Richard Girard is part of a New Orleans family working closely with the English Warburtons. When Richard meets Mary Warburton she is engaged to Erik von Gerardt. He does wed Mary but their time in America is financially difficult.
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 »
I'm not sure I'd call this a COMEDY! But it still is an excellent film and worth your time.
Despite starring Will Rogers and being marketed as a comedy, I really think that does this film an injustice and viewers may well feel confused by the lack of comedy. While Rogers has a few good zingers and one liners here and there, this isn't the point of the film and to me it's much more of a drama--much like the excellent film ONE MAN'S JOURNEY. Maybe much of the reason people see this as a comedy could also be because Rogers and director John Ford also teamed up shortly after this film for the comedy JUDGE PRIEST.
In DR. BULL, Rogers plays the title character--a very, very hard-working country doctor who is too seldom appreciated by the community. While some see him as a sort of savior, many old busy-bodies can only focus on all the perceived wrongs he has done--mostly because they are just vicious and sexless old hags! While these roles are very stereotypical and may seem unreal, I have personally known quite a few women EXACTLY like them. Even today, they pervade small towns, churches, social clubs, PTAs and other groups. Because of this, this film is a great form of social satire--even over 70 years later! As for the aesthetics of the film, I was quite impressed. John Ford really captured the small town feel and the winter scenes looked so real and inviting. Additionally, Rogers showed he really could act--playing a folksy but more complete character than usual--with flaws, strengths and emotions. All in all, a lovely film and a great time capsule. This film should be more famous than it is--and it's certainly much better than JUDGE PRIEST.
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