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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
Never has there been a more generous and humane movie.
It has been said that this this movie (gently, indirectly) attacked blacklisting. That may be so, but there is nothing didactic or political in it. This is first and foremost a love story and comedy, with dramatic tension provided by Hume Cronyn's wonderfully weaselly Professor Elwell (Elwell=Ill Will?), who is out to ruin Cary Grant's Dr. Praetorius.
Cary Grant and Jeanne Crain together give a luminous portrait of a couple falling in love. His acceptance of her, even though when they meet she is pregnant out of wedlock (very sticky in 1951), is complemented by her willingness to finally accept his love and move past her fear that Grant's feelings are pity more than love.
The climactic scene--an inquisition orchestrated by the narrow and spiteful Elwell--is a masterpiece, solving with an hilariously unlikely narrative the mystery of Mr. Shunderson, Praetorius's manservant.
One more thing: the grand and joyful Academic Festival Overture, conducted by Praetorus.
This movie is one of those which shows what we've lost in this era of car chases, CGI, and gross-out farce.
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