The first female doctor in New York City comes up against prejudice from male counterparts who feel threatened by her skills. Eventually, though, they come to respect her and romance ...
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The first female doctor in New York City comes up against prejudice from male counterparts who feel threatened by her skills. Eventually, though, they come to respect her and romance blossoms between her and the head doctor. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The kind of sentiment that a woman doctor faced during this period didn't resemble the prejudice towards blacks or other ethnic or religious groups. Legal experts call it "romantic paternalism". There was no hostility towards women in general. (How could there be? Everyone has a mother.) Rather it was thought that a woman's God-given place was at home, that they were too delicate for professional life. See more »
This is a fairly accurate re-telling of the Emily Dunning story. She was a turn of the century doctor, and being a woman doctor, therefore treated like a freak, or publicity hound. Sadly, the tale is always the same: woman/minority enters field dominated by white males and is mistreated and pressured to quit. Dunning was a doctor decades before women were given the right to vote! And she didn't just deliver babies, she was out on ambulance calls day and night. Quite an impressive figure, but June Allyson (reminding me of a more winsome version of ER's Maura Tierney) is only adequate as Dunning. The film has its moments, yet the struggles Dunning truly incurred in overcoming the male doctor establishment and public attitude is only moderately presented here. It's as if the male dominated film-making establishment didn't want their doctor counterparts to look too bigoted. And much of the film is devoted to Allyson's relationship with Arthur Kennedy (Dr. Barringer -- in real life became her husband). Once again, the filmmakers are more concerned with stressing the standard woman-as-love-interest-only angle. It also starts to slow down in the second half, unfortunately. But this is the only film covering Dunning's interesting story so it's worth looking at at least for that reason.
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