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The Doctor's Dilemma (1958)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  January 1959 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 252 users  
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Mrs. Dubedat loves and idolizes her artist husband, Louis, but he is dying of tuberculosis. She goes to a doctor and convinces him to save her husband. The doctor can keep only so many ... See full summary »



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Title: The Doctor's Dilemma (1958)

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Complete credited cast:
John Robinson ...
Felix Aylmer ...
Michael Gwynn ...
Maureen Delaney ...
Colin Gordon ...
Gwenda Ewen ...
Terence Alexander ...
Mr. Lanchester
Derek Prentice ...
Head Waiter
Secretary at Picture Gallery
Clifford Buckton ...


Mrs. Dubedat loves and idolizes her artist husband, Louis, but he is dying of tuberculosis. She goes to a doctor and convinces him to save her husband. The doctor can keep only so many patients, and must choose who is worth saving, but is convinced that Louis' artistic talents make him worthy. But when he and several colleague meet Louis, they discover that he is in fact a smooth-talking money-grabbing scoundrel. They also learn that he has another wife, whom he has abandoned. So, the doctor has a problem: should he let Louis die, leaving Mrs. Dubedat with her idealized image, or save him and his artistic talents, but force her to face his bigamy and other flaws? Written by John Oswalt <>

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Comedy | Drama


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Release Date:

January 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Doctor's Dilemma  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


It was once rumored, nearly two decades before, that a film version, produced by Gabriel Pascal would have had Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller (the stars of Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion (1938)) playing the lead roles. See more »


Version of ITV Play of the Week: The Doctor's Dilemma (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

Shauvian ideas survive romantic adaptation
28 March 2005 | by (Jersey City, New Jersey) – See all my reviews

Rather too much good solid Shaw has been lost in screenwriter Anatole de Grunwald's attempt to turn a solid and surprisingly funny play about the moral dilemma faced by a man (John Robinson, bearing a striking resemblance to Maurice Evans) over whether to save the life of a brilliant artist who is also a wastrel or a good man who offers far less to posterity into a La Boheme-tinged love triangle between top billed Leslie Caron, Dirk Bogarde (both fine and passionate, as always) and Robinson.

Fortunately, the screen comes alive when the quartet of Shaw's doctors are on stage debating morality and science, most especially in the persons of old Shauvian hands like Robert Morley (Andrew Undershaft in the 1941 Pascal film of MAJOR BARBARA) and Felix Aylmer (Cauchon in the 1957 Otto Preminger film and 1966 Caedmon recording of SAINT JOAN). Alistair Sim as a surgery-happy practitioner also carries his share of the comic load, with Robinson (the real lead of the film) bringing up the slightly stuffy rear.

Director Anthony Asquith , who helmed the great 1938 film of PYGMALION which won Shaw his Oscar as best screenwriter, never allows the action to drag, brings out the best of Shaw's life lessons ("those who marry happily will marry again") even when Grunwald nearly buries them in stock romantic fumbling and uses the period setting as well as he did in his still definitive 1952 film of Wilde's IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST.

This ...DILEMMA may not be a great film, but given the first rate cast and handsome production, it's well worth discovering - and lovers of Shaw shouldn't think of missing it.

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