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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

"Night Nurse" (1931)

Equal parts woman's picture, crime drama, and social commentary, this tough pre-Code story goes for the jugular. The first half follows star Barbara Stanwyck as a novitiate nurse learning the ropes in a big city municipal hospital. With her best friend cracking wise beside her (the great Joan Blondell), they traverse the joys of the maternity ward and the horrors of the surgical theatre, all the while dodging passes from the leering residents. In the second half Babs gets employed by a wealthy family to be the nurse to their two young daughters. When she begins to suspect someone's out to kill the children for their inheritance, she turns from Florence Nightingale to Nancy Drew. That's when Clark Gable shows up as the smoldering chauffeur who may the the baddie at the heart of the scheme. Fast, fiesty, and fun. 

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