DVD Review “Dr. Kildare Movie Collection”

kildare.dvdStarring: Lionel Barrymore, Lew Ayres
Distributed by: Warner Archive
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
DVD Release Date: January 23, 2014
Running Time: 737 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

With all the flashy films being released today with ridiculous large budgets, some times it is great to revisit simple classics from an earlier era of film. Dr. Kildare is a character created by the author Frederick Schiller Faust, under the pen name Max Brand. This movie collection release includes the series of films that he was featured in, which were released in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The character continues right through the 70’s with a radio series in the 50’s, a TV series in the 60’s and 70’s. If you are a fan of this character, then these films are a must to revisit.

The collection included the following 9 films: “Young Dr. Kildare” (1938), “Calling Dr. Kildare” (1939), “The Secret of Dr. Kildare” (1939), “Dr. Kildare’s Strange Case” (1940), “Dr. Kildare Goes Home” (1940), “Dr. Kildare’s Crisis” (1940), “The People vs. Dr. Kildare” (1941), “Dr. Kildare’s Wedding Day” (1941), “Dr. Kildare’s Victory” (1942). Also as an added bonus, there DVD set contains the unaired 1960 MGM-TV pilot film for the “Dr. Kildare” series starring Lew Ayres and also co-starring Robert Redford!. This is a real treat for any fan as well.

Official Premise: Although not the first actor to don the scrubs of Max Brand’s idealistic young intern, Lew Ayres owned the role for a series of superlative medical dramas that cemented in place all the ample talent that had long been on display, starting with All Quiet on The Western Front (1930). Ayres’ costar, the needs-no-superlatives Lionel Barrymore, who, as the grumpy, garrulous and brilliant Dr. Leonard Gillespie found a regular supporting role that was roomy enough to showcase his prodigious gifts that would continue in a series of flicks even after Ayres departed the title role.

When it comes to the quality of these films you have to consider that they are all over 70 years old. According to Warner Archives site, they have been manufactured from the best-quality video master currently available and has not been remastered or restored for this DVD release. So they are not perfect but still have that classic quality about them.  They are also presented in their original aspect ratio of 1.37:1.

If you are looking for the more “Dr. Kildare”, Warner Archive Collection have released the TV series available in their Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) sets. “The Complete First Season” was released back in April 16, 2013 and “The Complete Second Season” was just put out this year on January 28 2014. They are available via available via WBShop.com & Amazon.com like this release as well. Like this release since they are MOD, we do not know how long they will be produced so get them while you can!

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