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Doctor in Trouble (1970)

R | | Comedy | 1972 (USA)
Dr. Tony Burke (Leslie Phillips) is in love with Ophelia O'Brien (Angela Scoular), but doesn't have time to propose to her as she leaves for a cruise to the Mediterranean. Also, on-board ... See full summary »


Ralph Thomas


Jack Davies (screenplay), Richard Gordon (novel)


Cast overview, first billed only:
Leslie Phillips ... Dr. Tony Burke
Harry Secombe ... Llewellyn Wendover
James Robertson Justice ... Sir Lancelot Spratt
Angela Scoular ... Ophelia O'Brien
Irene Handl ... Mrs. Dailey
Simon Dee Simon Dee ... Basil Beauchamp
Robert Morley ... Captain George Spratt
Freddie Jones ... Master-at-Arms
Joan Sims ... Russian Captain
John Le Mesurier ... Purser (as John le Mesurier)
Graham Stark ... Satterjee
Janet Mahoney Janet Mahoney ... Dawn Dailey
Graham Chapman ... Roddy
Jacki Piper ... Cockney Girl
Fred Emney ... Father
Learn more

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Dr. Tony Burke (Leslie Phillips) is in love with Ophelia O'Brien (Angela Scoular), but doesn't have time to propose to her as she leaves for a cruise to the Mediterranean. Also, on-board the cruise ship is an old school chum of Burke's who plays "Dr. Dare" on a very popular television series, and to whom women flock. Burke decides to join the cruise, but is first apprehended as a stowaway, and then becomes the Captain's steward. For Burke, trying to talk to Ophelia is a hard enough task, but he meets some funny characters on-board, such as a pools winner, and a very stubborn Captain. Written by Graeme Huggan <hia95gh@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In This Hospital The Nurses Are Contagious. The Doctors Have Caught Three Already! See more »




R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Leslie Phillips (Dr. Tony Burke) married Angela Scoular (Ophelia O'Brien) in 1982, a year after his first wife, Penelope Bartley, died. See more »

Alternate Versions

To avoid an 'X' certificate the original UK cinema version was cut by the BBFC to remove some nudity and shots of a topless Angela Scoular. See more »


Follows Doctor in the House (1954) See more »

User Reviews

The weakest of the Leslie Phillips 1970s farces is still very enjoyable...
24 August 2017 | by manchester_england2004See all my reviews

Leslie Phillips made a number of bedroom farces in the 1970s. Aside from this film he also starred in NOT NOW DARLING, DON'T JUST LIE THERE, SAY SOMETHING, Spanish FLY and NOT NOW COMRADE. DOCTOR IN TROUBLE is more a vehicle for Phillips to do his "thing" rather than a true entry in the DOCTOR film series. It's also the weakest of the five Phillips farces in my opinion, but still very enjoyable nonetheless.

The plot is simple - a doctor finds out the woman he's in love with is going away on a cruise. He wants to propose to her so he decides to go aboard the ship and ends up being a stowaway, hunted down by the crew. While Phillips is the star of the film, the film itself focuses much of the time on the antics of the other passengers of the ship. This isn't a bad thing, though, since Harry Secombe especially is very funny in the film. But he's enjoyable to watch nonetheless and fans of British humour will find his mishaps funny.

Phillips is on form in this film. I wouldn't say he was at his best and most energetic, like in NOT NOW DARLING and DON'T JUST LIE THERE, SAY SOMETHING. His caddish on screen persona is less exploited in this film than in those for one thing. Secondly, this film plays out more like a CARRY ON film rather than a stage farce, so lacks the usual clothes coming off, mistaken identities and so on to quite an extent. Finally, his hiding out from the crew and running away when looks like getting caught, gets a bit repetitive after a while.

Janet Mahoney is fun to watch as a stripper who hooks up with Harry Secombe (thinking he has recently come into a fortune). The striptease scene is also the best scene in the film, with a wonderfully catchy stripper theme composed by Eric Rogers, playing in the background. I could listen to that theme all day; it's that catchy. It was later re-used in CARRY ON BEHIND and CARRY ON EMMANNUELLE.

There are good supporting roles played by Irene Handl, Freddie Jones, John Le Mesurier and others. Sadly, James Robertson Justice appears in only scene, with most of his role being played by Robert Morley, who plays his on screen brother. Morley is very good as the captain of the ship and his exchanges with Secombe are very funny and provide much of the delight of this film's very British humour. Graham Chapman also turns up playing a comic gay character.

There really isn't much more to say. For fans of the DOCTOR series, I recommend it only if you can accept that this is more of a Leslie Phillips film rather than a true DOCTOR film. For fans of Leslie Phillips or the CARRY ON films, it's definitely worth at least one viewing.

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Release Date:

1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Doktor i høy sjø See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

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