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The Best of Men (2012)

Not Rated | | Biography | TV Movie 16 August 2012
Towards the end of the Second World War, Dr Ludwig Guttmann, a brisk refugee from Nazi Germany, arrives at Stoke Mandeville hospital in Buckinghamshire and is appalled to find the partially... See full summary »


Tim Whitby


Lucy Gannon

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From $3.99 (HD) on Prime Video

1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
George MacKay ... Private William Heath (as Richard Mackay)
Bebe Sanders Bebe Sanders ... Ruth (as Bee Bee Sanders)
Leigh Quinn Leigh Quinn ... Nurse Carr
Eddie Marsan ... Dr Ludwig Guttmann
Ben Owen-Jones Ben Owen-Jones ... Neil
Rob Brydon ... Corporal Wynne Bowen
David Proud David Proud ... Jeremy
Niamh Cusack ... Sister Edwards
Richard McCabe Richard McCabe ... Dr Cowan
Nicholas Jones ... General Blake
Tristan Sturrock ... Sergeant 'Q' Hills
Nigel Lindsay ... Mr. Heath
Rachael Spence Rachael Spence ... Mrs. Heath
Tracy Ann Oberman ... Else Guttmann (as Tracy-Ann Oberman)
Stephen McGonigle Stephen McGonigle ... Dr. Greg Greene


Towards the end of the Second World War, Dr Ludwig Guttmann, a brisk refugee from Nazi Germany, arrives at Stoke Mandeville hospital in Buckinghamshire and is appalled to find the partially paralysed spinal patients heavily sedated and left to rot with bed sores. He immediately begins a new regime, disposing of old equipment and sedatives, bringing him into conflict with stern Sister Edwards and pompous consultant Cowan, as well as the patients. However the sister backs him when she realises he is treating her charges as people, not patients, talking to them and involving them in musical entertainments and sporting activity. Soon Whitehall are sending him all their spinal patients and, with visits to the pub and wheelchair sports taught by an army sergeant, he becomes the men's hero. With the war over Ludwig organizes national wheelchair sports competitions which will in turn lead to the establishment of the Paralympic games. An end title informs that in 1966, now a British citizen, ... Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Not Rated

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

16 August 2012 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Guttmann: Egy kivételes ember See more »

Filming Locations:

Clifton, Bristol, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The title "The Best of Men" is a pun on Dr Guttmann's surname which means "good man" in German. See more »


The Bristol bus dates from 1949, 5 years later than the start of the drama. See more »


Dr. Ludwig Guttmann: Today, I realise the height of the mountain we must climb. Every one of you. And me. There are walls to scale and break down and sacred cows to deal with.
[asks to privates]
Dr. Ludwig Guttmann: What are you doing here? What is the purpose of this place? Is it to create dependent but smiling children, hiding from the world? A hushed room full of forgotten men and caring, too caring, staff?
Dr. Ludwig Guttmann: No! It is to send you out of here! Out! With ambition and purpose! And no sacred cows. You must have none. These are men...
See more »

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User Reviews

The amazing Ludwig Guttman
28 July 2017 | by peterrichboySee all my reviews

The best of men is a really high quality production from the BBC about the remarkable life of Ludwig Guttman. The man credited with being the founder of the para Olympics, but there was far more to this man. His treatment of spinal chord injuries both during and after WW2 helped save and change people's lives the world over. Not only keeping them alive but giving them a purpose and a will to live whether it be through sport work and the arts. The best of men really only scratches the surface of this mans contribution to medicine and the world in general. Nevertheless this is a terrific piece of work. 9/10

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