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While the Patient Slept (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

While the Patient Slept
Directed byRay Enright
Written byRobert N. Lee
Eugene Solow
Brown Holmes (add. dialogue)
Based onthe novel While the Patient Slept
1930 novel
by Mignon G. Eberhart
Produced byHarry Joe Brown (uncredited)
StarringAline MacMahon
Guy Kibbee
CinematographyArthur Edeson
Edited byOwen Marks
Music byBernhard Kaun (uncredited)
Distributed byFirst National Pictures
Release date
  • March 2, 1935 (1935-03-02)
Running time
65-67 minutes
CountryUnited States

While the Patient Slept is a 1935 comedy murder mystery film directed by Ray Enright starring Aline MacMahon as a nurse/crime sleuth and Guy Kibbee as her boyfriend and police detective. It is based on the novel of the same name written by Mignon G. Eberhart.


A comedic murder mystery involving a nurse who is assigned to the at-home care of a man who recently had a stroke. While he is unconscious, on a dark and stormy night, a murder takes place in his bedroom. With family members and potential heirs confined to the house for several days, additional murders occur while the nurse and a police detective work on solving the case.



Warner Brothers marketed 12 mystery films as components of the "Clue Club", movies tied to Black Mask, a pulp magazine, aimed at increasing audiences attending WB mystery movies. There were twelve titles bearing the Warner Brothers "Clue Club" label released from 1935 to 1938.[1][2][3]

Clue Club #1: The White Cockatoo (1935)

Clue Club #2: While the Patient Slept (1935)

Clue Club #3: The Florentine Dagger (1935)[4]

Clue Club #4: The Case of the Curious Bride (1935)

Clue Club #5: The Case of the Lucky Legs (1935)

Clue Club #6: The Murder of Dr. Harrigan (1936)

Clue Club #7: Murder by an Aristocrat (1936)

Clue Club #8: The Case of the Velvet Claws (1936)

Clue Club #9: The Case of the Black Cat (1936)

Clue Club #10: The Case of the Stuttering Bishop (1937)

Clue Club #11: The Patient in Room 18 (1938)

Clue Club #12: Mystery House (1938)


The New York Times reviewer was unimpressed: "Mr. Kibbie and Miss MacMahon finally break the case ... but the solution is not altogether satisfactory. Neither, for that matter, is the picture. Come right down to it, it's quite unsatisfactory".[5] Later critics also had reservations about the film, as being a lesser version of the prize-winning book: "Unfortunately, the film producers, modeling the Eberhart mystery film versions on others of the day, sought to extend humorous quips between characters and eliminate significant elements of the plot that involved clues, no doubt in hopes of attracting a broader audience".[6]


  1. ^ Greenbriar Picture Shows
  2. ^ IMDB While the Patient Slept
  3. ^ Turner Classic Movies
  4. ^ Leonard Maltin. 2015. Turner Classic Movies Presents Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide: From the Silent Era Through 1965. Third Edition. Penguin.
  5. ^ L S. N. (March 2, 1935). "While the Patient Slept (1935)". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Rick Cypert, James G. McManaway. America's Agatha Christie: Mignon Good Eberhart, Her Life and Works. Susquehanna University Press, 2005. p. 90.

External links

This page was last edited on 20 December 2023, at 00:14
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