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For Better or Nurse (1945)

The boys see lovely nurse Olive pass by and follow her to her hospital. She throws them out, so they scheme to hurt themselves enough to get hospitalized, with no luck. Bluto gets a wall to... See full summary »

Director:

Izzy Sparber (as I. Sparber)

Writers:

Joe Stultz (story), Irving Dressler (story)
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Jackson Beck Jackson Beck ... Bluto (voice) (uncredited)
Mae Questel ... Olive Oyl (voice) (uncredited)
Harry Welch Harry Welch ... Popeye (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

The boys see lovely nurse Olive pass by and follow her to her hospital. She throws them out, so they scheme to hurt themselves enough to get hospitalized, with no luck. Bluto gets a wall to fall on him, but stands in the window. Popeye tries to get run over by a steam-roller, but a street cleaner saves him. Bluto dives off a skyscraper - into a huge pile of mattresses. Popeye stands in a naval gunnery range, but the gunners miss the target. Bluto taunts a bull, but stands next to a billboard of an attractive cow, which distracts the bull. Popeye crashes a plane, but the ambulance crew rescues the plane. The boys compete to get run over by a train, but punch each other off the tracks just as the train arrives. Finally, Popeye forces a can of spinach down Bluto's throat and gets a pounding. That lands him in the hospital but not Olive's; they failed to notice the sign: "Cat and Dog Hospital." They start fighting like cats and dogs, and get hauled off to the looney bin. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 June 1945 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Famous Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Mercer was on active military duty and wasn't available to do Popeye's voice for this cartoon. See more »

Connections

Remake of Hospitaliky (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

Love is just around the corner
Music by Lewis E. Gensler and Lyrics by Leo Robin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hospital love
12 August 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

The early/earlier, not as much the mid/late-50s where deadlines were tighter and budgets were lower (not just with Popeye though), the Famous Studios Popeye cartoons were generally amusing enough and were well made. To me though Fleischer's Popeye cartoons were funnier, fresher (even when the stories were formulaic the material was often very inventive) and they looked better.

'For Better or Nurse' is a remake of 1937's 'Hospitaliky'. Anybody who has seen that cartoon should do so, it to me is one of the best Popeye cartoons from that year (one of the series' overall best years, so many great Popeye cartoons from that year) and epitomises everything that is great with the Fleischer Popeye output when at its best. It does a great job making what is an absurd premise on paper work to hilarious effect on screen. 'For Better or Nurse' is entertaining and is a good representation of one of Famous Studios' better years for their Popeye output, treating 'Hospitaliky' with respect.

Popeye and Bluto's chemistry is pretty legendary and drives the Popeye cartoons when they are together, which they are a lot though there have been effective changes of pace. One can see why that is the case, the energy between the two sparkles. Popeye is immensely entertaining and likeable while Bluto is every bit his equal. Would have liked to have seen more of Olive though.

One would naturally think the premise is absurd hearing and reading about it. Thinking how to make something funny out of going to great lengths to be admitted to hospital just for love, when hospitals are among many people's least favourite places. Including me with it over the past eight years being a familiar place for me, while having great respect for everybody in the medical profession. While 'Hospitaliky' was funnier and fresher on this aspect, 'For Better or Nurse' still does well and is amusing and energetic. There is hardly a shortage of humour and none of it really misfires. Particularly effective in the laughs department are the truly creative injury attempts of Popeye and Bluto and Popeye's asides and mumblings, what could have been irritating manages to be something of an art form.

Furthermore, the animation is beautifully drawn and with enough visual detail to not make it cluttered or static and lively and smooth movement. The music is also outstanding, lots of merry energy and lush orchestration, adding a lot to the action and making the impact even better without being too cartoonish. Voice acting is dynamic and of very good quality. Jackson Beck does nicely too and it is hard to imagine somebody else better than Mae Questel as Olive, the character was voiced by others in some cartoons but they were nothing compared to Questel.

Despite those great things, the story does little new with what we saw in 'Hospitaliky', so it does come over as predictable and it isn't quite as lively in the timing. Respected that it treated 'Hosptaliky' with respect, but part of me felt that it was too faithful to it (coming over as 'Hospitaliky' but in colour) and that it could have put more of its own spin on it.

Harry Welch voices Popeye here while Jack Mercer was on military duty, he does a serviceable enough job but it does feel odd somewhat without Mercer. Welch doesn't relish the mumblings and asides in the same way.

Concluding, enjoyable and well done but somewhat questioned the point of it when it had all been done much better before. 7/10


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