Doctor Bull (1933)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  22 September 1933 (USA)
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Reviews: 8 user | 5 critic

Doc Bull, a no-nonsense country doctor who has served his community for decades, fights small-town prejudice and provincialism in several crises.



(novel), (adaptation), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Vera Allen ...
Mrs. Janet 'Jane' Cardmaker, Widow of Charles Edward Cardmaker / Bull's Girlfriend
May Tupping - Telephone Operator
Howard Lally ...
Joe Tupping
Herbert Banning - Janet's Brother
Mrs. Herbert Banning
Larry Ward, Sodajerk
Virginia (Muller) / Banning
Tempe Pigott ...
Grandma Banning
Elizabeth Patterson ...
Aunt Patricia Banning
Nora Cecil ...
Aunt Emily Banning
Dr. Verney, Owner Verney Laboratory
Patsy O'Byrne ...
Susan - Dr. Bull's Cook
Veda Buckland ...
Mary - Janet's Maid
Effie Ellsler ...
Aunt Myra Bull


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 Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


IF YOU MISSED IT...SEE IT NOW! IF YOU SAW IT...ENJOY IT AGAIN! (1936 re-issue poster) See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

22 September 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Doktor Bul  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


Mrs. Herbert Banning: Poor Mamie! She was so young! She must have hated to die!
Dr. George 'Doc' Bull: Oh, I don't know. I've seen a hundred people die, and none of them ever seemed to mind it. They was all too sick to mind it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"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 »


It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Music by Richard Storrs Willis
Lyrics by Edmund Hamilton Sears
Sung in church as people entered
See more »

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User Reviews

Marcus Welby in Peyton Place
31 December 2010 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

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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