Monster High Freaky Fab
 
Movies visit the Family Entertainment Center for more entertainment resources
Browse by Title
Browse by Release Date

Night Nurse (1931)

Rating:No Rating
Genre:Drama
Release Date:January 1, 1931
Running time:75 minutes
Cast:Barbara Stanwyck, Ben Lyon, Joan Blondell, Clark Gable, Blanche Frederici
Director:William A. Wellman
Writer:Oliver H.P. Garrett, Charles Kenyon
Distributor:Warner Bros. Pictures

Description: William Wellman's Night Nurse survives as a potentially interesting but ultimately unsatisfying melodrama about a nurse discovering evildoings in the household where she is caring for a couple of sick children. Based on a 1930 novel by Dora Macy, Wellman's probe into medical corruption is one of the director's more cynical looks on Depression-era America, but most of the characters are weakly drawn and the denouement a cheat, cinematically. Barbara Stanwyck plays Lora Hart, an ambitious student nurse whose first assignment after graduation is tending to a couple of deathly ill little girls, Nanny (Marcia Mae Jones) and Desney (Betty Jane Graham). Despite their posh surroundings, the girls are apparently suffering from malnutrition; their mother, Mrs. Ritchey (Charlotte Merriam), is hopped-up on bootleg booze (I'm a dipsomaniac! A dipsomaniac I tell ya! And I like it!), and the girls' physician (Ralf Harolde) is a society quack with a facial tick. Lora soon realizes that the good doctor is deliberately starving the children to death in order to gain access to their trust fund and that Mrs. Ritchey is kept in line by Nick (Clark Gable), a black-clad gangster posing as the family chauffeur. A desperate Lora proposes to contact the authorities, but her medical sponsor (Charles Winninger) deems that unethical and instead suggests that she find a solution from inside the family. Nearly at the end of her ropes -- and having accepted one too many blows to the chin from Nick -- Lora is saved by an admirer, good-natured bootlegger Mortie (Ben Lyon), whose friends take the evil chauffeur on a final ride. None of this makes much sense, and the film appears to have been tampered with along the way. One of the children disappears without any explanation halfway through, and the hospital establishment's reticence is never properly explained. Instead of a coherent plot, Night Nurse, in typical pre-Production Code style, offers quite a few scenes of Barbara Stanwyck and fellow nurse Joan Blondell dressing and undressing and a rather brutal portrayal by a very young Clark Gable on the threshold to fame. Warner Bros. had borrowed Gable from MGM to play the despicable chauffeur when the original choice, James Cagney, suddenly proved too valuable a commodity for what was actually a supporting role.~ Hans J. Wollstein, All Movie Guide

Movie summaries and listings powered by Cinema-Source

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Gift Ideas Sure to Please
Find the best gifts for girls, and everyone else on your list! Visit our Holiday Shopping Headquarters. Brought to you by Monster High.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Print this free holiday wish list for kids, so they can tell you what they really want this year! Brought to you by Monster High.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!