in the jury's request to adjourn the case until after the operation is performed. If it is a success, they will find for Jimmy, if not, they will award Frances the entire $100,000. Sixty days after Frances agrees to the surgery, her recovery is complete and she joyfully looks forward to resuming her career. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.