Comedy, mystery and drama all wrapped up in this delightful movie directed by Joseph Mankiewicz and played by Cary Grant, Jeanne Craine, Finlay Currie, Hume Cronyn and Walter Slezack to begin with a few.
This 1951 film has been a favorite of mine for many years, but just discovered it again on Netflix.
Successful and well-liked, Dr. Noah Praetorius becomes the victim of a witch hunt at the hands of Professor Elwell, who disdains Praetorius’s unorthodox medical views and also questions his relationship with the mysterious, ever-present Mr. Shunderson. Fuel is added to the fire when Praetorius befriends young Deborah Higgins, who has become suicidal at the prospect of having a baby by her ex boyfriend, a military reservist who was called up for service in the Korean War and killed in action. Written by Kelly
Dr. Noah Praetorius is a practicing gynecologist, he with his own medical clinic, and a university professor. He is a bit of a Renaissance man, conducting the university’s student and faculty orchestra. He is also a controversial figure in the world of medicine. His controversial belief, subscribed to by some and vehemently denounced by others, is that medicine is not merely a technical science, but an emotional one, where the well-being of patients is in large part dependent upon their mental state. For example, at his medical clinic, patients are not to be awaken by staff at some prescribed meal time. One of his latest patients is Deborah Higgins, who seems to be suffering under some personal issues. Dr. Praetorius feels that he has to get to the bottom of these issues if he is to help Deborah fully from her medical issues. But he may not be able to help Deborah or any other patient if Rodney Elwell, one of Dr. Praetorius’ fellow university professors and one of his detractors, has his way. Elwell plans on mounting a case against Dr. Praetorius to a university disciplinary board. Part of Elwell’s case is trying to find information about Mr. Shunderson, Praetorius’ constant and mysterious elderly companion. Written by Huggo
in my opinion they could not have found a better actor than Cary Grant to play the role of Dr. Praetorius. No only handsome and very successful in the movie, it just begs to me that there are Dr.’s like this in the real world. His unorthodox ways, his ‘friend Mr. Shunderson” and then of course the most beautiful Jeanne Crane to play the Deborah (the needing lady who has got herself into a world of problems) and seems to need rescuing. The different story lines in this movie along with the sustained theme of the caring Doctor is what makes this movie so delightful. The mystery behind Mr. Shunderson played by Finlay Currie has you on the edge until the end of the movie.
One of the last lines of the movie~after the board review-Shunderson (a man of few words) turns to Evil Dr. Elwell and says
“Professor Elwell, you’re a little man. It’s not that you’re short. You’re little, in the mind and in the heart.
Tonight, you tried to make a man little whose boots you couldn’t touch if you stood on tip-toe on top of the highest mountain in the world.
And, as it turned out, you’re even littler than you were before.”
So perfectly stated and you just want to yell out a YES!!! Makes me smile and cry at the same time. If you have not seen the movie, check it out! I know it maybe a movie I would purchase to watch again and again. Doesn’t get old to me.