Frank Sinatra plays Joe E. Lewis, a famous comedian of the 1930s-50s. When the movie opens, Lewis is a young, talented singer who performs in speakeasies. When he bolts one job for another,... See full summary »
R.P.M. stands for (political) revolutions per minute. Anthony Quinn plays a liberal college professor at a west coast college during the hedy days of campus activism in the late 1960s. ... See full summary »
Father Rivard is a priest in a small, economically depressed coal mining town. Working on what he thinks is a "controversial" work, he lives with the brutal lives of his poor parishioners, ... See full summary »
Dick Van Dyke,
The story in this movie deals with the perseverance of Spaniards to take back their country from the French who have conquered Spain under Napoleon as he marched over Europe. A huge cannon,... See full summary »
Barbara Beaurevel lives with her aunt and cousin in New Orleans in the late 1800's. In love with Mark Lucas, a research doctor at Tulane University, her plans to marry him are thwarted. ... See full summary »
When he sustains a rodeo injury, star rider Jeff McCloud returns to his hometown after many years of absence. He signs on as a hired hand with a local ranch, where he befriends fellow ranch... See full summary »
Gordon Miller is rehearsing a musical comedy in the penthouse suite of Gribble's hotel...on credit. The mounting bill is driving Gribble frantic. Chaos increases when playwright Glen ... See full summary »
As usual with most of the RKO films from this era "presented" by RKO-owner Howard Hughes, the PCA number is usually 500-1000 digits lower than the one from other studios being released at ... See full summary »
Lucas Marsh, an intern bent upon becoming a first-class doctor, not merely a successful one. He courts and marries the warm-hearted Kristina, not out of love but because she is highly knowledgeable in the skills of the operating room and because she has frugally put aside her savings through the years. She will be, as he shrewdly knows, a supportive wife in every way. She helps make him the success he wants to be and cheerfully moves with him to the small town in which he starts his practice. But as much as he tries to be a good husband to the undemanding Kristina, Marsh easily falls into the arms of a local siren and the patience of the long-sorrowing Kristina wears thin. She reasons he no longer needs her and asks for a divorce. A calamity now brings Marsh to his senses. Dr. Runkleman, Marsh's gruff and wise employer, is stricken with a heart attack and requires emergency surgery. Marsh is forced to operate. Written by
Olivia de Havilland and Robert Mitchum prepared for their roles by attending eight operations. Broderick Crawford attended an autopsy for his autopsy scene and promptly got sick. See more »
When Robert Mitchum and Olivia de Havilland visit "Greenville", which is supposed to be isolated and rural, they pass a truck with "Reseda Boulevard" on its side. Reseda Boulevard is just a few miles northwest of Hollywood. See more »
[Saying farewell to his graduating interns]
Good-bye and God bless all of you... and don't endorse any cigarettes!
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Many have panned Robert Mitchum's performance in this film, but I think that his lack of expression and emotion, other than anger, suits the character very well.
Mitchum's Marsh is a completely self-absorbed individual. He's committed to medicine and can't understand human failings, especially his own. His character's cold demeanor perfectly reflects the fact that Marsh has no outer life. If he often appears robotic, it's largely because he's programmed himself to shut out everything human, ironically in service to humanity.
Of course he's a great doctor, but he's pure hell to work or live with. Bursting with pride, insensitive to the point of cruelty, Marsh is unreachable and, in more than one sense of the term, untouchable. Mitchum conveys all of this very naturally, perhaps because so much of his performance is rooted in the dark world of film noir, where the actor first made his mark. He's a physician from the neck up, but he has the heart of a contract killer. That he heals instead of kills is his patients' good fortune, though of little solace to his friends or his wife.
Although Mitchum's interpretation remains controversial, many of the other performances in `Not as a Stranger' are beyond criticism. Olivia deHavilland, as his suffering spouse, is superb as always. Charles Bickford, an actor who deserves a much greater reputation, is the epitome of a small town doctor. And surprisingly, Broderick Crawford is excellent as a gruff professor of pathology.
On the other hand, Frank Sinatra's pediatrician isn't as strong, though he has some good scenes when he tries to help Mitchum see the error of his ways. Gloria Grahame, unfortunately, is stuck with a seductress role that just as well could have been cut.
There are other weaknesses. George Antheil's score, by way of Wagner and Richard Strauss, is pretty hard to take. The script and direction are uneven. Many scenes are compelling, such as when Crawford literally throws the book at Sinatra or when deHavilland and Mitchum have one of their confrontations. Others fall flat and there is a tendency, typical in most of Stanley Kramer's work, to keep making points at the expense of the story. For example, the med school sequences with Whit Bissell's greedy and unethical Dr Dietrich (interesting choice of name there) cover a darker side of the profession very well. There's really no need for Jesse White, terribly miscast as a lawyer who cozies up to Grahame, to bring up ethical issues much later in the film.
Recommended as an above average melodrama and as an interesting time capsule of mid-50s medicine. (Though I found it hard to believe patients were allowed to smoke in the wards!)
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