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Mary Stevens, M.D.

(1933 b 72')

En: 5 Ed: 5

Adapted from Virginia Kellogg's novel, a woman doctor has a child by her doctor friend whose divorce is delayed.

While a husband resists a woman doctor, Mary Stevens (Kay Francis) delivers twins. Mary and Don Andrews (Lyle Talbot) have finished their internships and hang up a shingle. Nurse Glenda (Glenda Farrell) helps Mary with children. Don cancels a date with Mary and goes dancing late with Lois Rising (Thelma Todd). Two patients refuse to see Mary because she is a woman. Mary finds Don sleeping; he is tired of charity cases and says Lois's father is a political boss who could put him on a medical board.

Don shows Mary his new office and hers next door. He takes her for a ride in his new car and drinks. She says his work is crooked. Don is now separated from Lois and goes to an operation while drunk. Mary goes with him to assist and takes over when his hand shakes. Mary tells Don he is a cheap politician. Dr. Clark warns Don. Mary has a children's clinic and works hard. Don was made chief surgeon. Mary tells Glenda she misses Don, and Glenda sends her on a vacation. Don is fleeing so he won't be caught, and they meet going to a hotel. Mary tells Don she is in love with him and must leave; he says he loves her. Glenda calls Mary that Don was indicted. Don asks Mary to stay with him, and he gets a telegram the indictment was quashed. Don kisses Mary and plans to divorce so he can marry her.

Walter Rising (Charles C. Wilson) tells Don he can't quit. Mary tells Don that she won't see him until he is divorced. Rising tells his daughter Lois not to divorce. After six weeks Mary tells Glenda she is going to have a baby. Mary has dinner with Don, who tells her Lois won't divorce, because she is pregnant. He asks Mary to wait a year. Mary and Glenda go to France, where Mary has her baby and adopts it. Don calls that Lois was not pregnant. Don gets divorced, and Mary sails with Glenda. On ship Mary treats a child with infantile paralysis. She needs serum. A child plays with her purse, and Mary's daughter gets sick too. A plane brings the serum. Mary's child has paralyzed lungs and dies. At port Glenda tells Don that his child died. Don calls on Mary, and Glenda tells him Mary will not sleep or eat. Don gives Mary a sleeping pill. Mary says her life stopped. Don tells her he needs her. Mary dreams of her baby and considers suicide; but a man pleads with her to help his child, who swallowed a safety pin. Mary uses a hairpin to get it out. In the final scene Glenda sees Mary kissing Don and tells a patient that Dr. Stevens is working on a man.

This story shows the prejudice against female doctors at this time. Before the code was enforced, Mary could have a child by a married man. After 1934 the Hayes Commission would not allow such things in the movies.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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