Nurse Edith Cavell


1h 35m 1939

Brief Synopsis

English nurse Edith Cavell is matron in a small private hospital in German-occupied Brussels during WWI. When the son of a recently deceased patient escapes from a German prisoner-of-war camp, Cavell aids him to reach Holland and safety. This leads to Cavell, a local noblewoman, the grandmother of the escaped prisoner-of-war, and others to form an organization to help Belgian, French, English and other soldiers escape as well. Eventually the Germans become aware of what's happening and take action.

Film Details

Release Date
Sep 29, 1939
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 22 Sep 1939
Production Company
Imperadio Pictures, Ltd.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Dawn by Capt. Reginald Berkeley (New York, 1928).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Synopsis

At the outbreak of World War I, English nurse Edith Cavell is in charge of a nursing home in Brussels when she and Mme. Rappard help Mme. Rappard's grandson Jean escape from the invading Germans. Jean flees to the border and is taken to Holland on a barge operated by Mme. Moulin. Inspired by Jean's plight, nurse Cavell, Mmes. Rappard and Moulin and their good friend, Countess de Mavon, perfect a system whereby they smuggle defenseless escaped prisoners into Holland. Their network is exposed when Lieutenant Schultz of the German army poses as an escaped prisoner and presents evidence that brings nurse Cavell to trial before a German military court. Despite pleas and warnings that her execution will trigger worldwide condemnation, no leniency is shown and nurse Cavell is put to death.

Film Details

Release Date
Sep 29, 1939
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 22 Sep 1939
Production Company
Imperadio Pictures, Ltd.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Dawn by Capt. Reginald Berkeley (New York, 1928).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 35m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
10 reels

Award Nominations

Best Score

1939

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Onscreen credits include the following acknowledgment: "...thanks to the relatives of Cavell and Miss E. Wilkin, O.B.E. and the Imperial War Museum, London for documents placed at the film makers disposal." The picture was based on a true story of a British nurse who was shot by a German firing squad in 1915 in Brussels. According to modern sources, actor Fernand Visele was imprisoned in the cell next to nurse Cavell in St. Gilles. A May 1939 news item in Hollywood Reporter notes that the National Council for the Prevention of War opposed this picture on the grounds that it would be seen as an unfriendly gesture toward Germany. The picture had its premiere the week that World War II was declared. According to the Variety review, English writer and producer Herbert Wilcox brought Anna Neagle to Hollywood to produce this picture at RKO with a local cast and production crew. This was the first of several RKO releases that Neagle and Wilcox made in the United States. Anthony Collins was nominated for an Academy Award in the Music (Original Score) category.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1939

Film is remake of "Dawn" (1930).

Released in United States 1939