A clever nurse (Aline MacMahon) is summoned to a mansion when an elderly man (Walter Walker) has a stroke after reading a telegram from his disinherited son (Robert Barrat). The unexpected murder of his other son (also Barrat) turns the nurse into an amateur sleuth as she joins forces with a handsome detective (Guy Kibbee) to uncover family secrets and find the killer.
Based on a mystery novel by Mignon Eberhardt, WHILE THE PATIENT SLEPT stars Aline MacMahon as Eberhardt's middle-aged amateur sleuth, Nurse Sarah Keate. Our heroine is summoned to the home of millionaire Adolphe Federie (Robert H. Barrat), who has suffered a stroke. Federie sleeps through an incredible series of intrigues involving family secrets, stolen heirlooms, and other such niceties. When a murder occurs, it's up to the efficient Nurse Keate to solve the mystery. Still, nursie finds time to pursue a cute romance with cherubic Lance O'Leary (Guy Kibbee). WHILE THE PATIENT SLEPT was part of Warner's brief "Clue Club" series, which also included the studio's Perry Mason mysteries (Incidentally, Hollywood's subsequent "Sarah Keate" films tended not only to alter the name of the nurse protagonist, but also her age: In one picture, she was played by "oomph girl" Ann Sheridan!)
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