1863. Texas Ranger Todd Croyden and Union spy Whitney Randolph cross into Mexico to investigate a growing struggle for power between the French-supported Maximilian and the native-born ... See full summary »
When his life is saved in a shootout by a fellow gunman whose life he in turn had saved, Alex Longmire promises to give up his way of life. Riding into town he finds the only job available ... See full summary »
The friendship of three Texas Ranchers. Later their ranch was destroyed by Cotrell, of the Union army,and his band of outlaw raiders. The original title was "Distant Drums", this was a description of Civil War army deserters.
A secretive widower hires a governess for his children, a willful boy and impressionable girl. Strange occurrences and the governess's curiosity lead her to unlock the secrets of the mysterious and uninhabited brownstone next door.
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 <email@example.com>
Sturges intended this to be a much more serious film. Panicked by some inconclusive reviews, Paramount cut it as a traditional Sturges comedy. The director, no longer associated with the studio, asked former friend and studio chief Frank Freeman to entitle the film "Triumph Over Pain," and he wrote and offered to write, direct, and appear in a prologue gratis. Paramount did not want to expend the additional $50,000 this would incur, and they ignored his offer. See more »
I'm a great admirer of Preston Sturges but this movie of his seemed confused as to whether it wanted to be a straight drama or something more light-hearted. In the end, it tries to mix both elements but the outcome is ultimately unconvincing.
The story of a pioneering dentist in the mid-19th Century seeking to find a usable ether treatment so that patients don't have to suffer painful operational treatments while still awake, its presentation lacks the sparkle of his more celebrated screwball comedies and political satires of the time.
I think it would have worked slightly better as a serious drama, although the invention of a workable anaesthetic doesn't on paper make for the most gripping drama. Perhaps it's for this reason that Sturges feels the need to insert moments of pure slapstick (in particular when his test patient, played by William Demarest goes crazy after receiving the wrong dosage and there's the whole episode of the doc pursuing his pet dog to further test his concoction.
Joel McCrae is the idealistic young dentist in pursuit of a no-side-effects sleeping draught and Betty Field his exasperated but still loyal wife. I quite liked both but felt their respective characterisations were sometimes contradictory. As for the Damascan-type conversion of McCrae at the end, I felt this was overdone and dine in a heavy-handed, not to say very sudden way.
Throughout there are signs of Sturges' directorial flair and way with a narrative, but this in truth is a two-paced movie with different strands pulling against each other to the detriment of the whole. He would assuredly improve as the decade progressed.
Joel McCrae has the lead part as the crusading Dr Morgan and Betty Field co-stars as his supportive if simpering wife.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?