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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  • Lionel Barrymore and Margaret O'Brien in Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case (1943)
  • Van Johnson and Marilyn Maxwell in Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case (1943)
  • Donna Reed, Van Johnson, and Keye Luke in Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case (1943)
  • Lionel Barrymore, Van Johnson, and Marilyn Maxwell in Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case (1943)
  • Lionel Barrymore, Donna Reed, Van Johnson, and Keye Luke in Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case (1943)
  • Lionel Barrymore, Donna Reed, Marilyn Maxwell, and Margaret O'Brien in Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case (1943)

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User Reviews

28 March 2019 | HotToastyRag
| Lionel is the star of the show
What's a Dr. Kildare movie without Lew Ayres? A Dr. Gillespie movie, and let's face it, since Dr. Gillespie is Lionel Barrymore, no one's going to be complaining. In Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case, Lionel has to deal with two ambitious assistants, a depressed war veteran, a children's epidemic, and a convicted criminal who'll lose his temper if he finds out his ex-wife Donna Reed is getting re-married. This installment packs quite a punch, so prepare to be entertained.

The supporting cast may have well-known names, but not everyone is given a lot to do. Van Johnson exists to chase around the overly flirtatious Marilyn Maxwell and roll his eyes whenever he's prevented from sealing the deal. Keye Luke exists to simultaneously make the movie seem accepting and racist, since the running joke is that he's learning to speak Chinese at the local college. Donna Reed exists to look pretty and flounce around with bouncing hair and a sweet smile. Nat Pendleton is always a lot of fun, with wisecracks, harmless flirting, and loyal support to his friends and the hospital.

Of course, the star of the show is Lionel Barrymore, a true professional who's incapable of giving a bad performance. In this one, he treats Michael Duane, who's despondent over losing his legs in the war. It's quite sad, not only because this realistic situation was being shown during wartime, but also because a wheelchair-bound Lionel tells Michael how lucky he is that he'll be equipped with artificial legs. "You're luckier than I am. Not even this hospital can make me walk," he says, no doubt creating many lumps in audiences' throats. Lionel also has a touching scene with a group of sick children, including a young Margaret O'Brien, reminding audiences how wonderful he was in On Borrowed Time with Bobs Watson. Just in case you get too teary-eyed, Lionel does get thrown a surprise birthday party, and to prove he's not surprised, he opens his bathrobe to reveal a tuxedo! After all, in a hospital drama, in the middle of WWII, there's got to be a touch of humor to get us through. And Lionel, who can get us through anything.

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