Search This Blog

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

The Doctor's Dilemma (1958)

Set in 1906 London. Fearing that her nonconformist artist husband (Dirk Bogarde) is terminally ill, his wife (Leslie Caron) goes to one of Harley Street's top specialists (John Robinson) and pleads for him to save her husband. The doctor's case load is full and so the question is ..... is the artist's life worth saving? Based on the play by George Bernard Shaw and directed by Anthony Asquith (PYGMALION). One of Shaw's lesser known plays is given the deluxe treatment with color cinematography by Robert Krasker (THE THIRD MAN), art direction by Paul Sheriff (MOULIN ROUGE) and costumes by Cecil Beaton (MY FAIR LADY). Shaw's pointed barbs at the medical profession are intact and we're appalled by the coldness in which patients are judged by their worthiness (so much for equality) while they live handsomely on the expensive fees they charge their patients. But we can't feel too much sympathy for Bogarde's patient either. He's amoral, thinks nothing of hustling people for money with no intention to pay them back and even petty stealing! Which leaves us Caron's wife, who is so infatuated with her husband that she ignores his indiscretions. To the film's credit, it doesn't exchange Shaw's cruel ending for a happy one. I liked it but I can't honestly say I enjoyed it. The film never explains how Caron as the wife of a starving artist can afford all those gorgeous Cecil Beaton frocks! With Robert Morley, Felix Aylmer, Alastair Sim and Alec McCowen.

No comments:

Post a Comment