There is no way to write a "spoiler"---is there actually somebody somewhere who, ten minutes into this 1950's film, wouldn't know where it is going and will end up---since it is a strictly ... See full summary »
There is no way to write a "spoiler"---is there actually somebody somewhere who, ten minutes into this 1950's film, wouldn't know where it is going and will end up---since it is a strictly written-by-the-numbers corruption and redemption meller that finds: number 1, a doctor returns from the Korean War to his Pennsylvania mining hometown, (and 2) must choose between dedicating himself to treating the suffering poor (or 3) build himself a swank office and get rich by flattering wealthy women with imaginary ailments. Throw in elements no. 5,Lizabeth Scott as a rich, spoiled, twice-divorced woman with a lip stiffer than his, and number 6, Dianne Foster as a nurse bent on helping all mankind, and there are no surprises left, especially if one take note of the name of Irving Wallace among the writers, the title and Scott billed above Foster. The only surprise here is that this film wasn't from Universal-International and directed by Douglas Sirk. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
About 55 minutes in, as Mrs. Nelson is being rushed to the hospital, the ambulance we see on the street is a Cadillac. When it enters the ramp to the emergency room, however, it has turned into a Buick. See more »
Dr. Tom Owen:
[on the phone with his wife]
Oh, I'm interviewing nurses, of course. Don't be silly, darling, of course she'll be fat and ugly. I do insist on good legs though.
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A once-idealistic doctor from a small mining town sells his integrity for a big city practice treating wealthy dowagers. If you said to yourself "That sounds like an incredibly dull premise for a noir," give yourself a gold star. Nothing to see here but a bunch of heavy-handed speechifying and simplistic class distinctions. I've never cared for Charlton Heston (with the possible exception of TOUCH OF EVIL) and here he does a lot of jutting out his chin and looking handsome and delivering his lines with zero conviction. Lizabeth Scott is an actress I run hot and cold on... in this case, quite cold. She's entirely uninteresting as a "bad girl" whose primary vice is a mild materialist streak. I was also rather annoyed by Mildred Dunnock, playing Heston's hand-wringing mother. The script is just awful and photographically, the film is a dud, with a few instances of noticeably poor shot continuity (not a deal-breaker, but a pet peeve of mine). There's no tension, no real conflict, no doubt about how everything's going to turn out okay in the end. Bad for you, bad for me, bad for everyone.
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