J.B. Ball, a rich financier, gets fed up with his free-spending family. He takes his wife's just-bought (very expensive) sable coat and throws it out the window, it lands on poor ... See full summary »
Dudley Moore plays a composer who suspects his wife of cheating. He plots to kill her and frame it on her lover. The whole movie sort of compares his expectations of a perfect result to reality. In the end nothing turns out as planned.
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Arriving at Medicine Bow, eastern schoolteacher Molly Woods meets two cowboys, irresponsible Steve and the "Virginian," who gets off on the wrong foot with her. To add to his troubles, the ... See full summary »
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Edward G. Robinson,
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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>
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. 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.
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