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Registered Nurse (1934): Generic, but Fun

Registered Nurse (Robert Florey, 1934)

[note: review originally published 7Apr2010]

photo credit:

“…fainting. And not being able to get out of bed, and he’s running a fever of a hundred six…”

Pre-code melodrama clocking in at sixty-three minutes, barely feature-length, that doesn’t really hold a candle to better-remembered movies from the era, but is still worth a look if you’re a fan of pre-code stuff.42nd Street beauty Bebe Daniels stars as Sylvia Benton. As we open, Sylvia is at a party with her drunken, overbearing lout of a husband, Jim (Gordon Westcott, who would die the next year in a horse-related accident). When they leave the party, Sylvia tells Jim she’s had it with him and wants a divorce; he loses control of the car and crashes into a tree. Fast-forward a few years and Sylvia, who was a nurse before she met Jim, is back in the business at a swingin’ metropolitan hospital, going by the nickname Ben, and is hotly pursued by two of the staff doctors, Connolly (He Married His Wife‘s Lyle Talbot) and Hedwig (50 Million Frenchmen‘s John Halliday). Why? Because Sylvia Benton, now going by the nickname Ben, is pretty much the perfect woman. All the men want to marry her, all the patients love her, all the nurses want to be her. Are the alarm bells going off in your head yet? They should be. There’s a big twist in the plot about halfway through where she reveals why she won’t marry either one of them, but plot is secondary here to hospital life and mildly prurient jokes. It’s amusing, and it’s short, so it won’t take up much of your time, but it’s not terribly memorable, and once the plot pops back up, it’s pretty predictable. ***

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

One response »

  1. Pingback: 50 Million Frenchmen (1931): …Could Be Wrong… | Popcorn for Breakfast

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