Cast & Crew
Dr. Mary Stevens is in love with Don Andrews, a fellow physician, but he is attracted to, and eventually marries, Lois Rising, the beautiful but selfish daughter of politician Walter Rising. Don receives a political appointment, but his marriage quickly deteriorates, and as Lois becomes bored, Don begins to drink. He is indicted for graft and leaves town while his father-in-law attempts to extricate him from the charges. At a resort, Don unexpectedly meets Mary, who is now a very successful pediatrician. They rekindle their old love, have an affair, and Don agrees to divorce Lois. When they return to New York, Rising has cleared Don and in return demands that he remain married to Lois. Mary, who is pregnant, leaves for Paris, has her baby, and returns by ship. When her baby and two others contract polio, she manages to save the other two, but her own baby dies. By the time she reaches New York, Don has resigned and has gotten his divorce, but Mary, in her grief, decides to commit suicide. She is stopped by her devoted nurse Glenda, who convinces her to help a baby who has swallowed a pin. Mary extracts the pin, saving the child, and her own purpose in life is restored. Finally, Don and Mary are both free to marry and start a new life together.
Leo F. Forbstein
Mary Stevens, M.D.
The scene in which Dr. Stevens regains her purpose in life is quite startling. Called to the rescue when her janitor's small son swallows a safety pin, she saves the day by removing a hairpin and poking it down the child's throat to remove the offending object. "Wonder what a man would have done with this," the character muses. "What, indeed?" asks Jeanine Basinger in her book A Woman's View. "Without hairpins - without fashion - he would have been lost."
By the end of the 1930s, Francis had lost her fan base and her prestige at Warner Bros., where a less glamorous but more volatile actress named Bette Davis began getting all the plum parts and studio attention. Finishing out her Warners contract in ignominious B-movies, Francis did nothing to salvage her once-glorious career. "I can't wait to leave Hollywood," she said in an interview. "I want to get fat, I want to do nothing. I want to sit on my back porch in a rocker and not even think."
Producer: Hal B. Wallis
Director: Lloyd Bacon
Art Direction: Esdras Hartley
Costume Design: Orry-Kelly
Screenplay: Rian James, Robert Lord (from a novel by Virginia Kellogg)
Cinematography: Sidney Hickox
Editing: Ray Curtiss
Music: Leo F. Forbstein, Bernhard Kaun
Cast: Kay Francis (Mary Stevens), Lyle Talbot (Don Andrews), Glenda Farrell (Glenda Carroll), Thelma Todd (Lois Rising), Una O'Connor (Arnell Simmons). BW-72m.
by Roger Fristoe
Mary Stevens, M.D.
According to Warner Bros. records, Una O'Connor was borrowed from Fox. In 1936, when Warner Bros. submitted a request to the censorship office to reissue the film, Joseph Breen denied them a Code certificate.