The Secret of Dr. Kildare (1939)

The Secret of Dr. Kildare Poster

Intern Kildare heals a millionaire's daughter and tricks Dr. Gillespie into taking a vacation.

"The Secret of Dr. Kildare" is an appealing American film directed by Harold S. Bucquet in 1939. It is a fascinating drama focusing on a young doctor mentored by an older experienced medical professional. The movie stars noteworthy Hollywood stars such as Lionel Barrymore, Lew Ayres, and Laraine Day and is the third film in a nine-movie series based upon the character of Dr. Kildare.

The story commences with Dr. Gillespie, played by Lionel Barrymore, giving a lecture to medical trainees. Young Dr. James Kildare, played by Lew Ayres, is appointed to him as his assistant. Dr. Gillespie ultimately sends him to investigate an illness of a rich client called Nancy Messenger. While initially being kept in the dark about her mystical illness, he eventually determines her ailment as psychosomatic, propelled by her tension over her engagement.

Simultaneously, a young clinic patient named Mary Lamont, represented by Laraine Day, has fallen for Dr. Kildare. The young physician, absorbed in his work, does not recognize her affection. As the story progresses, the relationship in between the two becomes a subplot in the story.

While treating Mrs. Messenger, Dr. Kildare deals with a predicament. Though he finds out her illness, he is forced to stay silent due to patient-doctor confidentiality. This secrecy causes Dr. Gillespie being left in the dark about the circumstance, triggering stress in between the two. Meanwhile, Mary Lamont is having significant stress over her one-sided love for Dr. Kildare.

Lastly, the reality about Mrs. Messenger's condition comes out, resulting in a resolution for her case. She chooses to end her engagement, eliminating her tension and leading her towards a path of healing. Their relationship recovered, Dr. Gillespie complements Dr. Kildare for his work and principles. On the parallel plot, Mary attempts to stop her task and leave, however Dr. Kildare quickly proposes, resulting in a warm end to the movie.

"The Secret of Dr. Kildare" is a compelling drama merged with romance and medical ethics. It artfully represents the tension, dilemmas, and psychological toll experienced by doctor in their line of work. The well-knit story, strong performances by the lead stars, and the blend of medical secrets with an undercurrent of a romance make the film an amusing watch.

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