Review: ‘Night Nurse’

Night Nurse is a conglomeration of exaggerations, often bordering on serial dramatics. Reason for audience indifference is somewhat guttural. Barbara Stanwyck as the flip gal who knows pretty much what it's all about at the time she applies as an apprentice and cleans up on whatever details may be missing after donning the uniform. Meanwhile, there's a half-hearted attempt at love interest between the star and Ben Lyon as a mysterious male lead.

Night Nurse is a conglomeration of exaggerations, often bordering on serial dramatics. Reason for audience indifference is somewhat guttural. Barbara Stanwyck as the flip gal who knows pretty much what it’s all about at the time she applies as an apprentice and cleans up on whatever details may be missing after donning the uniform. Meanwhile, there’s a half-hearted attempt at love interest between the star and Ben Lyon as a mysterious male lead.

Director William A. Wellman hasn’t done much with this chaotic subject [from the novel by Dora Macy] other than to slip through a few laughs in the slang dialog between the two nurses, who are a couple of pretty well-baked femmes when they start, and thereby cut short their chances for sympathy.

Clark Gable goes through socking everybody, including Stanwyck, and is finally done away with by inference. What legitimate performances crop up in the footage seem to belong to Joan Blondell and Charlie Winninger as the hospital head. Stanwyck plays her dancehall type of a girl on one note throughout and is shy of shading to lend her performance some color.

Night Nurse

Production

Warner. Director William A. Wellman; Screenplay Oliver H.P. Garrett, Charles Kenyon; Camera Barney McGill; Editor Edward M. McDermott; Art Director Max Parker

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1931. Running time: 73 MIN.

With

Barbara Stanwyck Ben Lyon Joan Blondell Charlotte Merriam Charles Winninger Clark Gable
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