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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Behind The Mask (1958)

After passing his exams, a young doctor (Tony Britton) is offered a job at a prestigious hospital by a well known surgeon (Michael Redgrave), who just happens to be the father of his fiancee (Vanessa Redgrave). But the behind the scenes drama at the hospital threatens to sabotage his career. Based on the novel THE PACK by John Rowan Wilson, this is the kind of movie that has been taken over by television and shows like ER and GREY'S ANATOMY. Oh, it's decent enough but fairly predictable. Plot wise, there's an interesting subplot about a drug addicted doctor (Carl Mohner), a survivor of a concentration camp, and the woman (Brenda Bruce) he jilted that stands out and there's a surprising graphic look at open heart surgery in color (way before ALL THAT JAZZ) that must be a first for cinema. It's also notable as Vanessa Redgrave's film debut. She's the love interest and it's not a complex role and though she already has a strong screen presence, there's no indication of a great talent. It would be 8 years before she made another movie and soon become one of the greatest actresses of her generation. Directed by Brian Desmond Hurst. With Ian Bannen, Niall MacGinnis, Lionel Jeffries and Margaret Tyzack.

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