Friday, August 31, 2012

Pre-code: Bedside (1934).

Bedside (1934). Directed by Robert Florey. Cast: Warren William, Jean Muir, Allen Jenkins and David Landau.

The story begins with Bob Brown aka Dr. J. Herbert Martel, a X-Ray tech with 3 years of medical school. He works in the same offices as, nurse Caroline, who is charmed by Bob as all woman in his life seem to be..

Caroline, loans Bob $1,500 so he can finish up his degree and become a real doctor, but.. but when Bob, boards the train headed for medical school he quickly blows the $1,500 in a poker game.

Not able to go back home and face Caroline, Bob finds a new job as an orderly and writes letters telling her how tough medical school is.

While on the job Bob, gives a shot to a patient who was crying out for help and is fired, for it. He returns home and comes close to telling Caroline, the truth, but she looks so upset that he just can't do it.

Things take a turn for the better for Bob, when "John Smith", comes to see him in desperate need of some morphine to help with his asthma. Smith, is really J. Herbert Martel, a doctor who has become a drug addict. He confesses to Martel, that his degree is useless to him now. Bob the says, "You've come to the end of your rope. I can use it! and then offers to keep him supplied in drugs, in exchange for his identity.

Brown, travels to New York where things are going well until, a poker game with press agent Sam Sparks, leads to Sparks forcing Brown, now known as, Dr. J. Herbert Martel, to participate in a million-dollar insurance scam over a showgirl's legs. Dr. Martel provides a fake X-Ray of a broken leg (which belonged to a corpse).

Brown/Martel takes the money he made from the scam and opens up a swank Park Avenue office, hiring Dr. Wiley to work as the doctor and hires Caroline, to be his nurse. Things are going well until, "John Smith" finds him.

Dr. Wiley tells him about this experiment he's performed hundreds of times with guinea pigs and hopes to use on humans. His experiment is to stick a needle in a dead guinea pig's heart, then shock them back from the dead. (I'm not sure whether the experiment worked or not).

Caroline, begins to become suspicious of Bob and quits, after his refusal to treat a sick little girl, when Wiley( who really does the work) is not there. At this point, the real Martel, finally meets Caroline and she has a life-threatening accident.  The hospital gets a hold of Bob, who's in a panic, now what we will he do to save Caroline's life or does he?

Warren William, was often cast as a detective. But.. I think I like him best in dark roles such as this one. I don't know whether to call Bedside.. a horror movie, sci-fi or film noir?

Jean Muir (February 13, 1911 – July 23, 1996), first appeared on Broadway in 1930, and was signed by Warner Brothers Studios three years later.

She played opposite several famous actors - Warren William, Paul Muni, Richard Barthelmess, Franchot Tone, etc. But she returned to Broadway in 1937 because she was unsatisfied with the roles, appearing occasionally in films through 1943.

In 1950 she was named as a Communist sympathizer by the notorious book Red Channels, and immediately removed from the cast of a television sitcom The Aldrich Family, in which she was supposed to appear as the Mother Aldrich.

 In the mid 1950s she reportedly suffered from alcoholism and cirrhosis of the liver.

 She was back on Broadway and TV by the early 1960s. In 1968 she moved to Columbia, Missouri, where she taught drama at Stephens College.

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