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Doctor in the House

The Moviegoer

By Michael J. Halberstam and B.u. Med.

Doctor in the House is a movie about the lives and (jolly good) times of four medical students. Offhand I couldn't think of a more depressing subject, but once at the Exeter I laughed myself silly along with a good fifty percent of the audience. Since, However, about one-half of the audience were medical students known to me personally, I cannot vouch for the layman's reaction, for the film contains a remarkable amount of professional humor, scrutable only to those in the trade. Yet non-medical friends assure me they were much amused, so I guess the jokes were not too intramural.

That the movie is at all funny is a function of the Continental tradition that medical students are full-time rogues and not dedicated scientists. This means that the principals in Doctor in the House can go around playing rugby, seducing nurses, and acting collegiate without being kicked out.

There's really no plot, for this J. Arthur Rank film just follows the misadventures of one somewhat conscientious student during his four years. There are some remarkably funny and authentic medical situations, and a sort of grand climax riot with a rival medical school. Although undoubtedly a barrel of fun for the participants this scene, embarrassed me greatly and gave me a sudden unexpected feeling of sympathy for the residents of Cambridge, Mass.

But most of the movie's is funny, especially if you like your humor in the Abbott and Costello tradition rather than that of Alec Guinness. With all its faults, Doctor in the House achieved the transient euphoric effect of making me feel like going back to medical school.

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