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The Secret of Dr Kildare (1939)

Lew Ayres , Lionel Barrymore , Harold S. Bucquet  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Lew Ayres, Lionel Barrymore, Lionel Atwill, Helen Gilbert, Nat Pendleton
  • Directors: Harold S. Bucquet
  • Writers: Harry Ruskin, Max Brand, Willis Goldbeck
  • Producers: Lou L. Ostrow
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Roan Archival Group
  • DVD Release Date: June 6, 2006
  • Run Time: 84 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,354 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Secret of Dr Kildare" on IMDb

Special Features

  • An exclusive introduction and film history by New York Post film critic Lou Lumenick

Editorial Reviews

Young Dr. Jimmy Kildare is recruited by his cancer-stricken mentor Dr. Gillespie (screen legend Lionel Barrymore) to assist in a pneumonia study. Convinced Dr. Gillespie needs more rest to get over his illness, Kildare refuses to help and instead accepts a young heiress’s case of hysterical blindness. But fate has more tragic surprises ahead for Dr. Kildare as his father is diagnosed with a sudden and terminal illness.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic classic June 23, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
If you are a fan of classic movies this is one for your library. You have the richness of Lionel Barrymore as Dr. Gillespie, and the vulnerability of Lew Ayers as Dr. Kildare. The supporting roles help illuminate the danger in putting anothers well-being before your own. There is a drama with just enough humor relief to make for enjoyable evening watching old friends.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The doctor has a secret... April 14, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
In the 1930's & 40's, one of the most popular movie series was MGM's "Dr. Kildare" that starred Lew Ayres as the young intern James ("Jimmy") Kildare and Lionel Barrymore as his gruff but friendly mentor Dr. Leonard Gillespie as they encountered various patients and crises at Blair General Hospital, a New York City teaching hospital.
This film, number three in the series, is one of the best and perhaps the most representative of the entire series. Ayres and Barrymore play off each other beautifully, and they have fine support from the regular ensemble who played a major part in most of the other "Dr. Kildare" films, including Laraine Day as Nurse Mary Lamont, Alma Kruger as Head Nurse Molly Bird, Walter Kingsford as Hospital Director Dr. S.J. Carew, Nell Craig as Nurse "Nosey" Parker, Marie Blake (Jeanette MacDonald's older sister) as Sally the wisecracking switchboard operator, and Nat Pendleton as the slow-witted ambulance driver Joe Wayman.
"The Secret of Dr. Kildare" especially shows off the technique the series featured of the characters being involved in several intertwined plots. Dr. Kildare attempts to stop Dr. Gillespie from wrecking his health while working on a cure for pneumonia, and at the same time takes up the call for help of a Wall Street business magnate (Lionel Atwill) whose debutante daughter (Helen Gilbert) has begun to behave oddly and eventually develops psychosomatic blindness. While all this goes on, Dr. Kildare's parents (Emma Dunn & Samuel S. Hinds) come to New York supposedly for a friendly visit with their son, but more serious matters lie underneath.
This was Helen Gilbert's second feature film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful entry in the series...marred by subpar DVD November 11, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I love the Dr. Kildare movies, primarily because I have always been a fan of Lionel Barrymore's work. This is an excellent entry in the series, combining both medical drama and humor. You will find the movie itself quite enjoyable. Barrymore is on his game.

However, Roan has really done a poor job, both in finding a suitable source and in performing the transfer. Film damage is quite apparent at the front and back of each reel. The opening credits are particularly jumpy, as well. As for the transfer, there is a lot of softness to the picture, it is quite dark, and tends, in many portions, to have a greenish tint.

The "extras" on the DVD, if you wish to call them that, vary from worthless ("Radiation March"????) to poorly executed. To have Roan's President sitting next to a film historian, holding a portable camera in the historian's face, just seems really amateurish.

It would be nice if Warner (who now owns the rights) would release a box set of the Kildare movies. However, given that they have pretty much given up on classic films (outside of their make-to-order DVD-R's), it is doubtful we will ever see this movie in a quality release.

If you enjoy Dr. Kildare like I do, go ahead and get this release. Just don't expect too much. Two and a half stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good old movie ! December 23, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Totally enjoyed this old movie I enjoyed the tv show but enjoyed the original movies just as much. The movies arrived on time and in good condition.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good Old Movie July 8, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
These old Dr. Kildare movies are a hoot. I think there are only two available in DVD, too bad. The acting is corny and the plot is kind of non-existent, but they are fun to watch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dr Kildare revisited April 21, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I really enjoy older movies, and Lew Ayres is a great actor to add to my library. These are entertaining movies and provide a great diversion from today's stress-filled hours. The story is good, and the outcome is good as well. Well done entertainment.
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