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Vigil in the Night
Directed by George Stevens
Produced by George Stevens
Written by A. J. Cronin (serial)
Fred Guiol
Starring Carole Lombard
Brian Aherne
Anne Shirley
Music by Alfred Newman
Cinematography Robert De Grasse
Editing by Henry Berman
Distributed by RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Release date(s) February 9, 1940
Running time 96 min./USA: 102 min.
Country  United States
Language English

Vigil in the Night is a 1940 film (produced and distributed by RKO Pictures) based on the 1939 serial short story, Vigil in the Night, by A. J. Cronin. The film was produced and directed by George Stevens and stars Carole Lombard, Brian Aherne and Anne Shirley.



Vigil in the Night trailer

Set in Great Britain, Vigil in the Night tells the story of the nurses Anne Lee and her sister, Lucy. Anne takes the blame for a fatal error made by Lucy and is forced to leave the hospital where they both work. She moves to a large city where she procures a job at another hospital and falls in love with Dr. Prescott. Overcoming obstacles and personal tragedy along the way, Anne and Prescott work together to bring about better conditions for the care of the sick as well as fighting an epidemic which threatens to overwhelm all those around them.

The European version of the film has a slightly different ending in recognition of the Second World War which the United States had not yet entered at the time of its release: British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's voice is heard on the radio in Dr. Prescott's office explaining that Hitler has refused to withdraw his troops from Poland and that, therefore, a state of war exists between Germany and Great Britain. The American version of the film contains no such radio message and a shot of Anne Lee and Dr. Prescott reacting to the news was deleted.


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