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Doctor at Large (1957)

 -  Comedy  -  29 April 1957 (Sweden)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 444 users  
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Dr. Sparrow graduates and sets out into the world. Hilarious internships with a miserly doctor and his young wife, a country doctor paid in kind not cash, and a quack specializing in rich ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: Doctor at Large (1957)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Muriel Pavlow ...
Nurse Nan McPherson
Derek Farr ...
Dr. Potter-Shine
Michael Medwin ...
Dr. Charles Bingham
Martin Benson ...
Maharajah of Rhanda
John Chandos ...
Edward Chapman ...
George Coulouris ...
Judith Furse ...
Mrs. Digby - Innkeeper
Gladys Henson ...
Mrs. Wilkins
Anne Heywood ...
Ernest Jay ...
Charles Hopcroft


Dr. Sparrow graduates and sets out into the world. Hilarious internships with a miserly doctor and his young wife, a country doctor paid in kind not cash, and a quack specializing in rich neurotic women. He applies for a surgery position at a hospital, insults the senior surgeon, then rescues one of the hospital's governors and finally gets his place on the staff. Written by Derek Picken <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


X-citingly Fresh! X-tremely Funny! X-travagantly Frank! X-actly What the Doctor Ordered! See more »




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Release Date:

29 April 1957 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Doctor at Large  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


(Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ernest Jay who has a bit part in this film died before release. See more »


When Sparrow takes the letter from Sir Lancelot out of its envelope, the letter is folded into four, yet when he takes it out of his coat pocket when in the pub, it is folded in three. See more »


Follows Doctor at Sea (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

Dr. Sparrow comes home
10 April 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

After trying out being a ship's doctor in Doctor At Sea, Dr. Simon Sparrow returns home to Great Britain just looking for a place in the medical world. He gets a post at St. Swithins Hospital, but promptly insults the head honcho there James Robertson Justice. After that Dirk Bogarde as Sparrow for the third in the Doctor series gets to try and practice medicine in a variety of unusual and amusing situations.

Bogarde once again strikes the right note as the earnest, dedicated, but a little bit socially challenged Dr. Sparrow. He's got the knack of not bumbling so much as walking into these incredible situations and people and sometimes mucking it up. But somehow it all works out in the end.

Doctor At Large also boasts the usual memorable character players prominently as always James Robertson Justice as the tyrannical Dr. Lancelot Spratt who terrifies all who come within range of his booming voice. One guy who thinks he's got JRJ in his pocket is kiss up Dr. Michael Medwin who gains a coveted position on the surgical staff that Bogarde wanted originally. He screws up in the end though quite accidentally, still it's always good to see one of his kind lose out.

But the guy who actually steals this film whenever he's on the screen is Donald Sinden. That this guy could become a doctor should frighten everyone in the United Kingdom. You have to see his 'examination' and how he gets his medical degree to believe it. Basically this guy became a doctor to get girls and he pursues that avocation quite avidly. Quite the rake Sinden, he does everything but twirl his mustache like some Snidely Whiplash villain. Most American audiences know him from being Grace Kelly's earnest, but dull husband in Mogambo. This is quite a change.

Watching the Doctor series from Great Britain I'm struck by the fact that across the pond they seem to take a more lighthearted view of medicine than we do. It wasn't until after the Code was lifted that doctors were ever portrayed in a light hearted manner.

Doctor At Large holds up quite well even for American viewers like myself who would not be acquainted with the fine points of the British health system. This series could easily be revived today, I could see someone like Hugh Grant playing Dr. Simon Sparrow.

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