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House Calls (1978)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Romance  -  15 March 1978 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,250 users  
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Charley is a surgeon who's recently lost his wife; he embarks on a tragicomic romantic quest with one woman after another until he meets up with Ann, a singular woman, closer to his own age... See full summary »

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Title: House Calls (1978)

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House Calls (1979–1982)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dr. Charley Nichols
...
Ann Atkinson
...
Dr. Amos Willoughby
...
Dr. Norman Solomon
...
Ellen Grady
...
Irwin Owett
...
Phil Pogostin
Anthony Holland ...
TV moderator
Reva Rose ...
Mrs. de Voto
Sandra Kerns ...
Lani Mason
...
Quinn
Jane Connell ...
Mrs. Conway
Lloyd Gough ...
Harry Grady
...
Dr. O'Brien
William J. Fiore ...
Dr. Sloan
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Storyline

Charley is a surgeon who's recently lost his wife; he embarks on a tragicomic romantic quest with one woman after another until he meets up with Ann, a singular woman, closer to his own age, who immediately and unexpectedly captures his heart. Written by Dan Hartung <dhartung@mcs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

enema | based on novel | See All (2) »

Taglines:

More than a touch of comedy. Just what the doctor ordered.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

15 March 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alegrías de un viudo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the central character Dr. Charley Nichols (played by Walter Matthau) was changed to Dr. Charley Michaels for the TV sitcom series House Calls (1979) that this film spurred, it ran for fifty-nine episodes between 1979 and 1982. See more »

Quotes

Ann Atkinson: Look, I don't care if a man picks his teeth in public, if he has a ring around his collar, he can even vote the straight Republican ticket. But if he loves me and is faithful to me then I will go through hell for him!
See more »

Connections

Spin-off House Calls (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

On the sunny side of the street
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Performed by Frankie Laine
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Light Tracy-Hepburn-Style Romp Takes Well-Aimed Jabs at Greedy Doctors
11 August 2006 | by (San Francisco, CA, USA) – See all my reviews

I remember seeing this 1978 comedy at one of the bargain matinees I took in when I was looking for a study break from my college courses. Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson do some effective Tracy-Hepburn-style thrusting-and-parrying in this featherweight romp directed by the reliable Howard Zieff (he did "Private Benjamin") about a newly widowed doctor's aggressive re-entry into the dating game. It all breezes by quickly primarily thanks to the clever script by veteran screenwriter Julius J. Epstein ("Casablanca") along with Alan Mandel, Max Shulman and future director Charles Shyer.

Dr. Charley Nichols has just come back from Hawaii after his wife's death. Upon his return, he becomes aware that he is instant catnip to any and all the single women in LA. He works in a hospital run by an increasingly senile chief-of-staff, Amos Willoughby, whom Charley has to pacify to keep his residency. Enter Ann Atkinson, a transplanted Englishwoman who bakes cheesecakes for a living and has certain concrete opinions about the medical profession, which she expresses freely on a PBS talk show. Of course, Charley is on the show's discussion panel, and sparks, as they say, fly. This leads to the standard complications about how serious Charley is willing to become about Ann. At the same time, the hospital has to deal with a potential wrongful death lawsuit from the widow of a rich baseball team owner who died at the hospital under Willoughby's careless supervision.

It's just refreshing to see such a mature yet bracing love story between two characters inhabited by actors who deliver lines with the scalpel-wielding skill of surgeons. Matthau is his usual 1970's curmudgeonly swinger and quite a sight waddling with his gangly arms held akimbo in his power walk. Away from her heavy, award-winning Elizabethan roles, Jackson is crisply sardonic and charmingly vulnerable as the feisty Ann, who thinks all doctors should aspire to be Albert Schweitzer. Art Carney plays Willoughby with predictable bluster, while Richard Benjamin provides amiable support as Charley's colleague, Dr. Solomon. It's all very compact with a few nice jabs at the greed within the medical profession. There are no extras on the 2005 DVD.


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