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Dr. Kildare's Strange Case
Dr Kildare's Strange Case
Actors: Lew Ayres, Lionel Barrymore, Laraine Day, Shepperd Strudwick, Samuel S. Hinds
Director: Harold S. Bucquet
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2002     1hr 17min


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Movie Details

Actors: Lew Ayres, Lionel Barrymore, Laraine Day, Shepperd Strudwick, Samuel S. Hinds
Director: Harold S. Bucquet
Creators: John F. Seitz, Gene Ruggiero, Harry Ruskin, Max Brand, Willis Goldbeck
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Classics, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Alpha Video
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 04/16/2002
Original Release Date: 04/12/1940
Theatrical Release Date: 04/12/1940
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 17min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Not bad for an old flick
David A. Edwards | Glen Burnie, MD United States | 10/27/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I am a medical student collecting movies about the medical field. I enjoyed this movie for a couple simple reasons: It is full of amusing stereotypes, has some hilarious scenes on insulin shock therapy that would make a modern doc cringe, and Lionel Barrymore is a great actor! I think I will look for more movies with this funny old fellow.The movie is about a Young Dr. Kildare (Lew Ayres) who is doing a residency at Blair General. He is in love with a nurse(Laraine Day) (of course!) and she can't stand the thought of not being married (my oh my), like the older Head Nurse of the hospital. Anyway, Dr. Kildare doesn't earn much as a resident (yup) so he figures he can't afford to get married right now. This little love story goes on around an incident with a Dr. Lane, a surgeon who is having bad luck with a string of dying patients. Dr. Kildare tries to save Dr. Lane's reputation by convincing the hospital that it isn't Dr. Lane's skills that are lacking. In the end, Dr. Kildare wins the admiration of the hospital, Dr. Lane, his residency director Lionel Barrymore), and of course the nurse. Apparently there are 15 flicks about Dr. Kildare. This one is the 4th of 15. They follow the idealist young doctor as he emerges from medical school and eventually becomes an accomplished and confident doctor. I would like to see the other movies as well, but this is the only one on DVD right now. Following the string of 15 movies, there was a t.v. series about Dr. Kildare that ran for a few years when t.v. was new."
Pleasant, but only just that
Andrew Ruppenstein | Sacramento, CA USA | 04/26/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Lightweight, predictable (will the patient
with the mystery disease pull through? Will Kildare
hook up with the nurse?), hokey,
but not without some charm. Has some unintentionally
funny moments, and one can only thank God that
medical ethics have progressed since 1940
(that is if you believe the film accurately
reflects those of its period). Still, it's
reasonably entertaining, if not exactly classic
material.The print used for the film in reasonably good
shape, except for some moderate damage at the reel
changes. Some rain lines, too, but very few scratches
or nicks. A couple of very minor video glitches.
The picture wasn't particularly sharp, but still
mostly OK. They could have put more effort into
the video transfer. The audio was decent.In short a so-so transfer for a so-so
film. Still, when you take the price into consideration,
it's worth seeing...."
Be Glad You're not a Patient in This Hospital
Andrew Ruppenstein | 08/06/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I watched all of the Dr. Kildare movies as a child, and I was surprised to find out that they weren't as good as I remembered them being. However, "Dr. Kildare's Strange Case" reminds me of a less complicated time when science seemed to hold all of the answers. Those who remember earnest young Dr. Kildare, crusty Dr. Gillespie, and pretty Mary Lamont will find this movie worth watching, just as old friends are still worth talking to, even when we've outgrown them. The plot is rather absurd--a patient goes insane after brain surgery, and the surgeon (who has recently had a lot of patients die) is blamed. Aided and abetted by his girlfriend, Mary Lamont, Dr. Kildare induces insulin shock in the patient (not considered a valid treatment for years, but don't blame the scriptwriters--at that time it was). Miraculously, the patient survives and the brain surgeon is exonerated. Even more miraculously, Dr. Kildare and Mary Lamont escape charges of attempted murder and even keep their jobs."
One of the more entertaining Dr. Kildare movies
calvinnme | 03/15/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I always enjoyed the Dr. Kildare series. The casting was excellent, especially Lionel Barrymore as the irrascible Dr. Gillespie. If it were not for him, I doubt this series would have been as popular as it was. I believe this is number four in the series, and by this time Dr. Kildare and nurse Mary Lamont are in love, but Dr. Kildare only makes twenty dollars a month as an intern, so he doesn't feel like he can support a wife. Thus he has made no promises to Mary. Remember, back in these days (1940) women always quit their jobs when they got married. Thus Mary has started dating a young brain surgeon, who also has happened to lose alot of patients lately. He finally gets suspended from the hospital when the last of his patients has gone insane seemingly as a result of the surgery he has performed.

At this point Dr. Kildare takes up the case of proving that the patient is not insane as a result of the surgery by jolting him back to sanity via insulin shock therapy. This primitive method that was long a mainstream treatment for mental patients involves injecting someone with a large dose of insulin and then sitting back and seeing what develops. As a diabetic I can tell you what develops, sweating followed by seizures, possibly followed by death or coma. However, the medical profession, which had a primitive understanding of diabetes and insulin seventy years ago, thinks that what happens is that the human brain regresses back to its primitive self, then back to its evolved present and that the patient's sanity is sometimes restored in the process. This is how Dr. Kildare explains it in the film and it is both hilarious and somewhat shocking.

There are some other jaw-droppers such as after long hours in surgery when all the doctors and nurses involved light up a cigarette - in the hospital. Note that there is no such thing as biomedical monitoring equipment - nurses just come by each patient and "look in on them". There are a few things that are better in 1940 than today. For one, Dr. Gillespie isn't afraid to hand out straight talk to patients about their culpability involving their conditions. Today doctors are afraid to mention that an overweight patient might lose a little weight and improve their situation because they are so fearful of lawsuits.

As for the video and audio, Alpha is often hit or miss on quality but this transfer seems to be OK - not great but more than passable. I recommend it for fans of old classic films."