2 March 2008 | blanche-2
"Dr. Kildare Goes Home," made in 1940, is a particularly interesting entry into the series. Kildare, made a staff doctor, realizes that his dad (Samuel S. Hinds) is exhausted from keeping up with his practice and wants to help him. He takes some doctors who can't find jobs and they start a clinic in one of Kildare Sr.'s practice area. The idea behind it is that everyone pays ten cents a week for medical care. This will keep the salaries paid and support the work needed on the ill people. Also, the emphasis of the clinic is on prevention and staying healthy. This is health insurance today, which wants everyone to stay healthy and not need medical facilities. Instead of a dime, though, it's thousands per year. I did find that whole subject matter in 1940 fascinating.
The next fascinating thing is that Dr. Gillespie goes to watch a rare operation done by a brilliant black doctor (Jack Carr). Carr, a very well spoken actor, is uncredited in the film. This is a different kind of depiction of blacks than one is used to seeing in these old movies, and it's similar to "Crash Dive," where a black member of the submarine unit is the same as everyone else.
These things make "Dr. Kildare Goes Home" a cut above, and the story moves along with Kildare and Mary setting the date. I love the scenes between Mary Boyd (Alma Kruger) and Dr. Gillespie (Lionel Barrymore) the best. When he compliments her appearance, he says, "You must have lost 15 pounds." She says, "I've gained eight. What do you want me to do that's illegal?" Highly entertaining.