The Girl in White

The Girl in White is a 1952 film drama directed by John Sturges. It is based on the memoirs of the pioneering female surgeon Emily Dunning Barringer.

The Girl in White
Directed byJohn Sturges
Produced byArmand Deutsch
Written byPhilip Stevenson
Allen Vincent
Irmgard von Cube
Based onBowery to Bellevue: The Story of New York's First Woman Ambulance Surgeon
by Emily Dunning Barringer
StarringJune Allyson
Arthur Kennedy
Music byDavid Raksin
CinematographyPaul Vogel
Edited byFerris Webster
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer (USA)
Release date
  • June 23, 1952 (1952-06-23) (U.S.)
Running time
92 mins.
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,344,000[1]


Her pregnant mother is in labor and in dire need of a doctor, but young Emily Dunning is new to the neighborhood and knows no one. When someone finally suggests a Dr. Yeomans, she is shocked to discover the doctor is a woman. It is the turn of the century in New York and times are changing, but as yet women are not being made welcome in the field of medicine. Emily is so impressed by Marie Yeomans that she decides to enroll in med school at Cornell.

Fellow student Ben Barringer is one of the few there who encourage Emily, and they also fall in love. Ben plans to continue his education at Harvard, but upsets Emily by asking her to abandon her studies and accompany him. Emily instead moves to New York, where she and Dr. Yeomans share an apartment. Hospitals deny her an internship until a reluctant Dr. Seth Pawling is persuaded to accept her, although he confines her mainly to ambulance duty. Ben, it turns out, has become an intern at the same hospital.

A patient is pronounced dead prematurely by a Dr. Graham, but is resuscitated by Emily, who exhausts herself for hours in the process. A nurse informs the press of Emily's heroic act, irritating Graham but impressing Pawling, who recognizes her determination and skills. When a typhoid epidemic breaks out, the need for doctors is so great that Dr. Yeomans is asked to help. She, too, earns the respect of the hospital's men, just before her weak heart gives out. Ben is leaving for Paris to continue his work, but Emily heeds her friend's advice to have a personal life as well as a professional one, so she promises Ben that their careers will not keep them apart.



According to MGM records the film earned $904,000 in the US and Canada and $440,000 elsewhere resulting in a loss of $292,000.[1]

Radio adaptation

The Girl in White was presented on Lux Radio Theatre May 18, 1953. The one-hour adaptation starred Allyson and Steve Forrest.[3]


  1. The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. Glenn Lovell, Escape Artist: The Life and Films of John Sturges, University of Wisconsin Press, 2008 p72
  3. Kirby, Walter (May 17, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 48. Retrieved June 27, 2015 via

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