Secrets of a Nurse


1h 15m 1938

Brief Synopsis

When battered prize-fighter Lee Burke (Dick Foran) is taken to the West Side hospital, nurse Katherine MacDonald (Helen Mack) leaves her romantically-inclined patient, wealthy attorney John Dodge (Edmund Lowe) to take care of Burke. She discovers that Burke was doped by his handler, Churchill (George McKay), on instructions from gambler Joe Largo (Leon Ames) so the latter can win a $5000 bet from Burke's manager Slice Cavanaugh (Paul Hurst.) Largo orders henchman Larry Carson (Horace MacMahon) to bump off Churchill to keep him from talking. Katherine talks Burke into quitting the ring and Dodge belittles the ex-boxer by getting him a job as a bellhop. Cavanaugh, desperate for money, calls Burke yellow and when Burke happens upon the scene where another Largo henchman, Smiley (Paul Fix), has killed the manager, Burke is tried for the murder.

Film Details

Also Known As
West Side Miracle
Release Date
Dec 9, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Co.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "West Side Romance" by Quentin Reynolds in Collier's (12 Sep 1936).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 15m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Synopsis

Boxing champion "Killer" Lee Burke's manager, Slice Cavanaugh, bets Joe Largo $5,000 that Lee will win the next fight, unaware that Largo intends to drug Lee so he will lose. The drug is administered by the second in the ring, Churchill, and is so effective that Lee is brutally beaten by his opponent. Largo's thug, Carson, kills Churchill after the match, while Lee is taken to West Side Hospital. Lee is unconscious and near death until nurse Katherine McDonald coaxes him to fight to stay alive. Her encouragement works, and Lee revives. As he recovers, criminal lawyer John Dodge is released from the hospital, but having received Katherine's excellent care and fallen in love with her, insists they keep in touch. Largo asks John to represent Carson after he is arrested for Churchill's murder, but John refuses on the grounds that the case is too clear-cut, and he cannot afford to break his perfect record for keeping criminals away from the "hot seat." After Katherine refuses to make a lunch date with John, he visits her at the hospital, where he finds that she has fallen in love with Lee, who wants to get a regular job. Lee fully recovers, and John gets him work as a bellhop in a hotel. Lee gives some of his first week's salary to Slice, who believes Lee threw the fight, and still owes Largo $5,000. Slice gets the idea that Largo fixed the fight and arranges to meet him at the hotel where Lee works. When he sees Lee in uniform he insults him, and in public, Lee tries to hit him, vowing to "smear him against the wall." In the hotel room, Slice tries to bribe Largo with his knowledge, but Largo's thug, Smiley, shoots him, and as Lee arrives with some ice, Largo knocks him out and frames him for the murder. Lee is arrested, and John represents him in court in order to gain Katherine's respect, even though he believes Lee is guilty. In court, Lee convinces John that he is innocent, but is unable to sway the jury and is sentenced to death. In Sing Sing, Lee finds himself on Death Row with Carson, who faces his execution bravely. Although John and Katherine work for a reprieve, none is granted. Carson promises Largo he will not reveal his connection to Churchill's murder, but just before his death, he yells to Lee that he should remember Largo from the hotel. Just before Lee's execution, Katherine prays for him, and John finds Largo and forces him to confess that Lee did not kill Slice. Smiley shoots Largo, and while Largo nears death at the hospital, Katherine coaxes him to reveal Smiley as Slice's murderer in the presence of Judge Corrigan. Katherine's prayers are answered, and after Lee is exonerated, he and Katherine are reunited.

Film Details

Also Known As
West Side Miracle
Release Date
Dec 9, 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal Pictures Co.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "West Side Romance" by Quentin Reynolds in Collier's (12 Sep 1936).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 15m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
8 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of the film was West Side Miracle. Both reviews and plot information in copyright records indicate that after "Largo's" dying confession, a surgeon reports that he has been dead for seven minutes. This scene was not included in the viewed print.