In The Doctor And The Girl Harry Cohn decided to sell off half of Glenn Ford's contract to MGM for his services as half of the title of the film. It was the same kind of deal Cohn had with William Holden when he bought half of Holden's contract with Paramount. Now Ford would serve two studios and for loanouts in the future he'd have to have his schedule with both MGM and Columbia clear.
I hope you all that Ford was the doctor part of the title role. The girl is Janet Leigh, but there are two other prominent female roles and they play Ford's sisters, Gloria DeHaven and future first Lady Nancy Davis. They're all Charles Coburn's children and he's a prominent doctor.
Who has every expectation of seeing his son follow in his footsteps and he lays down the law to everyone else be they his children or his colleagues. The youngest Gloria DeHaven rebels, but in very unhealthy ways. Nancy has married a doctor herself in the person of Warner Anderson, but Anderson is determined to succeed as a pediatrician on his own thank you very much without Coburn's help.
But Ford starts off as a chip off the old arrogant block, but after some time working in Bellevue the arrogance flakes off, especially after meeting patient Janet Leigh who is in for some surgery. She's alone in the big city until Ford enters her life.
And Coburn doesn't consider her a suitable candidate for being a doctor's wife. That and his attitude towards his kids in general sets off the plot events in The Doctor And The Girl. He's a tyrannical old cuss, very typical of some of the parts he's played.
Though Glenn Ford had been making movies, mostly at Columbia for ten years he was new to the MGM studio. As was Janet Leigh. The film was shot on location in New York City. I recognize the facade of Bellevue Hospital, nothing much has changed their in 60 years. Of course if the camera were turned to the other side of the street on First Avenue, a great deal has changed.
And as for the disparaging remarks about the working class area of Third Avenue where Janet Leigh lives and to where Ford moves when he marries her, that is some of the most expensive real estate in the world. The cost of their apartment in that same general location would boggle the mind.
Ford and Leigh were fairly new, but for Nancy Davis this was her second film and first speaking role. It was definitely no acting stretch because in real life she was the daughter of a rich and prominent physician, Dr. Loyal C. Davis of Chicago. I'll bet Dr. Davis was a whole lot like Charles Coburn in manner. He was definitely his daughter's mentor in politics and also a mentor for his son-in-law our 40th President.
There are two other roles of prominence, Bruce Bennett has a very nice role as Ford's supervisor at Bellevue, he was an army doctor in the second World War and he's a bit put out with Ford's vaunted connections and let's him know it. And Basil Ruysdael is in a part that fits him perfectly the wise old family friend to Coburn and his clan. Ruysdael is also a doctor, a most prominent surgeon.
The Doctor And The Girl is a good addition to the roll of medical dramas. It's not all that different from what folks would be seeing soon on the small screen with Medic, Dr. Kildare, and Ben Casey. And remember this is MGM the people who did produce the Dr. Kildare series for the big screen.
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