|Index||4 reviews in total|
I've never considered "The New Interns" a great triumph of creativity,
but it's a good movie with soap opera-type story and fine acting by
many future stars.
The movie is an in-name-only sequel to "The Interns" (1962) and follows the experiences of several interns at a big city hospital as they learn medicine. Like many hospital films, there are several subplots going on at once: doctor Dean Jones and nurse Stephanie Powers want to have a baby but can't; doctor Telly Savalas is Chief of Surgery and is always yelling; intern Michael Callan just wants to chase female nurses; intern Segal and social worker Stevens fall in love; intern Segal is ultra-dedicated to medicine and intern Callan just wants to party; intern Furth's wife is living in the (gasp!) men's dorm; patient Adam Williams is dying and he's mad about it; and so on. It gets a little hard to follow at times, I admit.
The film's best part is a drunken party, and Sue Ane Langdon is great as a druggy prostitute faking paralysis so she can get into the hospital and get "some real stuff". The battles between Segal and Savalas are entertaining, leading up to a rather limp moralistic conclusion.
My fondness for this movie is probably due to my love of mid-1960s cinema; also it's the only movie I know of in which Dean Jones gets drunk and cheats on his wife. It's also obvious that the filmmakers had another sequel in mind, since all sorts of loose ends were left dangling at the end. Very good for its type.
PS: Isn't that Bob Crane at the party?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Picking up, in a way, from "The Interns", this follow up delivers more young doctors struggling with romantic and moral issues while partying their heads off at any opportunity. Callan is back and is referenced here as a prankster and a major womanizer even though in the original film he merely juggled one rich girlfriend and one older nurse. Now he's trying (not very stringently!) to complete his internship, which was cut short by a previous drug-induced meltdown, and is dating curvy tease Eden and pert, pretty Wells, both nurses living in the spanking-new ladies dormitory. One exploit has him dolling up in drag to prove that he can invade the tightly-guarded high-rise and, if not for his body language and voice, he makes a surprisingly convincing woman. Jones (taking over James MacArthur's part) and Powers (whose arctic shrew bears little relation to the perky, appealing nurse she played in the first film) are a newly-married doctor and nurse who hit a road bump when infertility rears it's ugly head. (Powers actually has to speak the line, "Infertility? How awful!") Segal, making his official film debut though he had acted in a few previously, plays an arrogant hothead who is smoothed out temporarily by the sensitive and fragile social worker Stevens. Savalas returns (this time fully bald) as the commandeering doctor in charge. Stevens also returns as the nurse trainer who throws the baby shower to end all baby showers for one of the intern's wives. Morris shows up as the lone black intern and Patrick plays the alternately stern and soft den mother to the men. Comic interludes are intertwined with more serious fare including a horrifying (offscreen) gang rape and its aftermath in which one character goes on a rabid war path for one assailant, even though the lady was attacked by THREE men! The film couldn't be categorized as boring, though not a lot of the scenarios ring particularly true. Contrivance is on display for more than one occasion. Callan hams it up a lot of the time. Jones isn't bad actually, but faced with the unbelievably petulant Powers, he hasn't got a great deal to work with. A pre-"I Dream of Jeanne" Eden is all kiss and run, but she's nice to look at, as is Wells who would soon go on to the TV legacy of Mary Ann on "Gilligan's Island". Segal is often aggravatingly bullheaded. This was his second and more prominent medical drama following "The Young Doctors". Stevens has a difficult and unevenly written role to play, but she does it well and is extremely appealing and attractive. Mathers, who plays an ill orphan boy is the brother of Jerry Mathers from "Leave it to Beaver" and the resemblance is noticeable. Crane appears briefly as a drunken reveler at the out of control baby shower, a highlight of this film just as a New Years Eve party had been in the first. This type of multi-character, multi-issue soap opera went places that TV soaps couldn't go at the time, but has since become extinct as the standards have loosened over the years. It's a mildly entertaining time-killer, worthwhile for its noted cast, but nothing more.
Soapy goings-on at an inner city hospital is nothing extraordinary but
for any fan of 60's TV or cinema this is a bonanza. Where else will you
find I Dream of Jeannie's Barbara Eden, Maryann from Gilligan's Island,
Kojak, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. and Barney from Mission Impossible all
gathered together in one film.
The film's plot has by now been adapted hundreds of times in both film and television but the cast performs their roles effectively. Michael Callan is goofy and charming providing a much needed lightness against the heavier plot threads.
This served as the big screen bow of George Segal who is given the flashiest role of the hot headed new doctor from the neighborhood, the flaw in that scenario is that he talks with a distinct New Yorker accent and no one else does, aside from that he's does fine in the part.
The acting standout is Inger Stevens. At the time this was made she, along with Callan, was the biggest name in the cast and as social worker Nancy is the person with the most serious story line which she handles with aplomb. As always in that tragic beauty's films she is incredibly lovely.
Not great art but if you like medical dramas, soap operas or watching a collection of stars on their way up this is an enjoyable two hours.
THE NEW INTERNS is a bad sequel to the crapulous THE INTERNS of two years earlier. Shot on the absolute cheap, it is a sequel in name only, although Michael Callan and Telly Savalas are back from the original. That's not saying much, of course. This time around, we have a couple of black doctors on board, including Greg Morris of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE fame. And George Segal is in fine form as a grim-faced intern sporting way too much pancake makeup and eye liner. He has a hysterical scene where he berates a weeping social worker (Inger Stevens) whom he later woos. And his Noo Yawk accent is marvelous to behold. I tell you, the laughs just keep coming, folks. Better you should watch an episode of GENERAL HOSPITAl from the same period or 1963's SHOCK CORRIDOR, a Sam Fuller classic featuring Peter Breck faking his way into a mental hospital and living to regret it.
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