Tuesday, December 06, 2016


Dr. Frank Brace is a big shot at the city hospital, and his two sons are interns following in his footsteps. However, unknown to dad, Jerry (Gordon Oliver) is an irresponsible lout with a drinking problem, and his foster brother Steven (Donald Woods) is always covering up for him. Dr. Nordland, inventor of the Nordland compressions used in heart surgery, plans to make Steven his assistant, but fate has other plans. One night Steven takes over for another intern, but Jerry, out for a drunken joy ride with his girlfriend Ruby, has an accident and takes Ruby home instead of to the hospital, and talks Steven into leaving the hospital to attend to her while he promises to take over Steven's duties. Steven tries to help Ruby but she dies, and at the hospital, the drunken Jerry passes out, failing to attend to a particular patient who also dies. Steven tries to get cowardly Jerry to fess up that everything was his fault, but Jerry double-crosses his brother in front of their father and Steven loses his medical license. Nordland, who still has faith in Steven, hires him to be a nurse at a clinic for the poor with the understanding that he cannot perform operations. But when an emergency arises and Nordland is out of town, Steven operates using the Nordland compressions. The child dies and Steven is sentenced to a year in jail for operating without a license.

In the meantime, Jerry has started dating Nordland's daughter Paula (Jean Muir) even though Steven was sweet on her before. Nordland gives Steven one more chance, running a clinic in Cuba where he will able to practice medicine legally. Also on their way to Cuba for a vacation are Jerry, his dad, and his girlfriend. During a storm at sea, drunken Jerry gets in trouble again and Steven, again, could help out. Will he? And if he does, will he gain redemption or just get trampled over by his brother? This is an hour-long melodrama from the Warner Brothers B-movie unit, the best in the business, so you know you’re in good hands from the start. Woods is always a solid B-lead, and Oliver is fine as the rat-fink brother. Muir is a little one-note, but she doesn’t get in the way of the two male leads. Character actor stalwarts Joseph King (as the father) and Henry Kolker (as the surgeon) are pros. There is a lot of plot in this short movie, but that helps keep it moving, even though some of the twists feel rather improbable. Pictured are Oliver and Woods. [TCM]

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