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Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant

Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant(1942)

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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Blair General Hospital's Dr. Leonard Gillespie has been working so hard that his friends, chief administrator Dr. Walter Carew and head nurse Molly Byrd, are concerned. When the wheelchair-bound Gillespie falls asleep on a hospitalized patient, they demand that he finally select a new assistant. Gillespie agrees to make his choice by asking a very difficult question of all the new interns; the one who answers it correctly will have the position. Three doctors surprise Gillespie by answering the question correctly: Dr. Randall "Red" Adams of Kansas City, Dr. Lee Wong How of Brooklyn and Dr. Dennis Lindsay, an Australian on temporary assignment at Blair to study tropical diseases. Because he cannot decide among them, Gillespie resolves to give all three a chance. Meanwhile, Howard Allwin Young, the son of one of Gillespie's oldest friends, stop for lunch at an inn with his new bride, dress designer Claire Merton. At almost the same moment that Gillespie calls them to offer his congratulations, Claire suddenly loses all memory of who she is. Gillespie suggests that Howard bring Claire to the hospital, where he and Red try to determine what has caused her amnesia. Though she has no apparent signs of physical or emotional trauma, she can give no information about her life and is reluctant to go home with Howard. Instead, she suggests that they annul the marriage. Red takes her to her apartment and has no success in jogging her memory. When Red discusses the case with his mentor, Gillespie guides him to the only logical conclusion--Clair is faking. To find out what Clair is trying to hide, Red decides to see if he can find her personal physician. Red finally locates the doctor, who has enlisted in the Army. The doctor's receptionist, Mrs. Black, will only let Red see Claire's information card, but Red discovers that Claire had listed herself as a married woman with a two-year-old child. When Gillespie confronts Claire with the information, she collapses, but later confesses that she was married in Texas at age sixteen and was soon widowed by her criminal husband, who left her with a baby. After leaving the baby with her mother, Claire became a successful fashion designer in New York and fell in love with Howard. The reason why she feigned amnesia was that during lunch at the inn, she had tried to tell him about her earlier marriage, but Howard, thinking that she was teasing, made a cruel joke about "second-hand wives." She is convinced that Howard would never understand or accept her child, so she decides to go back to Texas and asks Gillespie and Red not to tell Howard anything. Red and Gillespie are sure that Claire is still hiding something, so Red decides to try to get more information out of Mrs. Black. The next day, after getting Mrs. Black drunk and stealing Claire's file, Red reveals to Gillespie that the file confirmed that Claire was unable to have any more children, but did not know. Gillespie then calls Howard and lectures him about bigotry and prejudice after telling him about Claire's past. After Howard says that he loves Claire and wants both her and her child, Gillespie opens the door to another office and Claire, who has been waiting, is happily reunited with Howard. While Red has been working on Claire's case, Lee and Lindsay have resolved their own and Gillespie says that he cannot fire any of them. Lindsay has been ordered back to Australia, but Lee and Red will both act as Gillespie's assistants.