5 November 2019 | HotToastyRag
'Sister Kenny' is a better medical drama
In the grand tradition of "aw shucks, small towns are better than the big, bad city" films, The Healer stars Ralph Bellamy as a do-gooder doctor who gets seduced by promises of bigger and better. He's a small country doctor who works at a clinic with hot springs that helps crippled children learn to walk again. His devoted aide, Karen Morley, is in love with him, but he can't tell. Instead, when he comes to the wealthy Judith Allen's rescue, his head gets turned by her finesse. She fills his head with ideas of a larger practice and more people he could help, but really, she just wants him to become a rich, city doctor she can be proud to wear on her arm. Meanwhile, the kids and Karen feel neglected and miss their old doctor and friend.
Mickey Rooney is the most prominently featured child at the clinic, and while it is Ralph Bellamy's movie, Mickey steals the movie when he's forced to use his legs in an emergency. I won't tell you what the emergency is, but he gives a great performance, especially since he was only a teenager at the time. This is a pretty forgotten movie, and if you're looking for a medical drama about helping kids with polio, this isn't it. You'll want to see Sister Kenny for that. But if you're just looking for young Mickey Rooney without his usual frenetic girl-crazy antics, you might want to look for this one.