12 user 4 critic

Doctor at Large (1957)

Not Rated | | Comedy | 5 April 1957 (UK)
Dr. Simon Sparrow (Dirk Bogarde) graduates and sets out into the world. Hilarious internships with a miserly doctor and his young wife, a country doctor paid in kind not cash, and a quack ... See full summary »


Ralph Thomas


Richard Gordon (novel), Nicholas Phipps (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Dirk Bogarde ... Dr. Simon Sparrow
Muriel Pavlow ... Dr. Joy Gibson
Donald Sinden ... Dr. Tony Benskin
James Robertson Justice ... Sir Lancelot Spratt
Shirley Eaton ... Nurse Nan McPherson
Derek Farr ... Dr. Potter-Shine
Michael Medwin ... Dr. Charles Bingham
Martin Benson ... Maharajah of Rhanda
John Chandos John Chandos ... O'Malley
Edward Chapman ... Wilkins
George Coulouris ... Pascoe
Judith Furse ... Mrs. Digby - Innkeeper
Gladys Henson Gladys Henson ... Mrs. Wilkins
Anne Heywood ... Emerald
Ernest Jay Ernest Jay ... Charles Hopcroft


Dr. Simon Sparrow (Dirk Bogarde) graduates and sets out into the world. Hilarious internships with a miserly doctor and his young wife, a country doctor paid in kind not cash, and a quack specializing in rich neurotic women. He applies for a surgery position at a hospital, insults the senior surgeon, then rescues one of the hospital's Governors and finally gets his place on the staff. Written by Derek Picken <dpicken@email.msn.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HE'S BACK AGAIN...to keep you in stitches See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Ernest Jay (Charles Hopcroft) died before release. See more »


When Sparrow takes the letter from Sir Lancelot out of its envelope, the letter is folded into four, yet when he takes it out of his coat pocket when in the pub, it is folded in three. See more »


O'Malley: What do you know about urea?
Dr. Tony Benskin: Do you mean the chemical substance or my lug-hole?
See more »


Followed by Doctor in Distress (1963) See more »

User Reviews

Bored matinee idol
17 June 2020 | by GoingbeggingSee all my reviews

'At large' turns out to be a polite term for 'out of work' - but never for long, in the orderly Fifties, when there would always be another job just round the corner. This makes a good basis for a picaresque tour of medical surgeries from the highest to the humblest, as the Dirk Bogarde character is repeatedly told to take his talents elsewhere.

It comes at the cost of a steady, developing narrative, but it provides opportunities for an exceptionally large cast of popular performers. Donald Sinden gets plenty of exposure as an old-style moustachioed seducer, Michael Medwin as the governor's blue-eyed boy, Shirley Eaton as every man's fantasy of a blonde nurse, Dandy Nichols as the nuisance patient who just wants yet another repeat prescription. A most watchable duo are Lionel Jeffries as the weird-looking head of a run-down surgery in the North, and his playful blonde wife acted by Dilys Laye - the only time I've seen her outside the Carry Ons, where she's always made-up to look goofy, but genuinely glamorous here. James Robertson Justice simply acts himself, though that quarterdeck roar is a bit too Fifties to stomach now. And I can't think why they wheeled-on the eccentric Edwardian leftover A.E. Matthews, whose talent never seemed to me to compensate for the trouble he always caused on-set. But if you know who to look out for, you may catch the author of the Doctor books, Richard Gordon, doing his few seconds' walk-on, à la Hitchcock.

This is not rated as the best of the series, the dialogue being pretty clichéd, and the comic sub-plots mostly silly (especially the piece of business over a rich patient leaving her fortune to the Donald Sinden character), and we now know that Bogarde was getting bored with just doing his matinee-idol every time. But his career was just about to take some interesting turns...

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Release Date:

5 April 1957 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Doctor at Large See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75: 1
See full technical specs »

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