Should a Girl Marry? (June 8, 1939)

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Should a Girl Marry?
 

Released on June 8, 1939: A girl about to be married to the town's prominent surgeon discovers that she is the daughter of a woman condemned to death in prison for murder.

Produced by E.B. Derr

Directed by Lambert Hillyer

The Actors: Anne Nagel (Margaret), Warren Hull (Doctor Robert Benson), Mayo Methot (Betty Gilbert), Weldon Heyburn (Harry Gilbert), Aileen Pringle (Mrs. White), Lester Matthews (Doctor White), Helen Brown (Mary Winters), Sarah Padden (Mrs. Wilson), Gordon Hart (Mr. Henry B. Wilson), Edmund Elton (Doctor Turner), Robert Elliott (prison warden), Claire Rochelle (hysterical patient), Arthur Loft (Doctor Garfield), Harry Hayden (Doctor Willard), Bess Flowers (nurse), Barbara Salisbury (patient)

 

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The Brain Surgeon and the Girls in Prison

It is time for a story with skunks and scoundrels, women behind bars, and the man who can see more than the next dollar bill. There are a dozen or more ways that a movie title like this one could unfold, but I am betting that no matter what you think, you would be wrong. As our adventure opens we are in prison . . . Girls in prison . . . One gal is getting out of the clink today, and one gal is lying on a cot dying. The gal that is dying has been sentenced to hang for murder, but her death was changed to life in prison, and that life is almost over. She hands an envelope filled with newspaper clippings to the gal who is getting out of prison today. The newspaper clippings reveal that the dying woman gave birth to a little baby girl who was quickly and secretly adopted. The condemned woman’s daughter is now an adult and preparing to wed a prestigious surgeon. Any hint of scandal would ruin the girl’s new life as the wife of a prominent surgeon. When the gal getting out of prison gets back to her gangster husband, he discovers that this information could fuel a great blackmailing scheme.

About this point in the story the phone in my shirt pocket starts ringing. I am often surprised by the folk who call me, and today was an exceptional pleasure. I just finished a conversation of almost an hour with Harry James, the son of big band leader Harry James and torch singer Louise Tobin, but that is a story for another day. . . . Maybe . . . (Yes, I am shamelessly 'name dropping') . . . . So I get back to the movie about the blackmailing gangster and the adopted prison baby, and the story leaps into another direction. What a wild Saturday morning this is turning out to be.

The surgeon that our prison baby is about to marry is being considered for the head position in the hospital but he has a rival . . . A surgeon who has never lost a patient. The concept that is soon shared with us shocked me mightily. I am familiar with it today, but had no idea that it was recognized way back in 1939. While discussing the surgeon who has never lost a patient, it was pointed out that the reason he never lost a patient was not because he was so divinely skilled, but rather because he refused to operate on anyone who had a slim chance of survival . . . He would let them die without surgery instead of trying to save someone that might not survive the surgery. Deep stuff for almost a hundred years ago. The authors of this story will not only make us aware of this concept, but will weave a story that will push both surgeons to the wall with the concept . . . . Should a surgeon risk his reputation on a patient that might die on the table, or let them die without any attempt to save them? What if YOU were the person who would die without immediate surgery . . . And might die even with it? Which surgeon do you want, the one who won’t touch you, or the one who will try, even though it may be in vain? Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Anne Nagel
Anne Nagel
Anne Nagel, Mayo Methot and Warren Hull
Anne Nagel, Mayo Methot and Warren Hull
Anne Nagel and Sarah Padden
Anne Nagel and Sarah Padden
Anne Nagel and Warren Hull
Anne Nagel and Warren Hull
Anne Nagel, Warren Hull and Mayo Methot
Anne Nagel, Warren Hull and Mayo Methot
Anne Nagel and Warren Hull
Anne Nagel and Warren Hull
Anne Nagel
Anne Nagel
Arthur Loft
Arthur Loft
Edmund Elton
Edmund Elton
Edmund Elton and Warren Hull
Edmund Elton and Warren Hull
Edmund Elton
Edmund Elton
Gordon Hart and Warren Hull
Gordon Hart and Warren Hull
Gordon Hart
Gordon Hart
Harry Hayden
Harry Hayden
Helen Brown
Helen Brown
Lester Matthews
Lester Matthews
Lester Matthews and Aileen Pringle
Lester Matthews and Aileen Pringle
Lester Matthews, Aileen Pringle and Edmund Elton
Lester Matthews, Aileen Pringle and Edmund Elton
Lester Matthews and Aileen Pringle
Lester Matthews and Aileen Pringle
Lester Matthews and Bess Flowers
Lester Matthews and Bess Flowers
Lester Matthews and Mayo Methot
Lester Matthews and Mayo Methot
Lester Matthews
Lester Matthews
Mayo Methot
Mayo Methot
Mayo Methot and Anne Nagel
Mayo Methot and Anne Nagel
Mayo Methot and Warren Hull
Mayo Methot and Warren Hull
Mayo Methot
Mayo Methot
Mayo Methot
Mayo Methot
Sarah Padden and Anne Nagel
Sarah Padden and Anne Nagel
Sarah Padden and Gordon Hart
Sarah Padden and Gordon Hart
Sarah Padden, Gordon Hart and Weldon Heyburn
Sarah Padden, Gordon Hart and Weldon Heyburn
Sarah Padden and Gordon Hart
Sarah Padden and Gordon Hart
Sarah Padden
Sarah Padden
Warren Hull and Anne Nagel
Warren Hull and Anne Nagel
Warren Hull and Gordon Hart
Warren Hull and Gordon Hart
Warren Hull and Lester Matthews
Warren Hull and Lester Matthews
Warren Hull and Weldon Heyburn
Warren Hull and Weldon Heyburn
Warren Hull
Warren Hull
Weldon Heyburn
Weldon Heyburn
Weldon Heyburn, Gordon Hart, Anne Nagel and Sarah Padden
Weldon Heyburn, Gordon Hart, Anne Nagel and Sarah Padden
Weldon Heyburn and Gordon Hart
Weldon Heyburn and Gordon Hart
Weldon Heyburn and Mayo Methot
Weldon Heyburn and Mayo Methot
Weldon Heyburn and Mayo Methot
Weldon Heyburn and Mayo Methot
Welton Heyburn
Welton Heyburn
Welton Heyburn
Welton Heyburn