Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1931. Warner Bros. Screenplay by Oliver H.P. Garrett, additional dialogue by Charles Kenyon, from the novel by Grace Perkins. Cinematography by Barney McGill. Production Design by Max Parker. Costume Design by Earl Luick. Film Editing by Edward M. McDermott.
Barbara Stanwyck is accepted into a hospital as a trainee to become a nurse, assisting doctors with the business of getting well. She immediately becomes chummy with equally smart-mouthed Joan Blondell and we watch as the two of them lend their efforts to ill patients and frustrated doctors in operating rooms. In the second half, Stanwyck is assigned to the private home care of two little girls whom she believes are being starved to death thanks to the machinations of an evil chaffeur (Clark Gable) who is taking advantage of the children’s drunken mother. This wonderful melodrama is exciting and involving from beginning to end, benefiting in no small part from Stanwyck’s wonderfully zesty performance. It was made before the application of the Hays code, so look out for some pretty racy scenes involving skimpy negligees (these nurses spend a LOT of time in the change room).