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The House of God (1984)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 153 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 2 critic

Follow a group of interns in a large teaching hospital. When Jo, Chief Resident, has a breakdown the interns are reluctantly placed under the tutelage of the senior resident known as The ... See full summary »



(based on the novel by) (as Samuel Shem M.D.) , (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Fats (The Fatman)
Michael Sacks ...
Richard Brestoff ...
Kathryn Dowling ...


Follow a group of interns in a large teaching hospital. When Jo, Chief Resident, has a breakdown the interns are reluctantly placed under the tutelage of the senior resident known as The Fatman. Like "M*A*S*H," "The Hospital" and "St. Elsewhere" (which is drawn from this story) this film is closer to the truth than the public wants to know. Written by Raymond Clay <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Every year in July, 6,000 young Men and Women leave the comfort and safety of medical school confident in the knowledge that they will become interns in the greatest system of medical care in the History of the universe. Some actually survive.


Comedy | Drama



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Did You Know?


Never released theatrically; it debuted on cable TV. See more »


The Fat Man refers to a bed position where the head of the bed is lower than the foot as "the Hindenberg." The proper term for this bed position is "Trendelenberg." See more »

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User Reviews

Abysmal adaptation of a must-read, classic book
1 April 2012 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

Samuel Shem's novel "The House of God" is a classic in the world of medicine, a must-read for all new doctors, a biting satire that is hilarious and horrifying, highlighting in very stark terms how dehumanizing medical training can be, both for the patients and the doctors themselves. It is a work of sheer brilliance.

The movie version is none of those things.

It is never easy to adapt a novel into a movie, especially when the novel itself is a classic. However, the filmmakers here did not even try. Instead of a story, what we have here is a disjointed series of events with no connecting threads. This movie doesn't tell a story at all. It references a few key scenes from the novel to show that it was really based on it, but then throws in many, many new scenes that do nothing to contribute to the story or the richness of the film's message.

The message of the novel is entirely lost in this film, there is not even a single moment worth laughing with or laughing at, and there isn't even a story here worth following.

There could not possibly be a starker contrast between the ingenuity of the original novel and the sheer banality of this film. It is truly awful.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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