War Nurse


1h 20m 1930
War Nurse

Brief Synopsis

A nurse fights to survive when she's caught behind enemy lines during World War I.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
War
Release Date
Nov 22, 1930
Premiere Information
New York premiere: 22 Oct 1930
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the anonymous book War Nurse: The True Story of a Woman Who Lived, Loved and Suffered on the Western Front (New York, 1930).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Film Length
7,333ft (9 reels)

Synopsis

At the start of World War I, a number of American women, from all walks of life, travel to France to become nurses. Among them are Babs, head nurse, who becomes the focus of attention for Wally O'Brien, an American aviator in the French Army; Joy, a pampered and convent-trained daughter of a rich American who experiences great difficulty in adjusting to her environment; and Kansas, a studious and naive teacher from the country, who is constantly amazed at the horrors of war and the actions of the nurses in the emergency hospital. Kansas dies during an attack on a convoy in which the nursers are traveling. Joy falls in love with Robin, whom she later discovers to be already married, and when ordered home returns to the front-line hospital. There she finds the badly wounded Robin, who dies after telling her he has always loved her. Joy dies a short time later, after giving birth to her child during a bombardment. Babs takes care of the baby, and at the end of the war Wally finds her in Paris, where he proposes that the three become a family.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
War
Release Date
Nov 22, 1930
Premiere Information
New York premiere: 22 Oct 1930
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the anonymous book War Nurse: The True Story of a Woman Who Lived, Loved and Suffered on the Western Front (New York, 1930).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Film Length
7,333ft (9 reels)

Articles

War Nurse


When war-torn France needs nurses, a mxed bag of untrained women -- everyone from a Kansas schoolmarm (Helen Jerome Eddy) to a Brooklyn dame (Marie Prevost) -- heed the call and venture to France. Champagne-sipping vacationer Joy (Anita Page) thinks volunteering for nursing duty is a swell way to meet men in uniform, only to discover the work is dirty, exhausting and bloody, and the hazards of attending to desperately lonely soldiers are real. Getting enmeshed with a married soldier (Robert Ames) isn't smart -- but war makes men and women do funny things. An interesting mix of war drama and pre-Code women's picture, War Nurse has a frankness about the way men and women interact when life and death is on the line that wouldn't appear in more uncomplicatedly patriotic war pictures a decade later. Sharp eyed viewers will spot a screen appearance by actress-cum-gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, and rumor has it scenes with young nurse Loretta Young were left on the cutting room floor.

By Violet LeVoit
War Nurse

War Nurse

When war-torn France needs nurses, a mxed bag of untrained women -- everyone from a Kansas schoolmarm (Helen Jerome Eddy) to a Brooklyn dame (Marie Prevost) -- heed the call and venture to France. Champagne-sipping vacationer Joy (Anita Page) thinks volunteering for nursing duty is a swell way to meet men in uniform, only to discover the work is dirty, exhausting and bloody, and the hazards of attending to desperately lonely soldiers are real. Getting enmeshed with a married soldier (Robert Ames) isn't smart -- but war makes men and women do funny things. An interesting mix of war drama and pre-Code women's picture, War Nurse has a frankness about the way men and women interact when life and death is on the line that wouldn't appear in more uncomplicatedly patriotic war pictures a decade later. Sharp eyed viewers will spot a screen appearance by actress-cum-gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, and rumor has it scenes with young nurse Loretta Young were left on the cutting room floor. By Violet LeVoit

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The film opens with the following written prologue: "This is the story of a group of girls, who, at the outbreak of the World War, volunteered for nursing duty in France, untrained, unorganized, unrelated to the vast army of nurses sent out by government authorities or under the banner of the Red Cross, yet they rendered valiant service." The story ends with a brief statement of thanks to those nurses who served.
       War Nurse marked the first onscreen appearance of French actor Charles Boyer, who is seen briefly as a French surgeon. Although Boyer made the french-language version of Big House for M-G-M at around the same time as War Nurse, that film was not released in the United States.