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Klondike Fury

Klondike Fury(1942)

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Dr. John Mandre and Brad Rogers are forced to fly their plane by instruments due to bad weather over Canada and Alaska. When a radio dispatcher calls for radio silence because of suspected enemy planes nearby, John and Brad get caught in a blizzard. Brad crash lands when the engines ice up, and John struggles out of the plane into the snowstorm and collapses. Later, trapper "Alaska" brings an unconscious John into the Armstrong Trading Post, owned by Sam Armstrong and his son Jim. After Dr. Brady treats John, he looks in on Jim, who is suffering from a brain disease that has slowly crippled and embittered him. When John awakens, Peg Campbell, who works for Sam, tells him that his partner was killed in the crash, and assumes that John's name is "Rogers," because he uttered Brad's name while he was asleep. John does not correct her, and learns that he is snowed in until spring. Jim becomes jealous of the attention that Peg gives John while he recuperates, and one day erupts in a jealous rage, after which Peg learns he has contemplated suicide. John, meanwhile, recovers from his head wound and tries to be helpful to Peg, who has never been out of the wilderness. One day, John speaks bitterly about city life and, turning the conversation away from himself, asks her about Jim. Just then they hear Jim's dog Wolf crying piteously, and find Jim collapsed on the floor and Wolf's foot caught in a trap. After Jim explains that the trap fell off his table accidentally, John treats and bandages the dog, impressing Peg with his skills. Peg later questions John about his past, as she heard him cry out once in his sleep that he killed a man. John reluctantly admits that his last name is Mandre, and until recently, he was a renowned chief of surgery at a major hospital. When his best friend, Carl Langton, was stricken with an incurable disease, John believed he could be saved by a risky operation. An hour before the operation, the chief of staff, Dr. Recksner, called John in to his office. John recalls what happened next: Recksner asks John to cancel the surgery, as all other specialists in the field believe that the operation will result in the death of the patient. John remains adamant that Carl's disease is considered incurable only because no surgeon is willing to risk the operation, and he is supported by Carl's wife Ray, although Carl's mother angrily protests. Carl survives the surgery, but dies shortly afterward due to respiratory failure. Carl's mother sues John for malpractice, and during the trial, he is falsely accused of having an affair with Ray and conspiring to kill Carl. Although John is acquitted, the trial destroys his reputation, and the board forces him to resign from the hospital. John closes his private practice after patients refuse to see him, and at the urging of his nurse, Ellen, he decides to take a long vacation. John goes to see his friend Brad and agrees to ferry a plane to Vladivostock, as he still holds his pilot's license. Peg now urges John to "hang his shingle" at the trading post, but John has lost faith in himself, and refuses to practice medicine again. One day, as John and Peg are taking Wolf to see Brady, Peg almost falls while snowshoeing, and when John catches her, they kiss. John then goes on alone, and Brady compliments John on his treatment of Wolf's paw. Brady and John discuss Jim's illness, and when Brady happens to see a photograph of John next to an article in a medical magazine, he realizes John's true identity. John tells Brady that he still believes it is possible to remove crippling brain growths without killing the patient. Brady insists that John operate on Jim, but John refuses. Jim, who is deeply in love with Peg, also rejects the idea because he fears that he will lose Peg if he becomes healthy, but his father tries to convince him that his life will improve when he can stand on his own two feet. That night, Jim accuses John of interfering with his life, then collapses, causing John to have a change of heart. Despite the primitive conditions, John performs brain surgery on Jim. Jim survives the surgery, and John and Peg see an immediate improvement when he moves his formerly crippled right arm in his sleep. Peg embraces John, unaware that Jim has momentarily awakened. After a month, Jim appears to be suffering the same affliction as before the operation, and John is mystified when he develops speech paralysis. Peg, realizing that she is in love with Jim, urges John to help, and he assures her that he will do everything possible. One night when John is alone, Jim comes downstairs fully recovered and holds John at gunpoint. He demands that John write a letter to Peg claiming that he is unable to cure Jim and then leave immediately. John is puzzled by Jim's demand, but realizes that while Jim's body has indeed healed, he is still thinking as if he were ill. John gently wrests the gun from Jim, and is sympathetic to his fears. After receiving assurance that Peg loves only him, Jim finally rejoices. Much later, John and Brady leave the trading post for the city, where John is welcomed back, having proved his theory correct.