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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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Writers:

(book) (as Ed Rosenbaum M.D.), (screenplay)
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3 nominations. See more awards »
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A new speech teacher at a school for the deaf falls in love with the janitor, a deaf woman speechless by choice.

Director: Randa Haines
Stars: William Hurt, Marlee Matlin, Piper Laurie
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Cast

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

He was a doctor who thought he knew it all... until he became a patient. 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

Producer Scott Mosier's favorite movie. See more »

Quotes

June Ellis: [suffering from an inoperable brain tumor] My tumor, I see it giving me certain freedoms I never allowed myself.
Dr. Jack MacKee: Yeah, like being incredibly hostile?
June Ellis: Like being honest and expecting people around me to do the same.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ken Adam: Designing Bond (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Big Girls Don't Cry
Written by Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe
Performed by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
Courtesy of Bob Gaudio and Frankie Valli
dba The Four Seasons Partnership
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User Reviews

Well worth the price of a box of hankies.
1 March 1999 | by (Lucas Buck, NC) – See all my reviews

It's not unusual in Hollywood for 2 studios to be working on similar projects at the same time. One obvious example might be Milos Forman's beautiful Valmont, and Stephen Frear's certainly adequate Dangerous Liaisons. The latter featured a ‘bigger' cast by American standards, and did better business, not surprisingly.

About the same time as Randa Haines' beautiful, ‘The Doctor', with William Hurt was delivered, so was Mike Nichols ‘Regarding Henry', starring Harrison Ford. Again, the latter did bigger business, and as a result I feel this film was largely overlooked.

On first look, The Doctor seems a standard tale: icy, successful surgeon finds out what medicine is really like when the tables are turned and he is diagnosed with throat cancer. His redemptive arc is somewhat predictable, as he reconnects with family, redefines his medical practice, and restructures his relationship with his similarly icy partners.

But it's under these, predictable circumstances that a true craftsman like Ms. Haines can make the ordinary extraordinary. The film is genuinely heartfelt and touching, resisting at every turn any self-indulgence, or the gratuitous pulling at heartstrings, relying on a quiet, confidence, a softer emotion instead.

Not that it's not weepy at times.

Hurt has never been better in the title role. Elizabeth Perkins as his soul-mate cancer victim is equally superb.


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