Dr. Bull is an old-fashioned country doctor whose affair with the widow Janet Cardmaker is creating waves in the small town where he practices. When there is a mysterious outbreak of typhoid which the doctor is slow in reacting to, it all comes to a head. The townspeople hold an emergency meeting and decide to give Dr. Bull the sack and bring in a new doctor. Dr. Bull must find a way to save his job, his reputation, and a young man's life, whom all other practitioners have written off as a permanent invalid. Written by
In the book, there are discussions about abortion between Doctor Bull and Virginia Banning. These were dropped from the script after a complaint from the Hays Office. In the movie, there is just a vague notion she is pregnant. Also, the character of Larry Ward had a venereal disease in the book, but in the film he's just a hypochondriac. See more »
"Doctor Bull brings his neighbors into the world and postpones their departure as long as possible. He prescribes common sense and accepts his small rewards gratefully. His patients call him Doc." See more »
John Ford's first collaboration with Will Rogers introduces itself with the words, "Doctor Bull brings his neighbors into the world and postpones their departure as long as possible. He prescribes common sense and accepts his small rewords gratefully. His patients call him Doc." This opening makes "Doctor Bull" sound like it's going to be a wholesome and folksy tale - but don't expect the film to be the sweet story of a kindly doctor. The New England set town of "New Winton" turns out to be a 1930s "Peyton Place"
Strait-laced citizens gossip about neighborly Mr. Rogers (as George "Doc" Bull) spending his evenings with lonely widow Vera Allen (as Janet Cardmaker). Telephone receptionist Marian Nixon (as May) fears husband Howard Lally (as Joe Tupping) may never walk again, after an accident leaves him paralyzed...
Matriarch Louise Dresser and the town's wealthy "Banning" family fret about the sudden marriage of pretty daughter Rochelle Hudson (as Virginia), apparently left pregnant after her boozy weekend with a football player. And, as if that wasn't enough drama, the entire town is threatened with typhoid fever. Since this is not supposed to be a serial, all the stories are tied up by the film's end. And, Mr. Ford makes sure you leave the theater laughing, as squeaky "soda shop" clerk Andy Devine reveals a secret...
****** Doctor Bull (9/22/33) John Ford ~ Will Rogers, Vera Allen, Rochelle Hudson, Louise Dresser
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