This MGM short, part of John Nesbitt's Passing Parade series, tells the story of Dr. Ephraim McDowell. In Danville, Kentucky in 1809 McDowell wanted to perform surgery on a woman, Jane ...
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This MGM short, part of John Nesbitt's Passing Parade series, tells the story of Dr. Ephraim McDowell. In Danville, Kentucky in 1809 McDowell wanted to perform surgery on a woman, Jane Crawford, with a large tumor. He was threatened with being thrown out of the medical profession if he operated, something that did not exist at the time. The townspeople felt opening up a living human being was against the will of God and were quite prepared to stop him by force if need be. The operation however was a success and surgery became acceptable. Written by
I suppose these shorts were included in the movie theaters as fillers. They tended to be a bit simplistic, but told good stories. In this one, the doc sits on his front porch. He is not respected because he has no dirt under his nails. He reads books and the locals think he is snobbish and arrogant. They also believe that a doctor really only have bandages wounds and gives out pills. When it comes to surgery, it's the religious community that comes in to call him a devil. One person dies because of their unwillingness to let him do a simple surgery. When a man's wife becomes I'll, the doctor knows he can help, but he can only do so at the risk of his life. It is the early 1800's although it appears to be more like a mid to late saga of the Old West. The townspeople are shown to be ignorant rubes with a mean spiritedness that was probably a bit overstated. Still, it's an entertaining few minutes.
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