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While the Patient Slept

4.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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(May 02, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

Known as America's Agatha Christie, leading female crime novelist Mignon Eberhart cowrote this faithful adaptation of her popular novel While the Patient Slept. It features a clever nurse (Aline MacMahon) summoned to a mansion when an elderly man (Walter Walker) has a stroke after reading a telegram from his disinherited son (Robert H. Barrat). The unexpected murder of his other son (also Robert H. Barrat) turns the nurse into an amateur sleuth as she joins forces with a handsome detective (Guy Kibbee) to uncover family secrets and find the killer.

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Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Aline Macmahon, Guy Kibbee, Robert Barrat, Walter Walker, Lyle Talbot
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Archive
  • DVD Release Date: May 2, 2012
  • Run Time: 65 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007RKFXTO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,757 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "While the Patient Slept" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By G.I Gurdjieff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 22, 2012
Format: DVD
I am totally captivated by actress Aline MacMahon. While an acknowledged first rate actress, Aline never really became a full fledged star. However, it really doesn't matter because she ripped the heck out of any role she took on and the films she was in were better for it. Since I had never seen this film I bought the DVD, popped some corn, and camped out.
This is one of those whodunnit movies. Very much reminiscent of Cat and the Canary, there is a lot going on in this one. Seemingly there is plenty of slight of hand and confusion, secret doorways, shadowy characters hiding behind curtains, a large cast of characters, and plenty of thunder and lightening and even a couple of deaths.
MacMahon plays a nurse who is inserted in the story to tend to the master of the creepy old house. Guy Kibbee is the detective investigating a murder in the house. As luck would have it, Kibbee is sweet on MacMahon's nurse. As he tries to woo the nurse while investigating first one murder and then another, there is marvelous banter between the two that takes comedy to another level. Of course, MacMahon always seems to be one step ahead of her wouldbe beau. Working together, they solve the crime and you see MacMahon warming a little to Kibbee.
Aline and Guy really play off one another with confidence and ease. The dialogue is snappy and the story never slows. For a short film made on the cheap this movie is a delightful gem and is another example of why MacMahon and Kibbee were teamed together so often in the early to mid 1930's. On top of it all, there are good performances by Henry O'Neill, Dorothy Tree, Lyle Talbot, Allen Jenkins, Robert Barratt, Patricia Ellis, and the great Hobart Bosworth.
The print is actually in good shape and my only complaint is that Ellis' makeup was less than flattering.
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If you are not familiar with Aline MacMahon this is probably the best introduction you can have for her intelligent, professional acting talent. My 5 stars is for a good film within the context of the old-fashioned style, and for proof once again that MacMahon was one of the most talented screen actresses. Print quality is fine and better than I expected.
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It is clear, from the included movie trailer, that Warner Brothers was trying to come up with a popular mystery-solver series like Fox Film Corporation's Charlie Chan, who was played by Warner Oland at the time ( 1935). It claims that Detective O'Leary will out-Chan Charlie Chan . . . alas, it was not to be.

On a mystery level, its a mishmash of nonsensical red herrings and incomplete story lines - in the beginning, much is made of old Mr. Federie's calling the family together to tell them something vitally important, but before he can, he has a stroke. All of them and the lawyer are dying to be the first to talk to the old man when he recovers . . . of course, one of them dies before he does. It never explains what is going on here; there are, however, a few clues from which you might surmise what had happened to lead to this situation and what Mr. Federie intended to do . . . you just need a little imagination to do so.

On a comedy level, it has its moments. Much of the humor comes from the interplay between Inspector O'Leary and Nurse Keate. Perhaps, the more funnier moments come from the brash Sergeant Jackson.

Overall: Although it is not a great mystery or comedy, it is still an enjoyable movie to watch more than once.

DVD-R - 2012. Sharpness: good. Contrast: excellent. Defects: grainy, small white flecks with occasional short vertical streaks. Sound: clear. Music: well done - perfectly sets the mood for the murder scene. Subtitles: none.
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Remembered seeing it a long time ago and was thrilled when I found that it was available on DVD. I really enjoyed watching it.
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I really liked this film . It is not one I had seen before. Very quirky. But a nice old film.
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By john on November 10, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
not bad at all. you have to remember that these were quickies and made as fillers for double feature bills. just sit back on stormy nights and enjoy.
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