Surgical Theatre
1 January 2021
A serious film with an appropriate cast that fails to live up to its initial promise, though it does have a certain charm. Tony Britton is a promising young surgeon who becomes engaged to the senior surgeon's daughter (the young Vanessa Redgrave giving a slightly precious performance, though one I quite enjoyed.) Retrospective interest is added by the manners of the period, not least hospital staff who ceaselessly smoke everywhere with carefree abandon. Gradually though the story evolves into two strands, neither very persuasive. The first details Britton's involvement with a drug-addicted Polish colleague which lands him in serious trouble and in which he is then portrayed as becoming virtuous and altruistic to an improbable degree. The second, regarding the senior surgeon's deep concerns about his junior, played by the talented Niall MacGinnis (whom as well as being a first-rate character actor was also a qualified physician), is opaque as nothing is shown to justify his fears, though it looks as if we are intended to sympathise with them.
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