Nurse Marjorie 1920

Nurse Marjorie


by sunlily (Dallas, TX.)
Although essentially a light romantic comedy, this William Desmond Taylor feature starring Mary Miles Minter is also a commentary on the class system in the UK, and the discrimination that results from such a system.

Mary plays her role as the aristocratic daughter of a Duke (Marjorie) with charm and a comedic flair. Against her parents wishes, she decides to be a recovery nurse in a nursing home where wealthy clients recuperate. It’s perfectly commendable for the daughters of aristocracy to nurse the poor, but not “stockbrokers” as the Duchess of Donegal notes.

One of Mary’s patients is a Labor Leader in Parliament whose had eye surgery to correct a squint, and he thinks that Marjorie is the homely nurse that he last saw before going under the gas. Before the bandages are removed, he can’t bear to have Marjorie touch him. Marjorie decides to teach him a lesson about discriminating about looks and class, and in the majority of the movie uses subterfuge to test John’s feelings for her and see if he’s the kind of man she can grow to love.

There are many charming aspects to this movie, not the least of which is the clever dialog and the way Taylor lovingly photographs Mary. There’s not the slightest doubt that he liked her and their collaboration was an enjoyable one for both of them. This is the only movie that they made together that still survives and more than exemplifies what was a happy working relationship before tragedy overcame them both in real life.

Is love blind? Well occasionally, but in this case, it just may have a “moral squint” as well! See this charming movie if you can.
Director: William Desmond Taylor
Writers: Julia Crawford Ivers (photoplay), Israel Zangwill (play)
Stars: Mary Miles Minter, Arthur Hoyt, Vera Lewis


Author: Old Boy

Love the past and the future but live in the present