AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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The Patient in Room 18
Director: Bobby Connolly (Dir)
Release Date:   8 Jan 1938
Production Date:   began 29 Aug 1937
Duration (in mins):   58 or 60
Duration (in reels):   6
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Cast:   Patric Knowles (Lance O'Leary)  
    Ann Sheridan (Sarah Keate)  
    Eric Stanley (Bentley)  
    John Ridgely (Jim Warren)  
    Rosella Towne (Maida Day)  
    Jean Benedict (Carol Lathany)  
    Charles Trowbridge (Dr. Bolman)  
    Cliff Clark (Inspector Foley)  
    Harlan Tucker (Dr. Arthur Lethany)  
    Edward Raquello (Dr. Fred Hajek)  
    Vicki Lester (Nurse)  
    Edward McWade (Frank Warren)  
    Ralph Sanford (Donahue)  
    Frank Orth (John Higgins)  
    Greta Meyer (Hilda)  
    Walter Young (Coroner)  
    Mary Doyle (Nurse)  
    Loia Cheaney (Nurse)  
    Ralph Dunn (Hotel clerk)  
    Glen Cavender (Doorman)  
    Jack Richardson (Cabby)  
    John Harron (Orderly)  
    Allan Conrad (Night clerk)  
    Spec O'Donnell (Elevator operator)  
    William Hopper (Grabshot)  
    Owen King (Day clerk)  
    George Offerman Jr. (Newsboy)  
    Dick Paxton (Newsboy)  
    Julius Molnar Jr. (Newsboy)  
    George Hickman (Newsboy)  
    Cliff Saum (Policeman)  
    Jack Mower (Policeman)  

Summary: Detective Lance O'Leary, who is suffering from a nervous disorder caused by his failure to solve his last case, is sent to the hospital to recover. Sarah Keate, Lance's girl friend, is a nurse at the hospital. Lance's neighbor in room 18 is wealthy Frank Warren, whose son Jim is in love with nurse Maida Day. Dr. Arthur Lethany, Warren's doctor, has ordered an expensive dose of radium to cure Warren's skin disorder, to the dismay of his colleague, Dr. Bolman, who would rather see the radium used to cure poor people. Bolman resents Warren because his father was ruined by a stockbroker like Warren. Warren has also alienated his son by forbidding him to see Maida and refusing him needed money. Lethany's wife Carol is in love with intern Dr. Hajek and promises to leave her husband if Hajek can find enough money to support her. Lethany himself is in love with Maida, who turns him down for Jim. That night, after a dinner party at the Lethanys', Warren is murdered and the radium stolen. At the same time, Lethany disappears. When Warren's death, which was caused by an overdose of morphine, is discovered, Lance investigates, determined to solve this case. Shortly afterward, Lethany's body is found in the closet of Warren's room. Then Higgins, the hospital janitor, tells Lance that he witnessed the murder, but before he can name the murderer, he is murdered himself. Meanwhile, Maida discovers the radium hidden in the bottom of a plant. Lance instructs her to return the plant to room 18 and then hides in a closet, hoping to discover the murderer. When that plan fails, he gathers all the suspects in the solarium, including Lethany, who is not actually dead. Lethany confesses to stealing the radium and identifies Bolman as his assailant and Warren's murderer. 

Production Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.  
Production Text: A First National Picture
Distribution Company: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.  
Director: Bobby Connolly (Dir)
  Crane Wilbur (Dir)
  Harry Seymour (Dial dir)
  Fred Tyler (Asst dir)
Producer: Bryan Foy (Prod)
  Jack L. Warner (Exec prod)
  Hal B. Wallis (Exec prod)
Writer: Eugene Solow (Scr)
  Robertson White (Scr)
  Joseph Santley (Contr to scr const)
Photography: James Van Trees (Photog)
Art Direction: John Hughes (Art dir)
Film Editor: Lou Hesse (Film ed)
Costumes: Howard Shoup (Gowns)
Sound: Leslie G. Hewitt (Sd)
Country: United States

Source Text: Based on the novel The Patient in Room 18 by Mignon G. Eberhart (Garden City, NY, 1929).
Authors: Mignon G. Eberhart

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. 23/11/1937 dd/mm/yyyy LP7832

PCA NO: 3722
Physical Properties: Sd:
  b&w:

 
Genre: Mystery
Sub-Genre: Medical
 
Subjects (Major): Hospitals
  Murder
  Nurses
  Physicians
  Private detectives
  Thieves
 
Subjects (Minor): Class distinction
  Drunkenness
  Infidelity
  Morphine
  Nervous breakdown
  Police
  Radium
  Romance
  Somnambulism
  Stockbrokers
  Upper classes
  Valets

Note: The character Lance O'Leary also appears in the 1938 Warner Bros. film Mystery House (see above). 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   13 Dec 38   p. 3.
Film Daily   11 Feb 38   p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter   13 Dec 37   p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily   27 Apr 38   p. 3.
New York Times   22 Apr 38   p. 15.
Variety   26 Jan 38   p. 13.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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