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Four Girls in White

(1939 b 74')

En: 5 Ed: 4


Four young women train to be nurses in a hospital and have diverse experiences.

Sisters Norma Page (Florence Rice) and Patricia Page (Ann Rutherford) use a false call for an ambulance to get a ride to the hospital, meeting Dr. Steve Melford (Alan Marshal). Miss Tobias (Jessie Ralph) instructs the nurse trainees. Norma learns that Steve is a top surgeon, and she apologizes to him. Miss Tobias demonstrates self-defense on the orderly Express (Buddy Ebsen). Steve lectures the nurses on diseases and asks Norma to clean up. Mary Forbes (Mary Howard) faints while watching surgery. Norma defends her against Miss Tobias and is reprimanded and disciplined. Steve asks Norma to help him with his experiments. She asks him why he doesn't go into private practice, and he kisses her. She goes out with him, but he is called away again. Express makes a corsage for Steve to give to Norma and uses the $2 he gets to take Gertie Robbins (Una Merkel) out to eat. Norma complains that Steve is not free and urges him to go into private practice; they argue about it. Norma attends to wealthy Bob Maitland (Kent Taylor) but returns jewelry he sent her. Norma goes back to surgery and works for Steve. Norma leaves a patient to catch Bob as he leaves. Mary covers for Norma, gets in trouble, and has her vacation canceled. Patricia complains that Norma let Mary take the blame.

Bob hires Norma and Patricia on his yacht. He has fun swimming with young Patricia. Norma realizes that Patricia and Bob are falling in love. Norma declines going on a cruise with Bob but urges Patricia to go. Mary misses her baby, and her patient pushes her out a window. Steve operates on Mary. Norma returns to the hospital and learns of Mary's blood transfusions; but Mary dies, and Norma cries. Nurses care for Mary's daughter Susan. Steve calls Norma selfish and a bad nurse. Norma writes to clear Mary's name and resign. A disaster call mobilizes all the nurses. A dam is collapsing. Norma goes inside, and Steve helps her rescue two men, freeing one by amputating his foot. The dam gives out; but Steve rescues Norma in the water. Norma is given adrenalin and recovers. Norma brings flowers to Mary's memorial, and Steve tells her she is going to be assigned to him.

This melodrama portrays the different motives of nurses and shows how Norma is transformed by tragedy to a deeper calling.

Copyright © 2001 by Sanderson Beck

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