Dr. Monica Film Details
Overview: An obstetrician who is unable to have children discovers that the baby she is about to deliver was fathered by her husband.
Review: Having started watching “General Hospital” in 1979, I found instantly that my favorite characters were not the teen heartthrobs of the time (Laura and Scotty) but the more adult pairing of Drs. Alan and Monica Quartermain, “the Bickersons” as they would later be called, and Leslie Charleson quickly became my first favorite soap leading lady. As the “Dr. Monica” of “General Hospital”, she was a very well respected cardiologist, having an affair with the husband of another doctor (Lesley Webber) and pretending that the child she was carrying was Lesley’s husband, not her own. Later on, Alan had his own illegitimate child, so Monica was on the opposite side there, and after refusing to have anything to do with that child for years came to love him as if he was her own. The plotline of this pre-code soap opera from Warner Brothers is almost exactly the same as that second story I mention, although the Dr. Monica character here (played nobly with much detail by the beautiful Kay Francis) was closer to Lesley Webber than the acid tongued Monica Quartermain. Dr. Monica (no last name given) is a baby doctor, married to suave novelist Warren William who is ready to head to Europe for two months to start work on his latest book. Their marriage, seemingly perfect, is only interrupted by his excursions and her long working hours, and often they don’t see each other for days at a time. But when they do, it is usually with their social circle, which includes the tall and elegant Verree Teasdale, a truth teller of no equal, and the innocent Jean Muir who is soon revealed to have been having an affair with William and now pregnant with William’s child. Francis is devoted to her husband and these two friends, and when Muir collapses at a party, Francis realizes that Muir is pregnant without the benefit of marriage, and decides to help her without judgment. Feeling guilty for her betrayal, Muir still can’t give up hope that William will leave Francis for her, but William has become to fully love his wife again even in spite of the separations they endure. After he leaves for Europe, Francis overhears Muir trying to reach him and realizes the horrifying truth. She must decide between her conflicting ethics over her resentment towards “the other woman” or doing her job in spite of her feelings. There are conflicting opinions over Kay Francis’s status as both a movie star and as an actress. I’ve always been mesmerized by her presence, whether as a vamp in early talkies, long-suffering heroine during her reign as Queen of Warner Brothers (1934-1937) and her later career as some rather nasty older women. Each character, even when the situations were similar, had details that made them unique, and in Monica’s case, Francis makes her completely understandable, noble yet feeling betrayed with much anger when Muir’s secrets come out. William and Francis get a very nice romantic scene after their reconciliation, equal to Francis’s memorable romantic scenes in her biggest classic, “One Way Passage”, with William Powell. Teasdale is the ultimate scene stealer, so commanding with her regal presence, and even if she seems to have no romantic life of her own, is highly involved in this story to where she takes control every time she is on screen. Muir, too, is very good, and deserves the sympathy she gets even if she has the potential to be a homewrecker. In smaller parts, Emma Dunn and Louise Beavers are also very good. “Dr. Monica” might be a typical pre-code golden age weepie, but the cast makes it totally unforgettable.
Country: United States
Duration: 61 min
Genre: Drama, Romance
Also known as: When Tomorrow Comes,Monica,Dr. Monica,愛の岐路,The Affairs of Monica,Dra. Monica,Doctor Monica