Hospital

( 3 )

Overview

Directed by Arthur Hiller from the second of three Academy Award-winning screenplays by Paddy Chayefsky, The Hospital is a black comedy centering on Dr. Herbert Bock George C. Scott, a bitter, suicidal surgeon. While patients at the hospital die left and right due to the extreme carelessness and ineptness of the staff that surrounds him, the lonely Bock finds himself falling for Barbara Diana Rigg, the daughter of Edmund Barnard Hughes, a patient. Meanwhile, a mysterious killer has begun stalking the hospital, ...
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Overview

Directed by Arthur Hiller from the second of three Academy Award-winning screenplays by Paddy Chayefsky, The Hospital is a black comedy centering on Dr. Herbert Bock George C. Scott, a bitter, suicidal surgeon. While patients at the hospital die left and right due to the extreme carelessness and ineptness of the staff that surrounds him, the lonely Bock finds himself falling for Barbara Diana Rigg, the daughter of Edmund Barnard Hughes, a patient. Meanwhile, a mysterious killer has begun stalking the hospital, taking out staff members. In addition to Chayefsky's Oscar win, The Hospital garnered a Best Actor nomination for Scott, who lost to Gene Hackman for The French Connection.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
A piece of early '70s social commentary and a de facto warm-up for Network (1976), writer Paddy Chayefsky takes on the medical system in The Hospital (1971). Devised as a satire that could later pass for social realism in an HMO-ruled culture, the matter-of-fact pre-credits voice-over accounting how medical malfeasance resulted in an empty bed for a sexual tryst caustically sets the tone for what follows. Bureaucracy, publicity-hungry "radical" protesters, murders, overcrowding, and sloppy medicine are but a few of the problems that push George C. Scott's honorable Dr. Bock to the suicidal edge. Hippie Diana Rigg's invitation to flee south of the border actually makes sense. Bock's death wish illuminates the genuine pathos and hopelessness caused by the systemic breakdown, but the near-slapstick climax and final cynical summation by Bock's colleague inject bitter levity into the drama. Coming off his blockbuster success with Love Story (1970), director Arthur Hiller earned artistic kudos and a prize at the Berlin Film Festival for The Hospital. Dr. Bock's despair, passion, and resignation earned recalcitrant Oscar-winner Scott another nomination for Best Actor. Chayefsky himself won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, an award he would win again for Network's satirical attack of TV culture.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/2/1994
  • UPC: 027616236135
  • Original Release: 1971
  • Rating:

  • Source: MGM (VIDEO & DVD)
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
George C. Scott Dr. Herbert Bock
Diana Rigg Barbara Drummond
Barnard Hughes Mr. Drummond
Nancy Marchand Head Nurse
Stephen Elliott Hospital Executive
Rehn Scofield Dr. Spezio
Donald Harron Hospital Executive
Robert Anthony Dr. Ives
Lenny Baker Dr. Schaefer
Cynthia Belgrave Nurse Reardon
Roberts Blossom Hospital Victim
Jacqueline Brookes Dr. Immelman
Stockard Channing
Jordan Charney Hitchcock
Alex Colon Young Lord
Lorrie Davis Nurse Divine
Andrew Duncan William Mead
Richard Dysart Dr. Welbeck
Julie Garfield Nurse Perez
Christopher Guest Resident
Richard Hamilton Dr. Ronald Casey
Kate Harrington Nurse Dunne
Katherine Helmond Marilyn Mead
Bette Henritze Operating Room Nurse
David Hooks Psychiatrist
Teresa Hughes Mrs. Donovan
Paul Mace Intern Ambler
Nancy MacKay Sheilah
Angie Ortega Drummond's Victim
Lou Polan Dr. Lagerman
Tom Spratley Mitgang
Frances Sternhagen Mrs. Cushing
Robert Walden Young Doctor
Technical Credits
Arthur Hiller Director
Eric Albertson Editor
Vincent Callaghan Makeup
Paddy Chayefsky Screenwriter
Howard Gottfried Producer
Jack Grossberg Producer
Victor J. Kemper Cinematographer
Dennis L. Maitland Sound/Sound Designer
Herb Mulligan Set Decoration/Design
Gene Rudolf Production Designer
Peter R. Scoppa Asst. Director
Yossif Surchadijev Score Composer
Frank Thompson Costumes/Costume Designer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the best medical black comedies

    I was actually at the hospital when the Hospital was being filmed. It is still, 35 years later, one of the best black comedies about the field of medicine produced. Excellent performances from all the main characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Scott saves dying Hospital

    Minor spoilers. This badly dated satire is salvaged by a passionate performance by George C. Scott as Dr. Herbert Bock, a bitter, middle-aged alcoholic who is a top administrator at a Manhattan hospital. Unfortunately, Scott and director Athur Hiller's social realism is at odds with the hectic, whimsical script from Paddy Chayefsky. They battle it out, but Scott makes it work for much of the time. There are some blackly funny bits in the first half of the movie as hospital patients and staff meet unfortunate ends. Robert Walden of Lou Grant acquits himself well as a young doctor, but most of the supporting cast has little to do. Scott gets some off good lines, although his speeches could use some editing. His dialogue almost seems like a trial run for Chayefsky's Network. The problem arises with the script's cure for Bock's ills, an annoying young woman condescendingly envisioned as a free spirit but with no resemblance to an actual human being. British actress Diana Rigg fares poorly in the part, spouting Chayefsky's mix of cliches and misheard American slang at great length. The character is further undermined by wandering the hospital in an unbuttoned blouse, exposing Rigg's negligble bust and confirming her function as The Girl. There's a chaotic sex scene that viewers are apparently supposed to take as life-affirming, but which is ugly in conception as well as appearance. Poor Barnard Hughes fares even worse as the set-up falls apart in the last reel. Out of left field, Hughes is forced to babble and engage in slapstick. Still, George C. Scott fans will enjoy his work in The Hospital, even if the movie itself turns out to be more smug than satirical.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reality still

    The original review makes one error. The medical staff are dying in addition to their patients. This film should be required viewing for all healthcare professionals before they are allowed to practice.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews