Add a Review

  • This little known medical thriller seems like a second cousin to "Coma" and fans of that film should enjoy this one as well. Coburn is a free-living pathologist hired on at a large Boston hospital who almost immediately finds himself trying to disprove a murder rap placed on one of his colleagues. A fellow doctor (Hong, in one of his more substantial roles) is accused of performing an illegal abortion on a fifteen-year-old girl, which led to her death. That the girl is the daughter of the Chief of Staff is no small complication! Coburn must put all the pieces together to find out what actually happened while fending off his protective and commandeering boss (O'Herlihy.) He still finds time, however, to play with O'Neill (whose thankless part only offers one or two decent moments.) Some of the situations and dialogue are inherently "70's", but it is still engrossing entertainment. Coburn has one scene with the great Allen. This effortlessly sophisticated and witty actress partakes in some snappy repartee with him and sparks fly in the well written scene. Coburn also has a memorable run-in with Dreier who nonchalantly simmers some sauce while discussing his niece's death. The subject matter of the film is a bit unsettling and gets increasingly so (and more violent) as it nears its pretty gory climax. Some will view this as a good thing, others may be put off. One scene involving a masseuse and client is quite tense. This leads to some bloodletting and then a nail-biting, if a bit far-fetched, finale. Aubrey is the daughter of Phyllis Thaxter and looks much like her. Blake Edwards' daughter Jennifer has a small, but featured role as the dead girl's roommate. TV fans will note the presence of Hillerman and Mandan as doctors on staff. One complaint: With all the dramatics and hysterics during the resolution, it can be hard to hear what actually happened! Keep the remote handy for a rewind.
  • Coburn was interesting as the plain spoken wild card pathologist Peter Carey who enters a new hospital brimming with problems. Right off the bat a fellow practitioner is accused of a crime which he couldn't possibly have committed. Carey must unravel criminal activities within the institution to clear his friend which puts him in the sights of a psychotic killer. So-so thriller/drama.
  • James Coburn plays a pathologist who is investigating the death of the fifteen-year-old daughter of the chief of medicine, who has died of a botched abortion that has been blamed on his colleague (James Hong), who is an illegal abortionist on the side. A lot of people today would be horrified of a movie where the hero is actually trying to help out an abortion doctor. But this was 1972 and people tend to forget that everything wasn't all bright and wonderful back when abortion was still illegal either (I don't personally take a side on the abortion debate, but I have a problem with people on either side who think the issue is in any way morally clear-cut and unambiguous--it's not now and never was). But before anyone goes bemoaning "liberal Hollywood", there's also a real "Dirty Harry" element to this movie, like a scene where Coburn essentially tortures information out of a drug-addicted suspect by denying her treatment. This particular scene should offend liberals everywhere (as well as anyone else who's ever heard of the Hyppocratic Oath).

    But the fact that this movie might offend both conservatives AND liberals is exactly what I liked about it. The real world is morally messy and no one person is ever 100 percent morally righteous, and the many, many Hollywood movies that try to make things morally simplistic and their protagonists morally pure actually do a great disservice in many ways. Of course, the moral complications in this particular movie seem to be more the result of a confused production than anyone's clever intentions. Still I always find an interesting failure like this much more enjoyable than a boring success (like whatever old TV show they're making into a major motion picture this week). And in 1970's Hollywood there was a whole string of these kind of interesting failures, which is why I find that whole period so fascinating.

    This movie definitely has some problems as other have said. Jennifer O'Neil is completely wasted, and the basic plot is riddled with holes (i.e. noboby but the protagonist notices that the botched operation was very obviously not the work of a trained doctor). Coburn isn't bad though, and this movie does kind of anticipate both "Coma" and the popular TV series "Quincy MD". Not good, but interesting, and certainly worth seeing.
  • Curiously mediocre, middle-of-the-road film from director Blake Edwards, adapted from Michael Crichton's novel "A Case of Need," has James Coburn (cocky as ever, and enjoyably so) playing the new pathologist at a Boston hospital, sorting out the mystery of a young murder victim. Light drama keeps tongue-in-cheek yet has aspirations to be a whodunit and doesn't quite make the grade. Coburn's general panache is effortless, but he's just coasting through, and the role doesn't challenge him (or us) in any way. Jennifer O'Neill is attractive but (once again) underused as a romantic interest. Screenwriter Harriet Frank used the pseudonym James P. Bonner for the credits--just as original writer Crichton did (as Jeffrey Hudson) for his book! **1/2 from ****
  • wes-connors21 June 2009
    Hip, distinguished doctor James Coburn (as Peter Carey) arrives to accept a position as pathologist at a Boston hospital. Almost immediately, Mr. Coburn beds beautiful nutritionist Jennifer O'Neill (as Georgia Hightower). While sleeping with Ms. O'Neill, Coburn is awakened by an emergency involving a botched abortion - the fifteen-year-old who bleeds to death happens to be the daughter of the hospital's big donor, Dan O'Herlihy (as J.D. Randall). Coburn doesn't believe the man arrested, doctor pal James Hong (as David Tao), committed the crime; although, Mr. Hong admits to performing illegal abortions on the side. While trying to clear his friend, Coburn wades through a thickening plot…

    **** The Carey Treatment (3/29/72) Blake Edwards ~ James Coburn, Jennifer O'Neill, Michael Blodgett, James Hong
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Coburn proves here he can do casual self-assurance as well as anyone. His Dr. Carey, however, goes beyond that breezy stage to an egotism that ends in one of Hollywood's dreariest clichés— the hero as infallible master of every situation. However, the effortless mastery does get tiresome. Still and all, it's not required of a good movie that the central character be likable. A film may rise or fall on merits other than personality. The trouble is this movie has few redeeming merits. The biggest problem, as others point out, is a ragged script with more holes than a kitchen sieve. Had the screenplay played up the mystery, closed some of the holes (why did Karen falsely implicate Dr. Tao, an event that triggers the entire storyline?), and tightened up the suspense, we would have had a more memorable result. Instead, there's the ridiculous wild car ride, the pointless banter with O'Neill, and several flabby scenes (the autopsy, for one). Whatever director Edwards' proved skills with comedy (The Pink Panther, et al.), that same skill is not in evidence with a thriller like this one. My guess is that compromises were made to turn the movie into a vehicle for Coburn. But whatever the reason, the result is disappointing.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    **SPOILERS** James Coburn acting more like a hard boiled private dick then a doctor is out to find out who's responsible for the death of 15 year old Karen Randell, Melissa Torme-March. This in order to clear his friend and fellow Boston Memorial Hospital doctor David Tao, James Hong, who it turns out does illegal abortions on the side.

    Karen just happens to be the daughter of the head doctor of Boston Memorial J.D Randell, Dan O'Herlihy, and later it's discovered to Dr. Carey's surprise that he not only finds out from Dr. Tao that he didn't preform an abortion on Karen but after a police criminal postmortem it's revealed that she wasn't pregnant! The movie has Dr. Carey have a lady friend pretty hospital dietitian Georgia Hightower, Jennifer O'Neill, who by being totally wasted bogs down the story with a useless affair. There's an off-the-wall and ridiculous moment in the film where both Dr. Carey and Georgia are secretly photographer while in bed by Sol Schwade, who made sure that they both would see him. This was put into the film just to have a mindless chase scene that in the end ,with Dr. Carey getting a hold of Schwade's camera and film, doesn't amount to anything worthwhile in the plot.

    Dr. Carey start to unearth Karen's past and finds through her roommate Lydia, Jennifer Edwards, in the private school that they both attend that Karen fooled around with a lot of guys in and off campus. Karen mostly played around with Lydia's, ex-boyfriend Roger Hudson, Michael Bodgett, who works as a masseuse at the Challahan steam and bath house in downtown Boston. Carey got this information out of Lydia by almost killing her in a wild crazy and almost suicidal ride smashing his car through the city streets and seaside country roads as he gave her a lift back home.

    At the Callahan Bath House Carey blows his cover by being so abrasive and threatening to Roger, whom he demanded as a masseuse, that Roger almost ran him down some time later when Carey left the place to make a phone call. Recovering from his injuries Carey, barley being able to walk, zeros in on nurse Angela Hlden, Skye Aubrey. Angela is not only Rogers girlfriend but also a junkie who supply's herself and Roger with drugs that she steals from the hospital pharmacy.

    Carey found out about Angela's criminal activities when she herself was attacked and knifed by a drug-crazed Roger, whom she also did a number on with a broken laboratory jar, in order to shut Angela up about what she and him were up to. Later It's also found out by Dr. Carey that it was Angela who gave Karen that blotched unnecessary and fatal abortion in order to collect $300.00 to pay for her and Roger's drugs. It turned out that the pharmacy was temporarily closed down to the hospital staff due to the pilfering going on there.

    Dr. Carey recovering from his injuries in a hospital room is then again attacked by the bleeding and drug dependent Roger. Before he could finish Carey off, after slashing his attending nurse, Roger is gunned down by the police in the person of Capt. Person, Pat Hengle. Capt. Person got there just in time to put and end to Roger's drug induced rampage.

    The most disturbing scene in the movie had nothing to do with the abortions or autopsies but with good guy Dr. Carey injecting Angela with a saline solution putting her into excruciating and unbearable pain in order to make her tell him who's responsible for Karen's death, which it turned out was Angela herself. At the same time Dr. Carey was holding back the only thing that would stop Angela's pain and suffering, until she talked, a syringe of morphine. This was like what you would have expected to see in movies made during WWII with Germans and Japanese mad and sadistic doctors and scientists. Not in a movie about a certified and licensed American doctor, Peter Carey, in a big metropolitan hospital with a Boston police captain, Person, present!
  • Mister-614 September 1999
    Not many people remember "The Carey Treatment", and I can't say I blame them.

    Blake Edwards did this during his lean years (i.e. - between "Pink Panther" movies.) and for a story of a doctor turned detective (Coburn) working to solve a murder in his hospital, it's actually pretty forgettable.

    Coburn is dependable as always and O'Neill is beautiful as always but there just seems to be something missing from the proceedings. The story twists and turns aren't very involving and even the climax, which is supposed to be nerve-wracking, is gut-wrenching instead.

    A missed opportunity altogether, and an unfortunate one at that, since it was based on a Michael Crichton book.

    Oh well, at least Crichton didn't write a sequel to it.

    One star. "Carey" on, Coburn.
  • preppy-325 March 2016
    Pathologist Peter Carey (James Coburn) moves to Boston for a job at a hospital there. He meets Dr. David Tao (James Hong) and they become friends. He also romances beautiful Georgia Hightower (Jennifer O'Neill). Also Tao does abortions on the side (they were illegal in 1972). Then a hospital administrators daughter dies of a botched abortion and Tao is arrested. He didn't do it and Carey sets out to find out who did.

    OK thriller elevated by Coburn's great performance and beautiful Boston locations. The script has plot holes and moves kind of slowly but it's OK. O'Neill look incredible but is given nothing to do. Director Blake Edwards disowned this film in later years saying the studio interfered with it. It's not good but it's not that bad either.
  • I remember seeing this movie when I was a kid and really liking it. At the time, a doctor-as-detective story was an original idea, and Coburn carries it off with typical aplomb. Blake Edwards has directed thrillers before ("Experiment in Terror") so it's not like he doesn't know what he's doing here. At the time abortion was a pretty hot topic, so a thriller on the subject was fairly touchy. It all may seem a little too "hip" now, but I'd give it at least 3 stars.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A tightly wound thriller buoyed by a great James Coburn performance. He plays a doctor in Boston trying to find out who caused the death of the daughter of the hospital's chief of staff. He runs into one roadblock after another as he tries to clear a colleague (James Hong) of the crime. Coburn has never been so good and the supporting cast is first rate: Pat Hingle, Dan O'Herlihy, Michael Blodgett as a very sleazy masseuse. Jennifer O'Neill is the love interest & she's terrific. Directed with a lot of finesse by Blake Edwards with a very clever script by John Black (based on a book by Michael Crichton). Edward makes great use of the Boston locations, including some of the sleazier sections of town. The cinematography is by Frank Stanley.
  • I've seen Blake Edward's The Carey Treatment twice since its airing on CBS in the mid '70s. I don't remember a lot of the details, but I am fairly certain that it was a pleasant and engaging medical/crime drama, although it looked TVish even for TV. I watched it with my grandmother of all people--she didn't like anything suspenseful because it aggravated her angina--and Nana gave it the ultimate compliment, "This is a good shoot-em-up!"

    To my grandmother, all movies, with or without firearms, that had suspense were "shoot-em-ups."

    The film was based on a work by Michael Crichton, but I can't recall if TCT has some of Crichton's trademarks--an ensemble casts of flawed, believable characters and a technology-heavy story. Instead, there's someone killing people, with a hospital as background and James Coburn looking very cool (and a bit Crichton-like in demeanor).

    See, I really don't remember much but for the fact that I enjoyed it.

    It appears you can't get the film at Amazon (although I haven't checked Netflix). That's too bad, because a cheap copy or a quick rental of this small mystery movie would be fun and enjoyable.

    Just remember to bring your little pills, okay?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Nicely shot around Boston and with a good performance by James Coburn. It's a tale of a humanitarian doctor, James Hong, imprisoned for performing abortions at a time when it was illegal -- just as it appears to be becoming now. The fifteen-year-old daughter of some high muck-a-muck expires during a crude attempt and Hong gets the blame. His friend and colleague, the pathologist Coburn, sets out to discover what really happened. It gets kind of twisted.

    It's competently directed by Blake Edwards but was evidently sliced and diced by various figures higher up the food chain that Edwards asked for his name to be removed from the credits. The three writers had a similar problem and their names were melded into one name representing a person who does not exist.

    I'm not sure why people were so embarrassed. I suppose in 1972, when this was released, it may have been too shocking (or not shocking enough) but compared to much recent Hollywood output -- "Sawbones" -- it's a treasure trove.

    In the course of finding the real culprit, Coburn gets to mouth some radical notions about cutting medical costs and eliminating corruption, but that has nothing to do with the story. In fact -- can I borrow a trope from Raymond Chandler? -- Coburn's outburst stands out like a tarantula on a slice of angel food cake.

    All doctors in the movies want to clean up the practice of medicine. I doubt that the AMA wants to see docs deprived of one of their three Ford Navigators. The docs in the socialized countries of Europe, like France, are reduced to only one or two Citroens. I'm joking about it but only because the question of medical costs is so much in the air as I write this. Also, I'm jealous. Unless they're old friends, every doctor calls every other doctor "Doctor." I have a PhD and nobody calls me "doctor." And I don't even have ONE Ford Navigator!

    At any rate, if it's sometimes confusing -- and it is -- it moves at a snappy pace. Coburn is fine as the bullheaded medico who puts friendship before institutional responsibilities. It takes Coburn the entire movie to track down the miscreant, who is not a doc. And at the end, two broken men face each other mano a mano, dripping blood. There's a wild but completely plausible car ride. There are no fireballs and no one's head is wrenched off.

    You'll probably enjoy it.
  • blanche-220 June 2009
    6/10
    Dated
    James Coburn is a doctor trying to help another doctor who's accused of a botched abortion that results in a death in "The Carey Treatment," a 1972 film that also stars Jennifer O'Neill, Pat Hingle, James Hong, Ed Herlihy, and Skye Aubrey.

    The movie was made on location, using a lot of exteriors of Mass General Hospital. The inside of the hospital looked very familiar as well, but it's been so many years, I couldn't place it. Having lived in Boston at one time, it was great to see all all of the location shots.

    The daughter of a hospital benefactor dies at 15 from a botched abortion, and a doctor who secretly performs abortions (Hong) because he's opposed to wire hangers is accused. His pathologist friend, Carey, a newcomer to the hospital, investigates, and the case takes another direction.

    The story is interesting but not very well done. There's a very late '60s, early '70s feel to the film (naturally, since that's when it was made) - but the plot, involving the abortion scenario, is dated as well. Coburn's character is also the flip, hip type that was prevalent at that time, embodied by someone like Peter Lawford.

    The beautiful Jennifer O'Neill is Carey's love interest, and she's fairly dreadful. She has a habit of really hitting a certain word in a sentence hard. "And the THINGS that I do..." "WHAT'S wrong" - once you become aware of it, it BECOMES very distracting.

    There was also one hole in the plot that wasn't explained - the young girl as she was dying apparently names the Hong character as her abortionist, according to her mother. I don't want to give anything away, but I'd love to know what all of that was about. The mention of that seemed like an excuse for Carey to visit a stereotypical character with whom he could be flip - the drunken socialite. It served no other purpose. This movie really doesn't either.
  • Dr. Peter Carey (James Coburn) is the new pathologist at a Boston hospital. He falls for Georgia Hightower (Jennifer O'Neill). Dr. David Tao (James Hong) calls him from prison when Karen Randall dies in emergency. Karen is the Chief of Staff J.D. Randall's daughter and she bled to death after an illegal abortion. However Tao claims he only treated her in emergency and didn't do the abortion even though he's done them in the past. Carey investigates which puts Randall and the police against him.

    The investigation is meandering and stalls several time. I like the setup but the follow through is deficient. The pathologist investigator genre has come a long way since then. Any number of TV show is better than this. However it moves just well enough despite some rather slow patches.
  • view_and_review20 December 2019
    It's clear that Dr. Peter Carey (James Coburn) could've done just as well as a detective as he did as a doctor.

    When a young teenage socialite dies from hemoraging from a botched abortion Dr. David Tao (James Hong) is fingered. He has no advocate besides Dr. Carey and he couldn't be luckier. Dr. Carey spends the rest of the movie seeking to find the truth. What he finds is a lot more in-depth than a simple botched abortion.

    Abortion is a theme, but it isn't the central theme. The movie doesn't go into long arguments for or against abortion though Dr. Tao briefly mentions his motivation for doing abortions. So, if you are a strong believer for or against it, don't shy away because of potential philosophizing about the issue. A murder mystery is what this is and a pretty good one.
  • Hey_Sweden28 January 2018
    James Coburn is, once again, effortlessly charismatic in the role of Dr. Peter Carey, a pathologist who moves from California to work in a Boston hospital. He meets a colleague named David Dao (the great character actor James Hong), who ends up accused of murder. You see, 15 year old Karen Randall (Melissa Torme-March), daughter of the hospitals' boss (Dan O'Herlihy, "Halloween III: Season of the Witch"), died after a brutal, botched abortion, and Karen claimed that Dao was responsible before expiring. It doesn't help Dao's cause that he did in fact perform illegal abortions on the side, but he insists that he did NOT perform this one. Peter believes his friend, and neglects some of his regular duties to investigate the matter.

    Based on "A Case of Need", an early novel from Michael Crichton who wrote under a pseudonym, "The Carey Treatment" is a gripping, well made medical mystery that keeps its grip thanks to a variety of entertaining scenes. Coburn makes the real difference as the kind of hero who resorts to nasty measures to get information out of interviewees (among them, a trampy teenager played by director Blake Edwards' actress daughter Jennifer). Unfortunately, the lovely Jennifer O'Neill has very little to do other than be the requisite love interest. She's charming, but the character isn't all that interesting.

    Edwards, showing once again that he could handle serious material as well as he did comedies, keeps it moving along, and gets enjoyable supporting performances out of a cast that also includes Pat Hingle (Commissioner Gordon in the 1989 - 1997 "Batman" feature films), Skye Aubrey ('The Phantom of Hollywood'), Elizabeth Allen ("Donovan's Reef"), Alex Dreier ("Lady Cocoa"), Michael Blodgett ("Beyond the Valley of the Dolls"), Regis Toomey ("The Big Sleep"), John Hillerman ('Magnum, P.I.'), and Robert Mandan ('Soap'). The scene with Coburn and Allen is particularly fun. And it's nice to see the always delightful Hong in one of his more substantial earlier roles. He makes his character sympathetic, important since Dao is doing things that many people today still find abhorrent.

    As it turns out, Edwards did ultimately disown the film, citing constant studio (in this case MGM) interference. He tried to leave the production early, but studio big shots supposedly threatened to ruin his career, so he stuck it out to the bitter end.

    Still, this is a fine little movie, somewhat over looked and under rated 46 years later.

    Eight out of 10.
  • I read that after Blake Edwards (The Pink Panther movies) turned this movie in some suit completely recut it. I can believe it. Sometimes it seems that the action sequences or suspenseful sequences are cut so as to reduce the excitement or suspense, that the set has just enough color so as not to be monochromatic, but is not lit so that the colorfulness of the set in some scenes (and the lack of it in other scenes) does not reinforce any emotion or theme in the movie. James Coburn puts on his super-cool persona, and that's fun to watch, but a super-cool pathologist is as common as a super-cool law librarian. Jennifer O'Neill is gorgeous and eminently watchable, but the way her romance is written, she must be very easy; no way. Michael Crichton (The Andromeda Strain writer, Westworld director) wrote the book on which the movie is based, and hid his name somewhere in the process like Edwards did. Quality writers John D.F. Black (Shaft) and the writing team of Harriet Frank, Jr. and Irving Ravetch (Norma Rae) worked on this, then hid their names. Many hospital drama tropes that are old hat now were fresh then, and that's fun. Should not be your first choice,except maybe to gaze at Jennifer O'Neill- better choices: Blake Edwards- Pink Panther, James Coburn- Magnificent Seven, Michael Crichton medical- Andromeda Strain, nonmedical Westworld.
  • I can't recommend this movie if you want to see a serious, suspenseful medical crime drama, in the sombre and gut-wrenching mood that Blake Edwards was apparently trying to achieve. But if you want to get a kick out of some hilariously flawed filmmaking, then this might be worth your while. First of all, it's got Coburn, who always gives a sincere and stoic performance even when bad writing threatens to sabotage him. He's a good actor and screen presence, and it's fun to have him at the center of this madcap series of intensifying interrogations in which he bullies grown men, women and teenage girls in increasingly imaginitive ways. A few other good actors appear, and with decent production values and Blake Edwards directing skillfully in the technical sense, this movie almost appears to be the real deal... for awhile. But the serious aire increases way beyond the plausibility of the plot twists, a factor which turns out to be disastrous to the suspense and drama, but a boon for its campy, accidentally-comic effect. I'll never forgot this movie now, mainly, for how much inappropriate laughter it incurred.

    This is the kind of flick that the Mystery Science Theater guys could sink their teeth into. Another movie that I just saw that reminded me of "The Carey Treatment" in the first place was "Don't Look Now", which was filmed in Venice and featured Donald Sutherland, an actor who is tall and lean and serious like Coburn. It's another good example of how melodrama-thrillers can be riotously funny when they miss the mark. Both films have a good seed of a story, and both directors expertly maintain their chosen feel and mood, but strange plot twists and overwrought, overwritten, and/or overlong scenes come into stark contrast with that mood. The clashing is so acute and wince-worthy that you can't help giggling while Coburn drives a schoolgirl into the ocean in a big station wagon to scare her into telling him the truth. It's a good film school lesson in both 'what to do' and 'what not to do', and a good laugh at the same time. I recommend it if you are ready to resist taking it too seriously, or if you are a Coburn fan. And if you are a Blake Edwards fan, well, this comedy is not quite the same as Inspector Clouseau-funny, but you probably won't mind the distinction as long as you're laughing.
  • Controversial Subject Matter (abortion) is at the Heart of this also Controversial Film that had Director Blake Edwards threatening to Walk, but His Cooler side prevailed against pointed Threats by the Studio and He Finished the Film (then walked).

    Constant Studio Interference was the problem. Fearing "Something" with the Hot Topic in 1972 the Movie was Tweaked and turned Tepid (or so the Studio thought). It still has enough Impact to deliver its Message about "Back Alley Abortions" and is Not a Bad Mystery/Thriller helped by the No Nonsense Actor James Coburn playing a No Nonsense Character.

    Not Everything Works to perfection in the Picture. The required Love Interest has a Clunky and Dated feel and doesn't do anything to Enhance the Plot, in Fact it's a Drag. But otherwise there are some Good Characters and the Lines between Hero and Villain are Realistically Rendered.

    It's a Forgotten Film and Deserves a Retro Re-Consideration considering the Subject and the more than Competent Professionals at Work here. Above Average and Thick with Timeless and Topical Considerations.
  • bkoganbing27 September 2015
    MGM gave a very stylish treatment to Michael Crichton's novel The Carey Treatment and provided James Coburn with one of his career roles as a pathologist/sleuth.

    Coburn has good reason to turn amateur detective in his new hospital in Boston. His friend and colleague James Hong has been accused of murder and of performing illegal abortions. In super Catholic Boston in 1972 that was the worst kind of charge you can make.

    Not only that the deceased is Melissa Torme-March the 15 year old daughter of the hospital head Dan O'Herlihy. O'Herlihy is head of a family where everyone goes into or is expected to go into medicine. His daughter was thought to go to Hong for an illegal abortion which was botched. Remember this was before Roe vs. Wade and there were all kinds of back alley abortion providers. Hong tells us he's feeling that women should control their own bodies and charges only lab fees. Others make big money off it, including some of the deceased's own family members. All hush hush and quite hypocritical, but those were the times.

    Coburn's training as a pathologist makes him suspect that the young woman wasn't even pregnant, but there were some thefts of narcotics at the hospital that the police are also interested in.

    Director Blake Edwards did well by his ensemble cast. For a doctor Coburn is hip and groovy as the times and pretty ruthless in pursuit of justice for his friend. Getting a career performance was Michael Blodgett who normally played beautiful surfer types, here he's one murderess masseuse. Skye Aubrey does well as a drug addicted nurse.

    After forty years The Carey Treatment holds up well and is a painful reminder that women need access to safe and legal abortions as well as a fine medical murder mystery.
  • James Coburn makes an (initially) likable hero, Jennifer O'Neill is radiantly pretty and Blake Edwards proves to be surprisingly adept at handling the "serious" material, quite a change-of-pace for him after all the "Pink Panther" entries. But the film becomes bloody and unpleasant in the last 20 minutes, and near the climax it features a particularly distasteful, almost repulsive torture scene. (**1/2)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A number of reviews have stated that a major hole in the movie's plot is "Why did the dying girl implicate an innocent doctor in performing a botched abortion on her?" The answer is - she didn't. The police stated they had a witness who testified the girl implicated the aforementioned doctor. That witness, they state, is the girl's mother. The mother, in her conversation with Dr. Carey, when asked how she knew it was the accused doctor who performed the botched abortion, replied "Because Karen had his card in her purse and had written him a check for $300". I agree with the other reviewers that it is totally implausible that the girl would implicate the doctor. What is more plausible is that the mother wanted the person who did this to pay and ASSUMED it was the doctor who's card was in Karen's purse. It was an established fact she was unconscious when arriving at the emergency room, and she had passed out as she drove up to her house in the car. The mother's statement that Karen was conscious in the ambulance and told her it was the doctor in question was a lie to make her accusation carry more weight with the police. And in regards to the $300 check, it was already well established that the doctor would only charge $25 for an illegal abortion to cover the lab fees. The $300 check was either a bogus fabrication by the mother or a legitimate check made out to cash for the person who was really responsible for the abortion. (Identity withheld for spoilers sake.) In which case, the mother made another incorrect assumption and linked the two (the doctor's card and the check) together.

    Now for the movie itself. It is more significant from an historical perspective than from the standpoint of great cinema. Remember, this movie came out in 1972, one year before the Roe vs Wade Supreme Court decision, which paved the way for legal abortions here in America. From that perspective, it is an interesting time capsule of the two opposing viewpoints of this issue, at a time when legalized abortion was about to come to its defining moment in American history. All of it wrapped up in a decent little suspense movie. Worth a look.
  • edwagreen27 March 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    James Coburn stars in this 1972 film about a doctor, who is unconventional, taking a position at a California hospital and soon becoming involved when the head administrator's daughter dies after a failed abortion and an oriental doctor is charged with her death.

    Coburn goes the limit in attempting to prove the innocence of the accused doctor and of course there is romance, violence and the question of doctors performing abortions. (Remember this is before Roe vs. Wade.)

    Pat Hingle co-stars as a tough detective and we see a family of doctors, consumed by their own contempt for others.