Dedicated nurse Carole Lombard takes the blame for careless sister Anne Shirley’s fatal stuff-up, gets fired, but then ends up at a bigger but poorly equipped hospital where she meets handsome surgeon Brian Aherne, who wants funds for a plague ward. Ethel Griffies plays the rather stern but fair matron. Hammer legend Peter Cushing plays a hopeless ne’er-do-well. Julien Mitchell plays a sleazy benefactor, with Doris Lloyd his pathetic wife.
1940 George Stevens (“Gunga Din”, “Shane”, “The Diary of Anne Frank”) flick in the nurse/missionary drama subgenre proved that Lombard could be more than just a funny gal. It’s a shame then, that she would die just two years later, tragically in a plane crash. She’s really good here, as is Griffies as a tough old matron. Look out for an early role for Cushing, quite a different part as a sad sack ne’er-do-well.
Solid stuff all round, though Shirley’s character comes across as borderline intellectually disabled at times. The screenplay is by Fred Guiol (Stevens’ “Giant” and “Gunga Din”), P.J. Wolfson, and Rowland Leigh (“Charge of the Light Brigade”), from an A.J. Cronin (the former physician who wrote “The Citadel”, made into a film with Robert Donat and “The Keys of the Kingdom”, made into a film with Gregory Peck) novel.