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Dr. Monica

(1934 b 53')

En: 5 Ed: 5

Based on a play by Marja Morozowiez Szczepokowska, a doctor, who wants a baby, cares for a friend, who has her husband's child.

At a cocktail party Dr. Monica Braden (Kay Francis) is glad to see her author husband John Braden (Warren William); but he leaves for an engagement. When Mary Hathaway (Jean Muir) hears that John is going to Europe, she collapses. Monica takes care of her. Mary leaves and tells her maid she is going home. John comes in and learns that Mary is upset he is going abroad. Monica and her friend Anna Littlefield (Verree Teasdale) wave good-bye to John on the ship; but he sees only Mary waving to him. Monica sees Mary, who says a friend of hers left. Monica suggests they drink to console each other. Monica wants a baby. Mary is sad and says she is going away; but Monica encourages her to stay. Mary flies Monica to the country, and they ride horses. Mary drinks and falls trying to jump a wall. Monica puts her to bed. Mary feels rotten. Monica asks her about her friend, because she is pregnant. Monica says he is married.

Monica tells Mary that John is coming back early. Monica is disappointed to learn she is not pregnant. John gives Monica a diamond watch and says how much she means to him. Monica and Anna call on Mary. Mary tries to call John on the phone, and Monica overhears. Monica tells Anna that the man is John and says to get another doctor; but Anna tells her to do her duty, and Monica delivers Mary's baby. At first neither Mary nor Monica are willing to see the baby. Mary asks Monica what is wrong and accepts her baby. Monica tells Anna she is going away with John for two weeks. Monica thanks John for a romantic time and plans to go to Vienna. Monica packs; John is staying for six weeks to finish his book. Monica tells Anna she is leaving John and will send a letter. Anna urges Monica to talk with John. Anna calls on Mary and tells her why Monica is leaving. Mary says that John does not love her. She gets an idea and says good-bye to her baby. Mary gets in a plane and says she is flying to Paris. Monica goes to the baby and gets a note from Mary saying, "The baby is yours and John's." Mary's plane flies over the ocean. John tells Monica he will miss her. Anna calls that Mary's plane is lost. Monica shows John the child, saying it is better not to know who the parents are. She postpones sailing and tells John to hold the child, saying, "She's yours."

This sensitive story explores the friendship of three women and how they deal with conflict over a man and issues of motherhood. Monica as a doctor, Mary as a pilot, and the concern of Anna show three strong role models for women of the era, though suicide is a rather drastic solution.

Copyright © 1999 by Sanderson Beck

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