In 1944, Capt. Josiah J. Newman is the doctor in charge of Ward 7, the neuropsychiatric ward, at an Army Air Corps hospital in Arizona. The hospital is under-resourced and Newman scrounges ...
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When the South loses the war, Confederate veteran O'Meara goes West, joins the Sioux, takes a wife and refuses to be an American but he must choose a side when the Sioux go to war against the U.S. Army.
In 1944, Capt. Josiah J. Newman is the doctor in charge of Ward 7, the neuropsychiatric ward, at an Army Air Corps hospital in Arizona. The hospital is under-resourced and Newman scrounges what he needs with the help of his inventive staff, especially Cpl. Jake Leibowitz. The military in general is only just coming to accept psychiatric disorders as legitimate and Newman generally has 6 weeks to cure them or send them on to another facility. There are many patients in the ward and his latest include Colonel Norville Bliss who has dissociated from his past; Capt. Paul Winston who is nearly catatonic after spending 13 months hiding in a cellar behind enemy lines; and 20 year-old Cpl. Jim Tompkins who is severely traumatized after his aircraft was shot down. Others come and go, including Italian prisoners of war, but Newman and team all realize that their success means the men will return to their units and combat. Written by
This was one of Gregory Peck's BEST movies--if not THE best
In his long career as an actor Gregory Peck has played many different roles, including a number of memorable military roles. One of my favorites is General Savage in "12 O'Clock High." But he also played the title role in "Captain Horatio Hornblower"--an adaptation of a C.S. Forester novel (a trilogy really) about a Royal Navy captain in the time of the Napoleonic Wars. And he was Commander Dwight Towers, commanding the submarine USS Swordfish in "On The Beach." "The Guns of Navarone" is another milestone in Peck's on-screen military career.
In one of his later films he even portrayed General Douglas MacArthur.
I have loved all of these films, with the reservation that his accent made him unconvincing in his British roles.
"Captain Newman, M.D." was an excellent, if light-hearted, novel before it was made into a movie, and I recall reading it and enjoying it. I saw the movie on television one or two times years ago, and found it a good adaptation of the novel. Recently I acquired the movie (on VHS) and enjoyed it immensely. While this is a great vehicle for Gregory Peck, I felt the movie was in many ways stolen by two supporting cast members, Bobby Darin (mentioned several times) and Tony Curtis.
I highly recommend it for anyone interested in a good vintage movie with a military theme and a topic that doesn't get that much light treatment--post traumatic stress disorder, or call it combat fatigue.
Not every Gregory Peck movie was great, but several were, and this might have been his best. It certainly ranks among his best performances and his best movies.
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