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Doctor in the House

(1954 c 92')

En: 6 Ed: 6

Richard Gordon adapted his own novel about four medical students in England; one is new, but three are trying again to pass.

         Richard Grimsdyke (Kenneth More) is back in the medical school. Simon Sparrow (Dirk Bogarde) is a new medical student. Taffy (Donald Houston) and Benskin (Donald Sinden) are also back again. Grimsdyke tells Simon that he always fails on purpose and takes him to a pub, where he meets Taffy and Benskin. Simon pays the bill.

         Simon stays in a boardinghouse and meets the owner’s daughter. He buys books and a skeleton. In the chemistry lab Grimsdyke causes a reaction that produces much smoke. He tells Simon that he gets £1,000 a year while in medical school from his grandmother’s will. The four men drink beer. Simon meets Grimsdyke’s fiancée Stella (Suzanne Cloutier), who is half undressed. Grimsdyke comes in, and Stella tells him she will not marry him. She wants him to qualify and become a doctor. They work hard and take exams. Grimsdyke tells Stella he passed his anatomy exam and feels peculiar. They set Simon up with Rigor Mortis (Joan Sims).

         They start another year, and Grimsdyke passed his exams. Simon buys a stethoscope. Sister Virtue (Jean Taylor Smith) is a hard task master. Simon examines Briggs (George Coulouris) and consults a crib book. Simon gets dressed up and meets a woman at a fancy restaurant. He orders large drinks and calls Taffy to call with a message for him to go to a hospital, but he misses an offer of a free dinner.

         Lancelot Spratt (James Robertson Justice) arrives and instructs doctors on diagnosis in the hospital. The others have Simon go out with the nurse Joy Gibson (Muriel Pavlow). They say they like each other, but he was too shy to ask her on his own. They go on carnival rides.

         Lancelot demonstrates surgery. When he cuts, Simon faints. Joy tells him to forget it and have a drink. While examining Briggs he is distracted by Joy. Taffy gets a dose of happy gas. Simon, Taffy, and Benskin examine Stella.

         On Christmas Eve Benskin says he is on the trail of a nurse and takes her a flower, and he kisses her. Simon is sent on a bicycle to see a patient. Benskin tries to wake up Taffy and says he proposed to a woman. Simon has trouble with the bicycle and walks in the snow. He gets a ride to his maternity case. Benskin calls Grimsdyke and is given an idea. Simon learns the midwife is not coming. Isobel (Kay Kendall) tells the other nurses that Benskin proposed to her and gave her a flower; but all the nurses have flowers too including an African. Simon has delivered the baby, and Mrs. Cooper names the child after him.

         Grimsdyke roots for Taffy in a rugby game. They are singing by a piano when they are told that others stole the gorilla. They run after them and get in a bus to follow the loaded car. They catch them and take the gorilla. Police arrest them and take them to a judge, who fines them forty shillings each. At the medical school they are each fined £10. They have only 24 hours to pay, and Lancelot gives them £40.

         Grimsdyke asks Stella for a long kiss, and she tells him to study for his final exams. Simon asks Joy for the answer, and she helps him study. He kisses her, and she realizes it is late. He helps her climb up to the roof of her building. Simon falls through glass on to the bed of Sister Virtue. The Dean (Geoffrey Keen) expels him from the medical school, but Lancelot argues that is too harsh and reminds them of a past incident.

         They take their final exams by answering oral questions. Simon is sent to diagnose Briggs, who tells him what he has. The Dean asks Simon to diagnose another case. Lancelot questions Grimsdyke. The Dean shows the results to Lancelot.

         Taffy tells Benskin that he is going to be working in a women’s prison. From the pub Simon is called on a case, and Joy wishes him luck. He asks her to wait for him.

         This comedy satirizes students that fail their exams and have to try again because they are goofing off. However, one good student seems to have a good influence on his friends, and he still manages to have a romance too.

Copyright © 2009 by Sanderson Beck

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