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Andrew Manson, a young, enthusiastic doctor takes his first job in a Welsh mining town, and begins to wonder at the persistent cough many of the miners have. When his attempts to prove its cause are thwarted, he moves to London. His new practice does badly. But when a friend shows him how to make a lucrative practice from rich hypochondriacs, it will take a great shock to show him what the truth of being a doctor really is. Written by
Thought-provoking yet thoroughly entertaining, not too dated
A look at the medical profession today will convince anyone that this narrative of the conflict a sensitive young physician experiences: whether to serve the not-especially-appreciative poor or the hypocond- riac and over-appreciative wealthy, if he caters to their whims. (At the end one wonders how great a difference there is between these two constituencies.) How many medical school graduates today choose to into small-town or rural general practice, as opposed to pursuing lucrative specialist careers? Robert Donat's effective performance is, as usual, understated; while Rosalind Russell easily matches him in a portrayal that makes one regret that she later became typed in comic roles as a result of superb performances in that genre. A supporting cast that includes the youthful Rex Harrison, Emlyn Williams and Ralph Richardson, all early in their careers and all with perfectly formed characteriza- tions, gives the film depth that one might not have anticipated. This is one of those films that makes one regret the loss of the old studio system, which enabled MGM, with its guaranteed bookings, to make a prestige film on a serious social issue with relatively few melodramatic excesses; and to offset probable box office losses by the studio's many box office bonanza romantic, comic or musical star vehicles. And today??
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