Vigil In The Night

  • 1940
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Medical doctor and novelist A.J. Cronin supplied the story for this movie, a heavy drama that had no leavening humor and lost just as heavily at the box office. Set in Manchester, England, it's the story of two sisters, Lombard and Shirley, who work as nurses. Shirley is a student nurse whose error in judgment at the hospital leads to a child's death. Lombard,...read more

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Medical doctor and novelist A.J. Cronin supplied the story for this movie, a heavy drama that had no leavening humor and lost just as heavily at the box office. Set in Manchester, England, it's the story of two sisters, Lombard and Shirley, who work as nurses. Shirley is a student nurse

whose error in judgment at the hospital leads to a child's death. Lombard, who is far more dedicated, assumes the guilt for the mishap, thus getting Shirley off the hook and allowing her to finish her training. Lombard gets a job at another hospital, where she meets Aherne. The hospital is large,

badly equipped, and understaffed. The head of the facility is Mitchell, and he puts an amorous move on Lombard, which she repels because she is becoming enamored of Aherne. Mitchell can't handle the rebuff, so he arranges to have her fired. Soon a huge epidemic breaks out, and Lombard and Shirley

volunteer their Nightingale services to the hospital. When Mitchell's young son is infected by the disease and appears to be dying, Shirley gives the youngster mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, catches the unnamed disease and expires shortly thereafter. By this time, the members of the hospital's

board of directors have seen the kind of selfless person Lombard is, so she gets her old job back. Further, Aherne's efforts pay off when the board votes enough money for the hospital to have a new unit they so desperately need. Aherne and Lombard wind up together, but there is no passion in their

scenes, only devotion to the medical world. The movie is grim, very realistic, and unremitting in its powerful indictment of certain factions in the hospital world. Lombard, who was so good at light roles, shows none of her comedic touch, and the result is that the movie is tough to watch. This

was Peter Cushing's third U.S. film, after THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK and A CHUMP AT OXFORD. It's somewhat too realistic for young eyes and might turn children off the idea of ever seeing a doctor again.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Medical doctor and novelist A.J. Cronin supplied the story for this movie, a heavy drama that had no leavening humor and lost just as heavily at the box office. Set in Manchester, England, it's the story of two sisters, Lombard and Shirley, who work as nur… (more)

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