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The Doctor (1991)

PG-13 | | Drama | 16 August 1991 (USA)
Jack McKee is a doctor with it all: he's successful, he's rich, extremely self centred and he has no problems.... until he is diagnosed with throat cancer. Now that he has seen medicine, ... See full summary »

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(book) (as Ed Rosenbaum M.D.), (screenplay)
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
...
...
...
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Dr. Al Cade
...
Ralph
William Marquez ...
Mr. Maris
...
Alan
Nicole Orth-Pallavicini ...
Sarah
...
Jay-Jay
Tony Fields ...
Roger
...
Michael
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Storyline

Jack McKee is a doctor with it all: he's successful, he's rich, extremely self centred and he has no problems.... until he is diagnosed with throat cancer. Now that he has seen medicine, hospitals, and doctors from a patient's perspective, he realises that there is more to being a doctor than surgery and prescriptions, and more to life than serving only his own needs. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An Uplifting Story About Finding New Meaning In Life. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 August 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le docteur  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$38,120,905 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ed Rosenbaum: as Himself. See more »

Quotes

June Ellis: I pray. I meditate. I eat chocolate. I dance.
See more »

Connections

References Superman (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Tristeza Guajira
Written by Ramon Cabrera
Performed by Guillermo Portabales
Courtesy of Gema Records
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User Reviews

 
William Hurt is excellent...
28 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film is an involving, serious and important reflection of what changes a doctor goes through when he is diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Dr. Jack McKee (William Hurt) is an arrogant self-satisfied surgeon on top of the world. He and his colleagues, Dr. Eli Blumfield (Adam Arkin) and Dr. Kaplan (very well-portrayed by Mandy Patimkin) are all successful surgeons. Some go through character transformation for the better when they learn that Dr. McKee has throat cancer.

An early scene in the film involves Dr. Abbot (great performance by Wendy Crewson as the ENT/throat surgeon who diagnoses his cancer). She is cold and clinical, and Hurt becomes angry. He tells her she is not treating her patients with any compassion or empathy. She basically responds by telling him her patients are basically an assembly line. Hurt used to be similar to Dr. Abbot, as we see in an opening scene he makes a cutting remark to a breast cancer patient.

The transformation also occurs as Hurt is waiting for an MRI. He meets June Ellis (Elizabeth Perkins) who has an advanced brain tumor. She talks with him, and tells him they got to the cancer too late. She is resigned to her death. Hurt is outraged as he notes that she was never treated appropriately for her illness, as an MRI test would have diagnosed the early stages of a cancer. She retorts that her insurance company refused to pay for an MRI.

Hurt's wife is well portrayed by Christine Lahti. She tries to help him, and he finds himself drawn to the patient, June Ellis. Hurt realizes that life is multi-faceted, and being a doctor is not the only thing that matters. Ellis teaches him to appreciate nature, they take a trip to the desert, there are some beautiful scenes and cinematography.

Hurt finally realizes he must first teach compassion and empathy. New surgical interns are trained by him and there are some amusing scenes where he makes them enact a role reversal, and put on hospital gowns; they are to be diagnosed with fictional illness and identify with the patients. My brother is a surgeon and went through similar training.

Overall an excellent and moving film not to be missed. Highly recommended. 9/10


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