Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: movie review

  • Movie review: Miss Evers’ Boys

    P. Ravi ShankarKuala Lumpur, Malaysia The Tuskegee Syphilis study was a dark chapter in United States history. In 1932, the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) began to study the natural history of progression of syphilis. The study was originally called the “Tuskegee study of untreated syphilis in the negro male” and is now referred…

  • Movie review: Bisturi: La Mafia Bianca

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “Medicine is power. It makes us giants.”– Dr. Daniele Valotti in Bisturi: La Mafia Bianca Bisturi: La Mafia Bianca (1973) is an understated, well-acted, and critical “doctor movie.” Unlike The Hospital, it is not a black comedy of errors, and unlike Where Does It Hurt? it is not a broad, obvious satire.…

  • Doctor Cabbie: No good deed goes unpunished

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “I was bound by an oath that I took.”– Doctor Cabbie Doctor Cabbie (2014) begins with Deepak V. Chopra (played by Vinay Virmani) reciting the Hippocratic Oath along with his graduating class from the University of New Delhi. The face of this newly-minted doctor is glowing with joy. He has fulfilled his…

  • Movie review: Where Does it Hurt?

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “This film is dedicated to the honest, sincere MDs—whose lives are dedicated to the sacred Hippocratic oath. Will these three doctors please stand up?” This dedication sets the tone of Where Does It Hurt? (1972). Unlike the 1971 film The Hospital, in which patients’ lives are jeopardized by inefficiency, incompetence, and insanity,…

  • Movie review: Première Année (The Freshmen)

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   “Never memorize something you can look up.” – Albert Einstein “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill   Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash. Première Année (literally “First Year”) is a 2018 French film. In it, we meet and follow two young men in their first year of…

  • A portrait of dementia

    Lindsay RipleyDallas, Texas, United States A few months ago, I watched The Father, a film with Olivia Colman in a main role and Anthony Hopkins as the titular father. Hopkins plays Anthony, a character who bears Hopkins’ own name because writer and director Florian Zeller wrote the part imagining Hopkins in it. Like Hopkins, now…

  • Movie review: Kings Row – Assassins in white coats

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “Above all, I must not play God.”— Revised Hippocratic Oath2 Kings Row (1942) is a film set in a small American town in the early nineteen-hundreds. It features two doctors who are best avoided as well as a bright young man called Parris sent by his wealthy grandmother to study medicine in…

  • Movie review: Pressure Point – treating the hateful patient

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “You sing ‘My country ’tis of thee’ while they walk all over you.”— The patient, Pressure Point Pressure Point (1962) is a “doctor movie” that is “all but unknown to the general public.”1 This is unfortunate, since it contains important messages as well as some splendid acting. The story is told as…

  • Movie review: The Hospital, “the wounded madhouse of our times”

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “Where do you train your nurses, Mrs. Christie, Dachau?”— Dr. Herbert Bock, The Hospital The Hospital (1971) is a devastating satire about American medicine in the second half of the twentieth century. We see the functioning of an inner-city teaching hospital through the eyes of Dr. Herbert Bock (played by George C.…

  • Movie review: No Way Out

    Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   A lumbar puncture being performed. Brainhell, 2006. Via Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0. The more things change, the more they stay the same. – Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr (1808–1890)   No Way Out is a 1950 movie about medicine and racism that deserves more attention than it has received. The story takes…