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The Good Doctor Bodkin-Adams (1986)

The story of an Irish doctor in an English seaside town in the 1950s who was accused of murdering many of his elderly patients.



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Credited cast:
Mrs. Langton-Jones
Venetia Barrett ...
Sister Mason-Ellis
Supt. Hannam
Rosalind Knight ...
Nurse Stronach
Frederick Treves ...
Dr. Douthwaite
James Villiers ...
Sir Reginald Manningham-Buller
John Bodkin-Adams


The story of an Irish doctor in an English seaside town in the 1950s who was accused of murdering many of his elderly patients.

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Release Date:

12 September 1986 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Death by Prescription  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


A rare excursion into television script-writing for comic novelist Richard Gordon - and a very different kind of doctor story from "Doctor In The House" and the other medical comedies which had made him famous in the 1950s. See more »

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User Reviews

a murderer, a euthanist, or just a bad doctor? disappointing, and a bit confusing
20 February 2005 | by (Upstate New York) – See all my reviews

Based on a true story, in 1957 in the UK, Dr. John Bodkin Adams treats primarily elderly female patients. He accepts lower pay if his patients remember him in their wills. Many of them do, and he gets a sports car among other things. In most cases, he's administering large doses of morphine. He's sloppy when it comes to records

About halfway through the movie, he's put on trial for murder, and it does seem he's guilty. However, the nurses' recollections contradict some record books that have been found, and surprisingly things seem to sway in the Doctor's favor. Something that really surprised me was that after the defense rested, the judge gave rather lengthy comments to the jury giving his take on many aspects of the case. I would think in the US those sorts of comments made to the jury by a judge would be illegal, perhaps it's different in the UK.

I found this movie a bit disappointing particularly since I didn't understand how things changed around in the trial so much. But evidently the truth of the true story isn't certain either, and the movie perhaps just reflects that?

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