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What Ails Old Hollywood?


EugeniaH
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Medical dramas - they are both an important part of a good movie plot, or the entire basis of a great film. What are your favorite "medical films" or medical subplots? Why do you think they are well made? Here is a short list of some of the more memorable ones as a "jumping off" place (and the focus can be either physical or mental):

 

The Snake Pit: Olivia de Havilland, one of my favorite actresses, in a harrowing performance on her time in an insane asylum

 

Dark Victory: the legendary Bette Davis struck down by a terminal illness

 

Awakenings (1990): Though not a studio-era film, I found it to be incredibly moving and powerful.

 

Magnificent Obsession - Sirk soaper starring Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson

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It's hard to pinpoint many strictly medical films. There aren't too many I can recall other than the "Dr. Kildare" type that are unfortunately cliched to me. The mad doctor Universal horror films of the 30s and 40s or the 50s sci-fi films had plenty of doctors and research, but I doubt if those are what you had in mind, and I certainly don't think Dr. Hackenbush qualifies either. It is an interesting homework assignment, Eugenia. I'll work on it.

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*It's hard to pinpoint many strictly medical films.*

 

Hi tommy - it doesn't need to be strictly a medical film. It could be a movie about something entirely different, and then some "medical crisis" comes up that's particularly moving or memorable. I don't know - I'm just freewheeling here. :)

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"D.O.A". with Edmond O'Brien has a medical diagnosis that leads to plenty of suspense. That was a terrific picture.

 

Another fine film that focuses on mental illness if "Fear Strikes Out" about baseball player Jimmy Piersall starring Anthony Perkins and Karl Malden. Although I consider this one an excellent drama, perhaps a little over the top at times, as an ex-ballplayer, I think Tony Perkins is a terrible centerfielder.

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Here's a great "doctor" joke from *Annie Hall*: "...I was in analysis. I was suicidal as a matter of fact and would have killed myself, but I was in analysis with a strict Freudian, and if you kill yourself, they make you pay for the sessions you miss."

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It's not really classic, and I must admit, I cannot stand it, "Love Story".

 

"Love means never having to say you're sorry" BLECH!

 

Premiered on network TV Christmas night, 1971 right after the Dolphins beat the Chiefs in the longest NFL game ever. A bad day got worse.

 

Edited by: tommyphils31 on Dec 20, 2013 12:26 AM

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I think this a great topic, Eugenia.

 

I'm really attracted to biographical or semi-biographical medical and science films. Here's a few of my favorites:

 

Sister Kenny (1946)

Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940)

Madame Curie (1943)

Green Light (1937)

Dive Bomber (1941)

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Thanks, Kid!

 

Tommy, I've never seen "Love Story". Somehow I'm not motivated to, either, after reading your post. ;)

 

Turning to a more serious film, I like the lesser-known Carole Lombard drama *Vigil in the Night* (1940). Without giving the movie away, the incident that causes the Anne Shirley character to lose her job was particularly sad.

 

Edited by: EugeniaH on Dec 19, 2013 8:46 PM

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I recently watched PANIC IN THE STREETS expecting some kind of film noir from the title. Instead of gangsters, the enemy was an epidemic!

 

Generally my favorite medical films center around the warped mind rather than an ailing body. I love NOW VOYAGER, 3 FACES OF EVE, SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER, that sort of film.

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