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Medical Movies on the Web Debuts with Gene Kelly's "Combat Fatigue Irritability" 1945 Film

Actor Gene Kelly

Actor Gene Kelly in the 1945 film, Combat Fatigue Irritability, now available to the public at NLM's Medical Movies on the Web.
Photo courtesy of Michael Spencer, NIH

Kerry Kelly Novick

Actor Gene Kelly's daughter, Kerry Kelly Novick, talked about her father and his "combat fatigue" film at February's NLM Board of Regents/FNLM Dinner.
Photo courtesy of Michael Spencer, NIH

One of the treasures preserved by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) is a World War II U.S. Navy training film directed by and starring Gene Kelly, who was then a rising Hollywood star. Combat Fatigue Irritability is a historically significant, yet largely unknown, work.

Now, NLM's History of Medicine Division (HMD) is making the film available to a wide audience, with supplementary materials from NLM historians. That includes a unique interview with Kelly's daughter, Kerry Kelly Novick.

Novick, a developmental psychoanalyst who studied under Anna Freud, was a guest speaker during NLM's February Board of Regents' Dinner.

The History of Medicine Division has added both her talk and her interview to its Medical Movies on the Web portal. The site features a full-length version of Combat Fatigue Irritability. Along with the film is a valuable research tool, a searchable transcript, plus written commentary by NLM historian Michael Sappol, Ph.D.

Speaking as a daughter and a mental health professional, Novick talked about her father and messages in the film that are still relevant for service men and women and their families.

FNLM Chairman Glen Campbell

FNLM Chairman Glen Campbell addresses the attendees at February's NLM Board of Regents/FNLM Board of Directors Dinner.
Photo courtesy of Michael Spencer, NIH

Novick's interview with Sappol and HMD Chief Jeffrey S. Reznick, Ph.D., is also a recent feature of the HMD blog, Circulating Now:

"The interview will be appreciated alongside the film by generations of researchers, health professionals, educators, and students," says Reznick.

Glen P. Campbell, Chairman
Friends of the National Library of Medicine

To view Medical Movies on the Web, go to:

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Spring 2014 Issue: Volume 9 Number 1 Page Inside Front Cover