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Husband and wife Americans Dr. Eugene and Mrs. Helen Ferguson - he a renowned neurosurgeon - are traveling through Latin America for a vacation. When they make the decision to return to New York earlier than expected, they find they are being detained by the military in the country they are in. Ultimately, they learn the reason is that President Raoul Farrago, the tyrannical military dictator of the country, has been diagnosed with a brain tumor and will die without an operation to remove it, Farrago choosing Gene as the doctor to lead the surgical team. Because of the volatile politics within the country and for his own safety as revolutionary forces would like to see him dead, Farrago refuses to go to a hospital for the operation, instead it to be done at his home. Despite not particularly liking Farrago or his ways, Gene agrees purely in his oath as a doctor. However, he ends up being caught in the middle between Farrago/his brutal regime and the revolutionaries, each side who is ...Written by
The original story was about the doctor's daughter getting kidnapped and there was no wife. However, once MGM had Cary Grant cast it insisted on a re-write so that Grant would have a love interest. See more »
The doctor announces his fee is ten percent of the patient's income, but does not say whether this means monthly, annual or some other period. See more »
Cary Grant stars as a famous neurosurgeon who is vacationing in a South American country with his new bride. The pair are subject to a "friendly abduction" when the current president of that country, Raoul Farrago (Jose Ferrer), learns of his presence. You see, the president has a brain tumor, and due to the fact that his country is on the verge of civil war, he dares not travel to another country for the operation he needs to save his life.
Farrago is a tyrant who claims that he must be so because democracy would never work in his country. His people are illiterate children, he says, and wouldn't know what to do with freedom if they had it. However, being a national "father image" doesn't prevent the president from stealing everything in the country that isn't nailed down. The president's wife does a great job of emulating Evita Peron before much was really known about her. Then there is Gilbert Roland as the leader of the opposition. He wants to make his people free, as long as he gets to be the new dictator. Roland does a great job with this role. How far he has progressed here since his early days as an actor at the dawn of sound.
So the question is - does Grant owe a service to the dictator by saving his life with a delicate operation only so that patient can go on being a killer and a thief, or would the death of this tyrant better serve mankind? If you throw the safety of his wife into the balance - what decision does the doctor make?
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