11 user 1 critic

The Medicine Man (1930)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Romance | 15 June 1930 (USA)
The son and daughter of an abusive shopkeeper turn to a medicine show salesman for help.


Scott Pembroke


Ladye Horton (screenplay), Elliott Lester (play) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview:
Jack Benny ... Dr. John Harvey
Betty Bronson ... Mamie Goltz
E. Alyn Warren ... Goltz (as E. Allyn Warren)
Eva Novak ... Hulda
Billy Butts ... Buddy
Adolph Milar Adolph Milar ... Peter
George E. Stone ... Steve (as Georgie Stone)
Tom Dugan ... Charley (as Tommy Dugan)
Vadim Uraneff Vadim Uraneff ... Gus
Caroline Rankin ... Hattie
Dorothea Wolbert ... Sister Wilson


Mamie and Buddy, the son and daughter of a cruel, abusive shopkeeper, are excited when Dr. Harvey's medicine show comes to town. But when they slip away at night to watch the show, their father finds out and punishes them severely. When the angry father then decides to force Mamie to marry against her will, she turns to Dr. Harvey for help. Meanwhile, two of the doctor's associates have been playing a confidence game, and have attracted the attention of the local sheriff. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


Not Rated

Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented telecast took place in Chicago Saunday 18 December 1949 on WBKB (Channel 4). See more »

User Reviews

This very early Jack Benny movie is nothing like you'd expect from this comedian.
30 July 2011 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

At the onset, this film has two huge strikes against it. First, it's a very early talkie and most films from this time suffered from very poor sound quality. And, compared to the average film of the time, it's even worse. Second, it's in the public domain—so there's no incentive for anyone to do anything to try to fix this sound problem. So, if you do try to watch it, be prepared. But, if you do it's a pretty good film.

The movie begins with a young lady and her brother living with a VERY abusive father. In fact, it's a bit shocking to see such a brutal depiction of child abuse. However, things look a bit brighter when a medicine show arrives in town, as the boss (Benny) is quite charming and might just be the young lady's ticket away from the horrid father. Tune in to see exactly what happens next.

While Jack Benny will always be remembered as a comedian, I am not really sure if I'd call this a comedy. This is not a bad thing, as the film worked pretty well as a light drama—plus in many of Benny's early films the humor is very forced. Here, however, the film is story-driven and this worked pretty well overall. So, if you are looking for a comedy—look a bit further. But if you are looking for a good movie—without laughs, then look no further.

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Release Date:

15 June 1930 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tiffany Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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