Prison Nurse (1938)

Approved   |    |  Drama, Film-Noir


Prison Nurse (1938) Poster

A state prison is threatened by approaching floods, an epidemic of typhoid fever breaks out among the inmates, the prison's only doctor falls sick, there are only three nurses to administer... See full summary »


5.7/10
54

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17 October 2006 | catherine-71
6
| Prison, Floods, Typhoid, Car Wreck -- and True Love
Floods are threatening a prison, typhoid breaks out among the inmates, no doctors are available to assist the regular prison physician, three brave nurses arrive to help administer vaccines, and a group of prisoners is planning an escape! In the midst of all this chaos, the prison doctor falls ill, and a former doctor, now in prison, struggles to overcome his bitterness and put his past behind him.

Well, the first thing i want to say about this movie is that i saw only the EDITED version, 50-some minutes long. The editing is ghastly, and a real shame too, as i am well enough versed with B-movies and plot editing in general to realize that there was a much better film at the heart of this than what was shown on TV and has been preserved for presentation in DVD. This is a movie i liked enough, even in its chopped-up form, that i would seek out an uncut version -- but, given the cut-apart state of what i did see, i can only rank it with a measly "6". I would probably have given it an "8" if it had not been so butchered, because both the acting and the directing are excellent, and the screenplay is well above average.

What is *obviously* missing from the chopped DVD print? Oh, i suspect that old film buffs can fill in the blanks: There's probably the frustrated early courtship scene; the confession / revelation about Doctor Dale's past, with an accompanying declaration of mutual love; the introduction of the parole idea; some "second-couple" comedic affection between the 2nd nurse and Jackpot, which sets the scene for her later knowledge about his diary and his mother's picture; a few more bits leading up to Gaffney's escape plan; a comedic turn with Minerva Urecal as the hatchet-faced 3rd nurse (perhaps her giving a shot to some prisoner in a parody of a love scene?); and a scene introducing Parker and explaining his role.

Its amazing how, when simple little building blocks like these get deleted from a film in order to fit it into a TV time-slot, what you're left with really doesn't hang together -- you keep watching with the sense that you must have missed something, but you know you didn't. It's pretty frustrating.

If a complete print does exist, i'd sure like to see it in order to check my guesses about the cut scenes versus the reality of it.

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Drama | Film-Noir

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