Herbert Bock, the chief of medicine in a New York City teaching hospital, is contemplating suicide; he's impotent, his wife has left him, and his children aren't speaking to him. His hospital is also suffering from a recent spate of inexplicable deaths. In the midst of these setbacks, Bock is romantically drawn to the much younger Barbara, whose father is a patient. As Barbara restores Bock's will to live, it turns out that the hospital deaths are murders.Written by
When Dr. Bock rants "We have established the most enormous, medical...entity ever conceived and people are sicker than ever!" the slight pause, searching for the word 'entity,' was spontaneously ad-libbed by George C. Scott to save the take . The scripted line was "we have ASSEMBLED the most enormous medical ESTABLISHMENT ever conceived." Scott heard his slip in mid-sentence, so he reworded the line so as to not make it repetitive. Director Arthur Hiller loved the save so much he used that take in the film. See more »
About ten minutes into the movie, as the characters walk down a hospital hallway, followed by the camera, a technician and his microphone are revealed behind a nurse's cart. The camera then tightens the shot around the actors. See more »
It's hard for me to take your despair very seriously, Doctor. You obviously enjoy it so much.
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Although Barnard Hughes played two distinct roles, the end credits lists Hughes as playing the role of Drummond but not Dr. Mallory. See more »
Anybody who goes to the Manhattan Hospital Center is taking his life in his hands. That includes the staff of The Hospital.
I had never seen The Hospital before and I was intrigued at how similar the characters and situations of the plot were to that other Paddy Chayefsky masterpiece, Network. There are elements in George C. Scott's character that have both Al Schumacher's and Howard Beale's.
He's the administrator of The Hospital and he's mad as hell and not going to take it any more. He's completely estranged from his wife and kids. It takes a Faye Dunaway type character in the person of Diana Rigg to make him snap out of it. One roll in the hay with her and he's shocked back to reality and the fact he still can contribute in the world.
But first he's got a real problem. Someone is out killing hospital staff, four of them in a 48 hour period. And the nice part is their deaths can be attributed to in large part to the general incompetence of a medical bureaucracy. That's where the comedy comes in.
There is an actual Howard Beale type character in the person of Barnard Hughes, Diana Rigg's father. His end is not quite as dramatic as Beale's though.
Back in my working days it was part of my job to pay medical suppliers. Some of them could be as big creeps as you'll find portrayed in The Hospital. The black comedy satire had some real bite to it for me.
George C. Scott was nominated for Best Actor, but having won and refused to accept the previous year's Oscar for Patton, he wasn't about to get a second chance. He lost to Gene Hackman for The French Connection. Still his handling of the role is unforgettable.
Try viewing The Hospital back to back with Network and see how many similarities you spot.
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