Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case (1943)

Approved   |    |  Crime, Drama, Mystery

Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case (1943) Poster

When Roy, a homicidal maniac was put away for murder, Gillespie tried to get him committed to an insane asylum instead. Now the guy's ex-fiancee wants to marry a soldier, and she goes to ... See full summary »


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6 May 2010 | bkoganbing
| Unfinished Business
Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case deals with some unfinished business from Calling Dr. Gillespie. Although why he's bothering I can't figure out other than he's a dedicated man of medicine and possibly an opponent of capital punishment.

In Calling Dr. Gillespie Donna Reed is charmed by young Phil Brown who turns out to be a homicidal maniac. He gets caught and Lionel Barrymore as Dr. Gillespie tries to get him a guilty by insanity verdict which a jury doesn't buy and sends him to a regular prison instead. But Gillespie doesn't give up, especially when Reed playing the same character shows up announcing she's found someone new and is about to wed.

Barrymore has two young interns in this film who he keeps busy. There's Van Johnson who is with him when he goes to the prison on behalf of John Craven who has taken over the role that Phil Brown played in the earlier Gillespie film. The other is Keye Luke who gets involved in the rehabilitation of William Lundigan who was a taxi driver from Honolulu who lost both his legs when a bomb hit his cab.

All three of them are involved in an outbreak of erysipelas in the hospital pediatric ward, one of the children being Margaret O'Brien. As you can see everybody at Blair General Hospital has a full plate of responsibility.

I think the film would have been better had the part of the story involving John Craven wasn't there. Craven tries to kill Barrymore in the previous film and no one would blame Barrymore if he wanted nothing more to do with the case. But back in the day doctors were saints on the silver screen.

Still Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case is not a bad film and did a lot of good for the popularity of MGM's rising new star, Van Johnson.

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