Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Warner Archive Grab Bag - DR. GILLESPIE MOVIE COLLECTION ""

Monday, November 24, 2014


Some roles were just made to be played be certain actors and the character of Dr. Gillespie is just such a match for Lionel Barrymore. I was given a wonderfully healthy does of Barrymore as Gillespie via Warner Archives excellent DR. KILDARE Movie Collection set from earlier this year. Now WAC is back with more Gillespie solo stuff and it's just as fun. Much like serialized television, these films play as lovely installments of what is basically the Gillespie spinoff show with this new six-film set:

CALLING DR. GILLESPIE (1942; Harold S. Bucquet)
This film is something of a thriller and interestingly done. An unstable man fixates on Gillespie after he's been examined to be a possible "mental case". His fiance (played by Donna Reed) is extremely concerned and becomes a target as well. The last act is taught and well done and features an exhilarating rating finale within Blair General itself! Featuring a young and lovely Donna Reed. 
Just a heads up - there's some implied dog trauma near the beginning of this one. Be warned!

DR. GILLESPIE'S NEW ASSISTANT (1942; Willis Goldbeck)
Amnesia is the key word in this installment as Gillespie and his three potential new assistants (Van Johnson, Keye Luke & Richard Quine) try their darndest to solve the mystery of a newlywed gal's sudden loss of memory. The big question though is who will Gillespie choose as his new assistant?

DR. GILLESPIE'S CRIMINAL CASE (1943; Willis Goldbeck)
Van Johnson and Keye Luke return in this straight follow-up to CALLING DR. GILLESPIE. Donna Reed is back again asking Gillespie's advice on moving on from her psycho ex-fiance from that film. Gillespie recommends to the courts that that man be committed but they don't see eye to eye (and this leads to trouble). The film also has Margaret O'Brien in a small role.

THREE MEN IN WHITE (1944; Willis Goldbeck)
This one could kinda be called "ALSO GILLESPIE'S NEW ASSISTANT" as he is forced to choose between Van Johnson and Keye Luke here. Both are given a specific assignment and must decide their own fate at Blair General. Watch for Ava Gardner!

BETWEEN TWO WOMEN (1945; Willis Goldbeck)
Still more Van Johnson (who is pursued by ladies), plus a nightclub singer and anorexia (neuro-psychological self-starvation) this round. Also - more Keye Luke and an extra wonderful dose of Keenan Wynn!

DARK DELUSION (1947; Willis Goldbeck)
This the final film in the Dr. Kildare series, features Gillespie sending a new Doctor (James Craig) to a small town to help a young girl with her psychological issues.

Pickup this collection from Warner Archive here:

1 comment:

Caftan Woman said...

"Calling Dr. Gillespie" has some really nice noirish touches. Spending time with the folks at Blair General is like comfort food.