The Lamp Still Burns was a skilful adaptation of One Pair of Feet, Monica (Follyfoot) Dickens’ best-selling novel about her experiences as a nurse. It cast Rosamund John as an architect who decides to become a nurse in wartime. She undergoes her training and, finding the discipline hard to take, fights for better hospital conditions. John falls for wounded airman Stewart Granger – but he is engaged to Margaret Vyner, also a patient in the hospital. Eventually John has to choose between her career and romance when she faces the hospital Board of Management over a breach of discipline.
The film vividly evokes hospital life and the sequence of an operation being performed during an air raid still carries considerable dramatic force. However the treatment is not entirely in documentary vein; as in Dickens’ novel, there is a great deal of humour and an engaging gallery of minor characters. Actor Leslie Howard, who produced this warm tribute to the nursing profession, died while completing the film. Howard was believed to be involved in intelligence work and the plane he was in was shot down over the Bay of Biscay.
UK / 1943 black and white
Director: Maurice Elvey
Writers: Elizabeth Baron, Roland Pertwee, Major Neilson from One Pair of Feet by Monica Dickens
Cast: Rosamund John, Godfrey Tearle, Stewart Granger, Sophie Stewart, Margaret Vyner, John Laurie, Megs Jenkins,