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Successful and well-liked, Dr. Noah Praetorius becomes the victim of a witch hunt at the hands of Professor Elwell, who disdains Praetorius's unorthodox medical views and also questions his relationship with the mysterious, ever-present Mr. Shunderson. Fuel is added to the fire when Praetorius befriends young Deborah Higgins, who has become suicidal at the prospect of having a baby by her ex boyfriend, a military reservist who was called up for service in the Korean War and killed in action. Written by
In early pre-production, Jeanne Crain campaigned for the female lead, but the role went to Anne Baxter. When Baxter had to forfeit due to approaching motherhood, Crain's wishes were granted. See more »
At one point while Dr. Praetorius is waiting in Professor Elwell's classroom, a close-up insert shot of Shunderson is clearly printed backwards. See more »
Beautifully told tale of an admirable man in less than admirable times...
This film, far ahead of its time, presents a thoughtful, intelligent commentary on the issues the time, eerily relevant not only to the conservative 50's, but to just about any subsequent era. Noah Praetorious, played with the suave appeal with which Cary Grant always seemed to shine, shows us just how admirable and sympathetic a successful physician can actually be. His decision to court and marry Deborah Higgins, to his devoted friendship with Mr. Shunderson, sets a fine example for all of us about loyalty, friendship and love. And considering the political climate which existed at the time this film was made makes it all the more noteworthy. Dr. Praetorious's conviction to stand up to his accuser, portrayed by a well cast Hume Cronyn, says much for "doing the right thing". This film holds up well after close to 50 years, and the sensitivity written into the main character should be required study for any student about to embark upon a career as a physician.
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