(There may be some Spoilers) Growing up in the Jewish ghetto on the lower East Side of Manhattan Felix Kauber, Ricardo Cortez, always wanted to help those less fortunate them himself which drove him to go into medical school and become a doctor. Working at the lower East Side Cherry Street Clinic Felix was happy helping the people in the area who couldn't afford to pay a family doctor or wait hours on end at the local hospital emergency ward for treatment which was no where up to the high standards that Felix provided for them free of charge.
Happy with his lot in life Felix's life begins to change for the worse when his greedy younger brother Magnus,Noal Maison, persuades their mom Mrs. Hanna Klauber, Anna Appal, to somewhat reluctantly tell Felix that he was throwing away his future as a high paid Park Avenue doctor, treating neurotic but very rich society women, by giving his service to people who were more or less charity cases.
It takes a while for Felix to change his lifestyle and doctors office, from downtrodden Cherry Street to rich and swanky Park Avenue, feeling rightly at first that his roots and friends that needed him most were in that poor to middle-class community. Finally taking his mom's and brothers advice Felix moves up in the world of medicine, and list of high class patients, becoming one of the foremost and respected surgeons in New York. But what he doesn't know until it's almost too late is that he traded in his humanity as well as his soul for a pot of porridge; like Esau the twin brother of Jacob traded his birthright in the bible.
Very effective and ahead of it's time early talkie about a Jewish family without the usual racial and ethnic stereotype. We even have Felix have a girlfriend the sweet and caring braille teacher Jessica, Irene Dunne, who seems to be non-Jewish, Jessica looks and acts like she's Irish, with his very Jewish parents not making a point of it which you would have expected in a very Jewish movie like "Symphony for Six Million".
Felix's father Mayer, Gregory Ratoff, as well as his mother Hanna and girlfriend Jessica become more and more distant from Filex as he becomes part of the upper crust of high society without even him realizing. When Felix wasn't able to attend to young Georgie, a boy from then ghetto, who died on the operating table that Felix finally realized that eh had gone astray; Georgie died with the words Felix on his lips. Felix got the news of Georgie's death from Jessica whom he at first, until he realized that it was her, didn't want to see her at his office because she didn't have a doctor's appointment.
Felix trying to keep his past in the Lower East Side behind him has it catch up with Felix big-time when his father Meyer suffers a stroke at a party given by Fielx's sister and her husband as well as their new born son. Filex being the only one who could remove the deadly tumor from his fathers brain suddenly freezes-up and in the ensuing operation Mayer dies on the operating table. It has to be said that Felix did the best he, or any other brain surgeon, could have but still held himself responsible for his fathers Meyer Klauber's death.
Broken in both mind and body Felix mindlessly roams the streets of New York in a haze not knowing if he'll ever be able to hold a scalpel in his hands again and goes into a deep depression where he just about gave up any hope or future from himself. It's when Felix got the word that his girlfriend Jessica is to be operated on, for the removable a spine tumor, that the old Felix came back. The attending physician Dr. Schiffen,John S. Polis, feeling that Felix is a much better surgeon then he'll ever be allows Felix to operate on Jessica. A bit rusty and out of form Felix never the less ends up saving Jessica in a miraculous spine operation thus saving both her life and redeeming his soul and his lifelong concern for the city's underprivileged.
Nowhere as corny as you would expect it to be with a solid performance by Ricardo Cortez, who's Jewish himself, as the humble and caring Jewish doctor Felix Klauber. Felix learned in the end what he always believed, until he was corrupted by a fistful of shekels. Felix learned that being a physician and surgeon is to live by the rule that he always had deeply etched in both his heart and soul and upheld until greed and high society momentary blinded him of it: "I dedicate these two hands..That the lame may walk, the halt be strong..Lifting up the needy; comforting the dying. This is my oath in the Temple of Healing".
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