Not as a Stranger (1955)

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An ego-driven, aspiring physician, intolerant of the weaknesses of others, especially those closest to him, comes to grips with his own imperfections.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kristina Hedvigson
Lucas Marsh
Alfred Boone
Harriet Lang
Dr. Aarons
Dr. Dave Runkleman
Myron McCormick ...
Dr. Snider
Job Marsh (as Lon Chaney)
Jesse White ...
Ben Cosgrove
Virginia Christine ...
Dr. Dietrich
Jack Raine ...
Dr. Lettering
Nurse Odell


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 alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Stands alone ! first as a book ... now as a motion picture !


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Release Date:

July 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Morton Thompson's Not as a Stranger  »

Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The four operations that are shown are a laminectomy, a subtotal gastrectomy, plastic surgery on a hand, and an aortal aneurysm. See more »


As a nurse, Kristina might have known that she should avoid being exposed to a typhoid patient while pregnant. See more »


Dr. Aarons: [Saying farewell to his graduating interns] Good-bye and God bless all of you... and don't endorse any cigarettes!
See more »


References Internes Can't Take Money (1937) See more »


Not as a Stranger
by Jimmy Van Heusen & Buddy Kaye
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User Reviews

I can't BELIEVE this has been SO overlooked!!
23 September 2001 | by (Westminster, CA, U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

I've just been treated to this wonderful film, courtesy of the wonderful TCM, and while it is not the best film ever made, and is indeed flawed, I can't believe this has been SO overlooked as it has!! This takes place in then-modern day 1955, which, if you think about it, is just after the Korean war. I'm a BIG fan of the TV series "M*A*S*H," so a film mostly concerning surgeons in the mid-'50s has GOT to interest me. But the real surprise here is that, as popular as giant stars like Robert Mitchum, Olivia de Havilland, Frank Sinatra, and Broderick Crawford were at the time of this film's release, more hasn't been said about it since then. In other words, I should've heard of it long before now.

Mitchum and Sinatra are chums at a medical school, and their prime professor is Crawford. Mitchum is the student EXTREMELY determined to become a doctor, as opposed to Sinatra and other friends, who are pretty half-assed in their desires. Then, Mitchum finds he's having troubles coming up with enough money to finance the tuition for his next year of education. Suddenly, he meets and falls in love with a Swedish nurse, who has plenty of money to help him through the hard times. So Mitchum then marries the lady. Mitchum's friend Sinatra thinks this is a bad thing to do, and tells him so, but life goes on. Like I said, this is not a movie without flaws, but it's so full of rich performances and a cast of unbelievable stars of past and present (hey, when was the last time you saw the Little Rascals' Alfalfa and the Beverly Hillbillies' Miss Jane in the same movie?). This is so totally worth seeing. As a fan of old movies, and having a total appreciation for Mitchum, Sinatra, Ms. de Havilland and Crawford, this was an unexpected joy to behold. ***, out of ****

16 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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