Dr. James Kildare is a fictional character, the primary character in a series of American theatrical films in the late 1930s and early 1940s, an early 1950s radio series, a 1960s television series of the same name and a comic book based on the TV show. The character was invented by the author Frederick Schiller Faust (aka Max Brand).
The character (Lew Ayres) begins the film series as a medical intern; after becoming a doctor, he is mentored by an older physician, Dr. Leonard Gillespie. After the first ten films, (between 1937 – 1942), the series eliminated the character of Kildare and focused instead on Gillespie. Lew Ayres, who had played the young doctor beginning in the second movie, was a conscientious objector and then a Medical Corpsman serving during World War II.
The story is by Max Brand. Dr. Gillespie's cancer has gotten worse, and to force him to take a rest instead of pursuing a sulfa-drug/pneumonia study, Kildare refuses to assist Gillespie, and instead accepts a case of hysterical blindness. She's also the daughter of a millionaire who could help the hospital.
Young Dr. Kildare (Lew Ayres) is still being trained at General Hospital by old, crusty Dr. Gillespie (Lionel Barrymore). This time, he tries to rehabilitate Gregory Lane, a brain surgeon depressed over losing too many patients (and incidentally Kildare's romantic rival for nurse Mary Lamont). Lane's losing streak takes a new turn when one of his patients survives...but seems to be insane. Or is the man's strange obsession with Friday the clue to a mystery? To find out, Kildare must take a terrible risk.
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