Sunday, January 30, 2022

365 Days: #30 Mary Stevens, M.D. (1933)

Today's picture is one I've been wanting to see but wasn't available until recently. Kay Francis and Lyle Talbot headline with many great supporting actors from the day, though what interested me most is seeing the portrayal of a female doctor in the 1930s. 

#30 Mary Stevens, M.D.

Mary Stevens and her friend and classmate since childhood, Don Andrews, graduate from medical school and set up their medical practice in the same office building. While Mary struggles to overcome bias against female doctors, Don quickly loses interest in the hard work doctoring requires, and decides to marry a politician's daughter to get ahead, with no consideration for his relationship with Mary. They have a falling out after Mary has to take over during a surgery Don is too intoxicated to perform, and she moves on to develop her own esteemed pediatric practice, while still harboring feelings for him. She reconnects with Don while on vacation and they spend a romantic evening together, which results in a pregnancy. When Don's wife refuses to divorce him because her father wants to avoid scandal, Mary decides to go abroad to have the baby and then adopt it to avoid a scandal that would negatively impact her practice. All goes as planned until her baby contracts infantile paralysis (aka polio) on the voyage home.

"Nothing's guaranteed to break up friendship like giving advice." 

Dr. Mary seems pretty smart except when it comes to men. I can't fathom why she would still be in love with dear old Don after he married someone else for money and position without giving her a second thought, not to mention the fact that he committed a crime. Love is blind. 

"Well, some people work for a career and some people marry one." 

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