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Patients and staff face life-or-death situations during 12 hours in an ER.
Citizens Emergency Hospital in Los Angeles sends an ambulance when a caller reports an attempted suicide. As the ambulance returns with its patient, Marie Johnson, it nearly collides with the car of renowned sportsman Ben Caldwell, who is speeding his girl friend Dr. Janet Carey to work despite her admonition to slow down. Inside the hospital, Dr. Ellis asks nurse Norma Mullen to identify Marie's pill prescription, which was found next to her. Janet goes on night duty with Ellis, and her first case is Sylvia Tetlow, a hypochondriac who visits the hospital frequently. While Janet and nurse Mitsi treat Sylvia, Norma signs in teenager Earl Fanmorn, who gashed his head while breaking into his father's store. Sgt. Paul Arnold, the hospital police detective, is called in on the Fanmorn case, and convinces Earl's irate father not to press charges so Earl will not have a criminal record. Although he is perfectly well, Ben checks in as a patient to pay Janet a surprise visit. Ben, whose marriage proposals have met with resistance from Janet, now offers to set her up in private practise. Janet does not entirely trust Ben because of his freewheeling lifestyle and rejects his offer, after which Ben reveals his resentment that her work always comes before him. Janet is called away to treat racketeer Ramon Cordone, who has a bullet wound to the stomach. Thinking he is going to die, Cordone confesses to having framed another racketeer who is now serving time. After Janet saves Cordone, Paul arrests the mobster. At two o'clock in the morning, Marie's callous husband Harry arrives. Marie confesses that she tried to commit suicide because she is pregnant and does not trust Harry, who has gambled away their money, to care for her or their baby. Harry becomes violent and Paul has to drag him away. Paul's next case is drunken Ann Banks, whose baby girl appears to have been beaten. Although Banks claims she only stumbled while holding the baby, it is evident she has abused the child and Paul arrests her. Janet discusses the case with Ellis during a coffee break, but is soon called away to treat sixteen-year-old Miriam Northrop, who has been raped. Janet counsels Miriam that she is not to blame, but Miriam's father refuses to prosecute her attacker for fear of damaging his and Miriam's reputations. Both Norma and Paul urge Northrop to help Miriam by prosecuting her assailant, and Northrop changes his mind after Paul tells him that juvenile cases are confidential. Shortly afterward, Paul's son Jimmy is brought in after losing control of his father's car and hitting a pole. Although Jimmy only has minor injuries, a boy named Bannister was killed in the accident. A juvenile officer on duty sees Jimmy first, and learns that Jimmy purposely hit the pole because Bannister was holding a gun to him and insisting they rob a liquor store, and Jimmy knew no other way out. Paul asks Mike, the motorcycle officer who brought in Jimmy, to change his report to help Jimmy, but Mike reminds him that would be dishonest. Fearing he will be unjustly imprisoned, Jimmy threatens the officer with a scalpel, then takes his gun and holds Norma hostage. When Paul tries to stop him, Jimmy trains the gun on his father, but Paul grabs Jimmy, who receives a minor foot wound when the gun discharges accidentally. When Janet and Ellis find a few moments for another coffee break, he flirts with her after she implies that she is no longer seeing Ben, but they are interrupted when Janet is called out of the hospital to the scene of a traffic accident. There Janet discovers that the accident involved a motorcyclist and three cars, including Ben's Mercedes. It is morning by the time they are all taken to the hospital. Paul has stayed by Jimmy's bedside through the night, and when his son awakens, apologizes for being an absent father and promises to remain by his side. Although two people die from the traffic accident, Ben is unharmed. Ellis treats one of the victims, elderly Robert Wilson, who explains that his brother-in-law, who died, had been driving when his tire blew out, forcing him to swerve into oncoming traffic and hit motorcyclist Harry Alverson. Paul interviews Alverson, whom Janet is treating for a broken arm, and he reveals that Ben saved his life by swerving and crashing his Mercedes to avoid hitting him. Janet is proud of Ben and reconsiders his offer, but unknown to her, he has already left the hospital. When Janet sees Ben through a window waiting for a taxicab, she proudly tells Ellis how Ben risked his life to save someone else. Unable to contain her love, Janet finishes her shift and leaves the hospital to catch Ben. As she rides the elevator down, the next shift of hospital workers takes over.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||not available|
|Release Date:||1956||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Distributions Co:||United Artists Corp.|
|Sound:||Production Co:||Bel-Air Productions, Inc., Northridge Productions, Inc., Sunrise Pictures, Inc.|
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