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Doctors' Wives (1971)

R | | Drama | 12 March 1971 (France)
Dysfunctional marriages of several unhappy rich doctors who work at a private clinic and their neglected wives who deal with their own unhappiness in various ways enter crisis mode when one of them murders his cheating wife.


George Schaefer


Frank Slaughter (novel) (as Frank G. Slaughter), Daniel Taradash (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dyan Cannon ... Lorrie Dellman
Richard Crenna ... Dr. Peter Brennan
Gene Hackman ... Dr. Dave Randolph
Carroll O'Connor ... Dr. Joe Gray
Rachel Roberts ... Della Randolph
Janice Rule ... Amy Brennan
Diana Sands ... Helen Straughn
Cara Williams ... Maggie Gray
Richard Anderson ... Dist. Atty. Douglas
Ralph Bellamy ... Jake Porter
John Colicos ... Dr. Mort Dellman
George Gaynes ... Paul McGill
Marian McCargo ... Elaine McGill
Scott Brady ... Sgt. Malloy
Kristina Holland Kristina Holland ... Sybil Carter


Dysfunctional marriages of several unhappy rich doctors who work at a private clinic and their neglected wives who deal with their own unhappiness in various ways enter crisis mode when one of them murders his cheating wife.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


. . . And Forgive Them Their Trespasses. See more »




R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

12 March 1971 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Frauen der Ärzte See more »

Filming Locations:

Costa Mesa, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Frankovich Productions See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Doctors' Wives (1971) premiered in the 40th Anniversary year of the unrelated same-titled picture Doctors' Wives (1931) which had debuted in 1931 whereas Doctors' Wives (1971) debuted in 1971. However, there are thematic similarities relating to adultery and infidelity relating to both pictures. Moreover, each movie had a significant "Frank" behind each film: Doctors' Wives (1931) was directed by Frank Borzage whilst Doctors' Wives (1971) was based on a novel by Frank Slaughter. See more »


The Costume Ball
Sung by Cass Elliot (as Mama Cass Elliot)
Lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Music by Elmer Bernstein
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User Reviews

Were the '70s ever this bad?
14 April 2011 | by nomorefogSee all my reviews

I remember the advertising line for this film – 'Doctors Wives have everything…except husbands.' You'll never forget it, just like the film. The nausea lingers on. This is one of a number of films that Dyan Cannon made to cash in on the success of 'Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice'. Others included 'The Burglars', 'The Love Machine' and 'The Anderson Tapes', but this is surely the least of them. I have to announce that "Doctors Wives' has no redeeming features, and is actually worse than 'The Love Machine'(if such a thing is possible although apart from Cannon being in both the two are actually not connected.). The plot is incoherent and even when you can understand what's going on, it makes you want to, well…go back to sleep because you couldn't understand what was going on before, and that was what made you go to sleep in the first place. (I hope I haven't lost you.) Is there any reason why anybody should give a toss about these rich, upper class, well groomed nitwits who go around sleeping with each other's husbands, and then cry about it when they're dumb enough to get caught? I think I'd rather torture myself with daytime television on an endless tape loop (come back Oprah, all is forgiven).

Some notables in the cast should be mentioned here, in case they have, for the sake of their careers, left this woeful little number off their CVs. We have Gene Hackman, Richard Crenna Janice Rule and Rachel Roberts (a distinguished British stage actress and how did she ever get involved in this particular project?) These are the only participants I am cruel enough (or is it stupid enough), to remember as members of the cast, either playing total boneheads who have no idea what their wives are doing behind their backs, or bimbos who are sleeping with other women's husbands.

This was one of Hollywood's attempts to cash in on the 60's sexual revolution, but I think the members of this cast were the first casualties. What seemed disgraceful in 1971, seems a bit silly nowadays, and the premise of one of the wives making a dare to her bridge pals that she will sleep with all of their husbands is a tad tacky even if it wasn't before, back when the film was originally made. These ladies do not seem the least bit liberated. Just catty. As the Phantom of the New York Daily News would say, this film is viewed at your own risk, so you can't say you weren't warned. In other words, viewers beware, as 'Doctors Wives' is a totally mind (as well as behind) numbing experience.

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