10 user 12 critic

Paper Mask (1990)

A lowly hospital orderly impersonates a recently deceased doctor and goes to work in the busy ER of a small hospital where he meets and befriends a nurse who slowly figures out his secret and helps him maintain his charade.


(novel), (screenplay)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Christine Taylor
Frederick Treves ...
Dr. Mumford
Celia Mumford
Dr. Lloyd
John Warnaby ...
Dr. Hammond
Alexandra Mathie ...
Frank Baker ...
Clive Rowe ...
Robert Oates ...
Head Porter
Dale Rapley ...
Dr. Simon Hennessey


With the papers of a young doctor who died in a deadly accident, the ambitious male nurse Matthew manages to get hired as a doctor in the casuality department of an hospital in Bristol. Nurse Christine believes it's only his nervousness, which makes him "forget" the most basic procedures. But even her help cannot prevent that his lack of qualification soon has deadly consequences... Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Trust me. I'm a doctor. See more »


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sensuality and language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 November 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A papírmaszk  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Matthew chuckles at the schoolboy who claims to have invented the quotation "The past is another country." This is actually a common misquotation of the opening line of L.P. Hartley's 1953 novel 'The Go-Between': "The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there." See more »


Alec Moran: [discovering a medical skeleton in Matthew's bed] I don't know what you see in these skinny women.
See more »


References Easy Rider (1969) See more »


I Vow to Thee My Country
Music by Gustav Holst
Arranged by Philip Rutherford
Chappell Recorded Music Library
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User Reviews

will make you wince
8 November 2007 | by See all my reviews

A nifty little psychological thriller about a fake doctor in an English hospital. His first night on the emergency room is a tautly paced piece of film-making as he knows nothing about how to help accident victims, one who has a nasty looking cut on his hand and who the "doctor" ignorantly and with frightening incompetence, grabs the wrong way. It's wincing to watch. The movie doesn't take too much advantage of the most obvious situation, but delves into the hospital culture and relations among doctors, as well his relationship with a nurse. It's the girls all along that he really wanted, and being a doctor was a sure ticket to a more lively sex life. He was an orderly before, working in a hospital laundry room, and though quite intelligent (maybe he could have actually become a doctor the old-fashioned way), has a mean and devious streak in him, that one senior physician detects right off, but that eludes others. The movie could have gone for more shock value with his encounters with patients, but instead develops his weird character living a double life.

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