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Film / Dr. Monica

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Not only does your husband cheat on you, but you have to deliver his baby, too!
Dr. Monica (1934) is a pre-code era drama starring Kay Francis, Warren William, and Jean Muir, and was directed by William Keighley.

Dr. Monica Braden (Francis) is almost the happiest woman in the world. Although she’s a respected obstetrician and is married to writer John (William), she wants to baby badly and can’t have one.

Busy with her work, she sends her husband off on a vacation to write in Europe, and at the same time, she finds that her friend Mary (Muir) is acting rather strangely. Monica discovers that Mary is pregnant and is going to be an unwed mother. Monica is happy for Mary while Mary shows a serious hesitance to having the baby. Monica convinces Mary to go ahead with the pregnancy and on the day the baby is to be delivered, Monica makes a heartbreaking discovery: Mary’s baby is also her husband’s.

Although this film was made in the pre-code era, the film was still heavily censored for dealing with topics of unwed mothers and adultery.

This film shows the following tropes:

  • The Alcoholic: Mary’s breakup with John hits her hard and she starts drinking, and as a direct result, acting recklessly.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Monica wants a baby because she believes it will improve her relationship with John.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Anna slaps some sense into Monica when she finds out about John and Mary’s affair and decides that she doesn’t want to deliver Mary’s baby. Anna tells her that her professional career and the life of the baby and mother are more important than personal matters. This shakes Monica enough that she goes through the delivery.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Mary hints that she would like Monica to help her get rid of the baby, but Monica quickly shuts her down.
  • Happy Ending: For Monica and John, not so much for Mary. Mary leaves her baby with them, making Monica and John parents.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: If you have a baby out of wedlock, you are going to die one way or another!
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Monica wants a baby but can't have one. Mary doesn’t want a baby but has one.
  • Married to the Job: It's slightly hinted that John strayed because Monica was neglected him.
  • My Secret Pregnancy: Mary hides away to a cottage up north to have her baby in secret.
  • Suicide by Sea: Mary flies her plane for a 5-hour flight with only 2 hours of gas in her tank. She flies into the sunset never to be seen again.
  • Not Wanting Kids Is Weird: Inverted. Anna mentions that Monica's want of kids is weird especially for a careerwoman.
  • Watching the Sunset: Monica and John have a romantic evening together.