6.3/10
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The Great Moment (1944)

The biography of Dr. W. T. Morgan, a 19th century Boston dentist, during his quest to have anesthesia, in the form of ether, accepted by the public and the medical and dental establishment.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Eben Frost
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Professor Charles T. Jackson (as Julian Tannen)
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Vice-President of Medical Society
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Dr. Heywood
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Homer Quimby
Donivee Lee ...
Betty Morton
Harry Hayden ...
Judge Shipman
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Dr. Dahlmeyer
Victor Potel ...
First Dental Patient (as Vic Potel)
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Senator Borland
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Storyline

In the winter of 1868, Eben Frost goes to a Boston pawnshop and redeems a silver medal, inscribed to "Dr. W.T.G. Morton, the Benefactor of Mankind, with the Gratitude of Humanity." Frost drives to a country farmhouse and gives the medal to Morton's widow, Elizabeth Morton who explains to her daughter, Betty, that Frost was the first person given anesthesia by her father, Boston dentist Dr. W.T.G. Morton. The story flashes back 20 years to find Morton being wildly acclaimed by medical students as the man whose discovery of "letheon" had forever ended pain as, before that day, even amputations were performed with the patient fully conscious. "Letheron", unknown to everybody but Morton and Elizabeth, is simply highly rectified sulfuric ether - cleaning fluid - easily obtainable at a pharmacy. By keeping the secret, Dr. Morton could be rich, but he had rather be poor than see a girl strapped to an operating table under the knife of Dr. Warren, and he reveals his secret to a group of ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Paramount's escapist laugh tonic! Hilarious as a whiff of laughing gas!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

6 September 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Great without Glory  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. Its earliest documented telecast took place in Los Angeles Thursday 24 September 1959 on KNXT (Channel 2), followed by Milwaukee 24 November 1959 on WITI (Channel 6), by Chicago 14 December 1959 on WBBM (Channel 2), and by Phoenix 3 January 1960 on KVAR (Channel 12). It was released on DVD 15 November 2016 as part of the Universal Vault Series. See more »

Quotes

Prof. Warren: Gentlemen! This is no humbug!
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User Reviews

 
Forgotten Film.
10 October 2013 | by (North America) – See all my reviews

Preston Sturges directed this real life account of Dr. Morton(played by Joel MacCrea) a Boston dentist who experiments with ether, in order to develop an anesthesia that would prevent needless patient pain and suffering. He meets a man named Eben Frost(played by William Demarest) who agrees to be a human guinea pig for Morton, and miraculously an effective ether is discovered, though the medical community is initially skeptical, it comes around when they see the successful results. Dr. Morton becomes famous, but refuses to patent it, because he doesn't feel it is right to profit on such a humanitarian discovery, which is met with astonishment by most everyone! Good acting and story, but too much emphasis on comedy is misplaced, and film is strangely unmemorable, despite the potential. An unfortunate misfire.


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