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The White Parade

The White Parade(1934)

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Remind Me

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In 1907, idealistic June Arden enrolls in the Mitchell-Reed Training School for Nurses, along with Zita Scofield, Glenda Farley, Gertrude Mack, Una Mellon and Lucy "Pudgy" Stebbins, the girls with whom she is to become friends during a three-year struggle to follow in the footsteps of Florence Nightingale. On their first night there, June comforts her homesick roommate Zita by telling her about her own boyfriend, Ronald Hall III, a rich, high society polo player. June has merely invented the tale, but later, when scheming Gertrude writes to Ronald requesting verification of June's claim, his sympathetic secretary McPherson replies that June is indeed Ronald's girl friend. Despite the intrigues, the girls continue their studies, and after six months, take their first big exam, which they pass. As second year students, they then begin training in the adjoining hospital. Their heightened responsibilities do not prevent Gertrude's meddling, however, and when she reads in a newspaper that Ronald will be visiting their town, she questions June about whether she will meet him at the train station. To save face, June does just that and even jumps in Ronald's cab with him, much to his delight. He plays along with her charade, although it does not take long before they really fall in love. Later, at Christmas, the school supervisor, Miss Harrington, scolds Zita for being late for her shift, but after the reprimand, Miss Harrington gives Zita money to go home for the holidays, as she was not able to go the year before. Some months later, June is a graduating senior, but is in danger of being expelled due to her continued tardiness resulting from late nights with Ronald. She and Ronald quarrel at a party when he demands that she give up nursing, while she insists that she must continue. Ronald has a car accident after he takes June home, and spends his convalescence in her hospital. She asks Miss Harrington to allow her to change wards so that she may take care of Ronald personally, but when the change is approved, June finds that she instead prefers to stay with a dying patient who truly needs her. Two weeks before graduation, Miss Harrington expels Zita for her continual tardiness. Zita becomes hysterical, and when she is treated unsympathetically by her boyfriend, Dr. Jim Moore, she breaks into the narcotics cabinet and tries to commit suicide. June was in charge of the key to the cabinet, but she negligently gave it to the elevator man, Sammy, when she was rushing to meet Ronald. June finds Zita near death in their room, but head surgeon Dr. Thorne is able to save Zita's life, and he also agrees with Sailor Roberts, the head nurse, that they should keep June in the school, despite her nearly fatal mistake. Sailor presents June's case to Miss Harrington, and the next day, Miss Harrington does allow June to stay and graduate. On graduation day, everyone is overcome with emotion, and even Gertrude apologizes to June for her previous behavior. June's glorious day is marred, however, by Ronald's insistence that she marry him and give up nursing now that she has her diploma. She realizes that it is her destiny to be a nurse, and so the mismatched lovers part company. Dr. Thorne congratulates her on her choice and tells her that she was born to be a nurse.