Night Nurse

“Rules mean something,” a stern hospital matron admonishes would-be nurse Lora Hart (Barbara Stanwyck) at the outset of her apprenticeship. The distinction between “professional ethics” and real moral values is central to Night Nurse, which delivers a sharp critique of Hippocratic hypocrisy while also providing plenty of occasions for Stanwyck and fellow nurse Joan Blondell to appear in dishy dishabille. The plot swiftly moves from the hospital with its lustful interns and bedpan jokes to a seriously dysfunctional household where Lora is charged with the care of two girls suffering from a mysterious illness, at the mercy of their dipsomaniac mother, a dubious doctor, and a menacing chauffeur (Clark Gable). With the help of the most upstanding guy in the picture—a bootlegger who sees no difference between his racket and the doctors'—the deeply moral but streetwise Lora proves that some rules mean more than others.
—Juliet Clark

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