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Mine Own Executioner

(1947 b 99')

En: 6 Ed: 6

Nigel Balchin adapted his own novel about a therapist who is not a doctor but is able to help people despite his own problems.

Psychoanalyst Felix Milne (Burgess Meredith) vents to his wife Pat Milne (Dulcie Gray) about his patients. He tells Molly Lucian (Barbara White) that he is not a doctor, and she asks him to see her husband. Peter Edge (Michael Shepley) understands that talking can be a cure and asks Felix to treat his wife. Pat tells Felix that she is jealous. Barbara Edge (Christine Norden) comes to see Felix and says she did not marry for love. Adam Lucian (Kieron Moore) says he nearly strangled Molly. He is lame and takes a cane. Felix tells Pat that Adam is a bad schizo. Felix admits that he bullies and teases her because he has a childish thing.

Adam is late and brings Felix a gift he stole. Felix has him relax, and Adam describes how he choked Molly. Felix asks about the prisoner-of-war business. Barbara meets Felix in front of a store, and Felix buys his wife a fur coat. Barbara brings Pat a nightgown for her birthday, and she learns that Barbara helped Felix buy the coat. Felix quarrels with Pat.

Felix asks a doctor for advice and tells him his problems. Felix gives Adam a sedative; he goes back to flying in the war, and his plane catches fire. Adam wakes up. He is captured by Japanese soldiers, and Felix asks what he told them. Adam was tortured and talked. Adam strikes a soldier and escapes. When he wakes up, Adam feels better.

Molly tells Felix that Adam is better, but he warns her about being with him. Adam tells Felix that he feels normal, but Felix wants to go deeper. Adam says he has no money and leaves early. Felix has a headache. He may have to leave because he is not a qualified doctor, but the doctors say he is the best. Felix goes drinking, and Barbara meets him. He dances with her.

Adam finds a gun and shoots Molly. Felix kisses Barbara. Pat calls Felix, and he visits dying Molly. Felix goes home to Pat and finds Adam there. Felix asks for the gun, but Adam hits him and runs off. Felix finds Adam is on the ledge of a tall building. Adam climbs up a ladder as people watch. Felix tells Adam that Molly is okay, but Adam shoots himself and falls.

At the inquest Felix answer questions. Dr. Garsten (John Laurie) says that he approved of the treatment, and the judge rules it was suicide by an unbalanced man. Felix goes home and tears up his files, telling Pat he is quitting; but he sees a boy who needs help and realizes he can do good. Pat agrees to go on supporting him.

This drama explores the difficulties of psychotherapy and implies that skills other than medical training are involved in successful counseling.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

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