Four Star Playhouse: Season 4, Episode 38

Distinguished Service (5 Jul. 1956)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama
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More interested in his career than in his duty as a physician, a noted doctor intentionally misdiagnoses a patient in an Asian city so he could get back to the U.S. and accept a major award... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
Dr. Severson
Dorothy Green ...
Ellen
Harry Bartell ...
Dr. Smith
Ray Walker ...
Director
Keith Richards ...
Writer
Tim Graham ...
Reporter
Gayle Kellogg ...
Photographer
Bruce Lester ...
1st Club Member
Leslie Denison ...
2nd Club Member
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Storyline

More interested in his career than in his duty as a physician, a noted doctor intentionally misdiagnoses a patient in an Asian city so he could get back to the U.S. and accept a major award. When his wife realizes that he abandoned a town needing his help to fight a Plague outbreak, she demands a divorce. Written by Jay Phelps <jaynashvil@aol.com>

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Comedy | Drama

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5 July 1956 (USA)  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Boyer takes a bit of a stretch.
6 March 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is the second episode of "Four Star Playhouse" I've seen today where Charles Boyer starred as a less than likable guy. I have to respect him for this, as I assume many respected stars would rather just play parts intended as nice guys and not want to take the risk of playing nasty characters.

Boyer stars as Dr. Seversin—one of the most honored and respected doctors in the world. He's about to receive a top award in his field and he's been appointed head of a very prestigious hospital—thing seem like they are only going up for the man. However, just as he's about to be given the award, his wife announces she's leaving him! Exactly why is explained through a flashback from just a few days ago.

When the doctor and his wife were in Southeast Asia, a doctor working for the public health service, Dr. Smith, comes to see Seversin. It seems the two went to medical school together but really didn't know each other. During the evening, Smith is called away on a case that might be the Bubonic Plague. When Seversin is asked for his opinion, he blows off the case—and hastily beats a retreat to the safety and comfort of his hotel. There, the wife learns what he's done—and it really was a case of plague! What's next? See for yourself—it's worth it.

The show is exceptionally well written—just like most episodes of the series. It's almost like a movie condensed into less than 30 minutes and it packs a great emotional punch.


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