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Does it get any more suave than Lew Ayres as Dr. K...?


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I believe they showed them last year, too, for his birthday. He's just so good in this role. He elevates B-film fare and makes you think you are watching an A-film.

 

My first exposure to him was in the 80s, when he guest-starred three times on Michael Landon's Highway to Heaven. He was great then, too. Over 60 years of screen performances, and he never strayed far from his formula of presenting distinguished, mostly professional men who faced life's situations with grace and dignity.

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I agree that these films are wonderful, especially because of Lew. I prefer these films any day over these modern Hospital dramas.

 

SPOILER:

 

Just a quick question, does anyone knoe why MGM decided to write out Laraine Day the way they did? I understant they were grooming her for bigger roles, but c'mon!

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Right...they could've recast the part with a new starlet or just had Day's character leave town. They certainly did choose a dramatic exit for her. Personally, I would've preferred that there had been a happy ending for them, especially since Ayres was about to leave MGM soon. He only made one more Dr. Kildare picture.

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Ayres and Barrymore did a very fine radio version of the show in '50-'51. Walter Schumann did the music and the co-stars were Virginia Gregg, Evelyn Varden and Edwin Max and his monkey wrench as Joe Wayman. Ted Osborne was the foppish Dr. Carewe. Excellent programs well worth listening to (although I wish Barrymore had put in his upper plates for the later shows!).

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What one must realize is that if it not for Dr. Kildare, Lew probably would not have been cast in both THE DARK MIRROR and JOHNNY BELINDA (his comeback films after the war), where he portrays doctors.

 

The Kildare series effectively typecast him as a medic, and his volunteer work in the Medical Corps during the war helped reinforce that image in the minds of people. For the rest of his career, he would often play doctors and professors.

 

Years later, NBC tried to get him to appear on the Kildare television series. However, NBC balked when Ayres said he would only do the show if there was no cigarette advertising. The job went instead to Richard Chamberlain.

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I am watching Lew Ayres right now on Netflix streaming. It's a title he made for Republic called KING OF THE NEWSBOYS (1938). He's great in this low-budget picture. This was part of a three-film deal he had with Republic where he agreed to star in two (this one and THE LEATHERNECKS HAVE LANDED) and they would let him direct one (HEARTS IN BONDAGE).

 

Again, Ayres proves that his inimitable charm and acting talent can make even a small production worth seeing.

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