12 user 3 critic

Doctor in Distress (1963)

Dr. Simon Sparrow's (Sir Dirk Bogarde's) love life improves dramatically when the lovely Delia Mallory (Samantha Eggar) is brought into casualty with a sprained ankle. She's relieved at the... See full summary »


Ralph Thomas


Nicholas Phipps (screenplay), Ronald Scott Thorn (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Dirk Bogarde ... Dr. Simon Sparrow
James Robertson Justice ... Sir Lancelot Spratt
Samantha Eggar ... Delia Mallory
Barbara Murray ... Iris Marchant - Physiotherapist
Mylène Demongeot ... Sonia / Helga Stronberg (as Mylene Demongeot)
Donald Houston ... Maj. Tommy Ffrench
Jessie Evans Jessie Evans ... Mrs. Parry
Ann Lynn ... Mrs. Whittaker
Leo McKern ... Harry Heilbronn
Rodney Cardiff Rodney Cardiff ... Student Doctor
Dennis Price ... Dr. Blacker
Fenella Fielding ... Passenger on Train
Jill Adams ... Genevieve
Paul Whitsun-Jones Paul Whitsun-Jones ... Grimes
Michael Flanders Michael Flanders ... Bradby


Dr. Simon Sparrow's (Sir Dirk Bogarde's) love life improves dramatically when the lovely Delia Mallory (Samantha Eggar) is brought into casualty with a sprained ankle. She's relieved at the diagnosis, as she is a model, and is as attracted to Sparrow as he is to her. Sparrow finds himself treating Sir Lancelot Spratt (James Robertson Justice), who has taken to sleep-walking. He has also quite suddenly lost his gruff manner, and is being quite nice to everyone. Sparrow quickly diagnoses Spratt's condition: he's fallen in love. The object of his affection is Physiotherapist Iris Merchant (Barbara Murray). Sparrow urges him on, but she also has another suitor in the form of Major Tommy Ffrench (Donald Houston). Spratt tries to hire a private detective to follow her, but when that doesn't work out, he takes to following her. Written by garykmcd

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It's that incurable 'DOCTOR' team in their NEWESTand SAUCIEST! [UK] See more »




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Did You Know?


The car driven by Samantha Eggar at the end of the film is a Maserati Sebring See more »


At c.89 minutes Doctor Sparrow says "What!" but his lips mouth something completely different. See more »


Follows Doctor in Love (1960) See more »

User Reviews

Bland and inoffensive enough for a wet Sunday afternoon stuff but will not do much beyond that
29 August 2006 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

During a stone-laying ceremony for a new wing to the hospital, Sir Lancelot Spratt takes a fall and ends up with a slipped disk making him a patient in his own hospital. Unsurprisingly for such an old curmudgeon, Spratt is as difficult a patient as he is a surgeon and is determined to make life difficult for anyone daring to treat him. However when he is treated by physiotherapist Delia Mallory, he finds himself cured and a tad smitten by her. When he starts sleep-walking he turns to Dr Sparrow, who diagnoses a psychosomatic cause and advises Spratt to turn to Mallory for his cure!

I've never been that bothered by the Doctor series simply because they are a gentle affair that fall below the Carry On series in regards laughs and tone. Here the film focuses on Spratt rather than the usual character Sparrow. The latter is given a rather dull subplot while occasionally getting him to stick his head in with Spratt to keep some vague connection to the main story. This approach is good for those that like the character Spratt, which includes me because I have always found his gruff character a rather nice distraction from the bland humour that it mostly churns out. Although it is nothing special, this does make it quite a light and enjoyable film. The plot is contrived and generally dull but it does have a matinée feel to it that may satisfy some viewers.

Justice naturally dominates the film thanks to the material. He doesn't do anything new or exciting but having a bit of variation to his character seemed to give him something to work with. Bogarde sort of drifts around the edge of the film on his way out. He still has the same touch in his scenes as he always had in the series but for me personally that doesn't mean a great deal. Support is generally wasted from the few familiar faces there are and none of them (including the main female cast members) made enough of an impression on me to even stick in my memory even as far as this paragraph.

Overall this is a light matinée affair that has no real laughs, plot or interest. However this seems to be its intension and, if you like the light, slightly comic touch of the series then I see no reason why you will not like this. For most viewers though I imagine it will be frothy to the pointless of boredom and light to the point of not having a point. Wet Sunday afternoon stuff but will not do much beyond that.

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Release Date:

2 August 1963 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Consultório Indiscreto See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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