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Dr. Kildare Goes Home

Dr. Kildare Goes Home(1940)

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teaser Dr. Kildare Goes Home (1940)

In this, the 5th Dr. Kildare movie, the young doctor (played by Lew Ayres) has finally completed his tutelage under his curmudgeonly mentor Dr. Gillespie (Lionel Barrymore) and decides to mark his accomplishment with a visit to his hometown of Parkersville. But when his homecoming reverie is jolted by the discovery that his physician father (Samuel S. Hinds) can no longer continue his practice due to failing health, Dr. Kildare must brainstorm ways his community can get the health care they need, while still allowing him to follow his own destiny. This presciently progressive movie, with themes of universal health coverage, environmental concerns, and cooperative businesses, is more believable because of casting. Ayres was deeply religious and idealistic, to the point that his career would be rocked by his refusal of active combat duty in WWII. (While accused of being a conscientious objector, Ayres actually served as a military medic and chaplain.) That noble-hearted quality shone through his roles and made Dr. Kildare an enduring series character for MGM.

By Violet LeVoit

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