Not As a Stranger

Not As a Stranger

Director: Stanley Kramer, Frank Kramer, Olivia de Havilland, Robert Mitchum

Cast: Stanley Kramer, Frank Kramer, Olivia de Havilland, Robert Mitchum

     
 
Ambitious but impecunious medical student Lucas Marsh (Robert Mitchum) marries the older and (in this film, at least) not especially attractive Kristina Hedvigson (Olivia de Havilland) so that she can pay his tuition fees. Kristina loves Lucas, but he loves nothing but his work. Emotionally shutting himself off from everyone -- including best friend, Alfred Boone

Overview

Ambitious but impecunious medical student Lucas Marsh (Robert Mitchum) marries the older and (in this film, at least) not especially attractive Kristina Hedvigson (Olivia de Havilland) so that she can pay his tuition fees. Kristina loves Lucas, but he loves nothing but his work. Emotionally shutting himself off from everyone -- including best friend, Alfred Boone (Frank Sinatra), and drunken dad, Job Marsh (Lon Chaney Jr.) -- Lucas survives his training and goes to work as the assistant to tough but tender small-town medico Dr. Runkleman (Charles Bickford). He enters into an affair with wealthy Harriet Lang (Gloria Grahame) (watch for the symbolism-laden tryst in the horse barn!), obliging Alfred, now a big-city doctor, to try to patch up his pal's marriage. But Lucas feels nothing and needs no one because he's come to think of himself as the perfect physician, incapable of making an error. When Lucas fails to revive his mentor Dr. Runkleman during heart surgery (a genuine heart is used in the "massage" close-ups), the young doctor suddenly realizes that he's not infallible after all. He wanders aimlessly through town, finally returning to his wife and collapsing into her arms, sobbing "Help me! Please help me!" Cameo players range from Broderick Crawford as a Jewish doctor denied entry into medicine's upper circles to Carl Switzer as a bug-eyed patient. The film was adapted from the best-selling novel by Morton Thompson.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Adapting Morton Thompson's sprawling novel for the screen is a daunting task, but Edna and Edward Anhalt did an extremely admirable job in their screenplay for Not As a Stranger. Inevitably, of course, some of the subtleties have had to be sacrificed and things telescoped a bit too much here and there, but on the whole, Stranger's screenplay does a marvelous job of transferring the novel to the screen. If it still has a tinge of soap opera and occasionally makes its points a bit heavily, these were also flaws in the original source material. First-time director Stanley Kramer does a good job of keeping the story moving and involving, and he certainly knows how to play the melodrama for all its worth. Unfortunately, Stranger suffer s a bit from some key miscasting, most notably Robert Mitchum in the central role. Mitchum is an actor who can be enormously powerful and effective -- but in a fairly limited range of roles. The laconic air that works so well when disguising pent-up emotions works against the character here, disengaging him from the story and distancing the audience from him. In addition, both he and Frank Sinatra are too old for their roles. Sinatra does provide some much-needed humor, while Olivia de Havilland turns in solid, affecting work that goes a long way toward making up for Mitchum's deficiencies. There's also exemplary work from Broderick Crawford and Charles Bickford. Despite its flaws, Stranger still emerges as a powerful and memorable medical melodrama.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/29/2011
UPC:
0883904240365
Original Release:
1955
Source:
Mgm Mod
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
2:16:00
Sales rank:
12,949

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Olivia de Havilland Kristina Hedvigson
Robert Mitchum Lucas Marsh
Frank Sinatra Alfred Boone
Gloria Grahame Harriet Lang
Broderick Crawford Dr. Aarons, Medical Professor
Charles Bickford Dr. Runkleman
Myron McCormick Dr. Snider
Lon Chaney Job Marsh
Jesse White Ben Cosgrove
Lee Marvin Brundage
Virginia Christine Bruni
Whit Bissell Dr. Dietrich
Jack Raine Dr. Lettering
Mae Clarke Miss O'Dell
Henry Morgan Oley
William Vedder Emmons
John Dierkes Bursar

Technical Credits
Stanley Kramer Director,Producer
Frank Kramer Director
Edward Anhalt Screenwriter
Edna Anhalt Screenwriter
George Antheil Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
John E. Burch Production Manager
Carter DeHaven Asst. Director
Josh Fields Consultant/advisor
Victor A. Gangelin Set Decoration/Design
Watson Jones Sound/Sound Designer
Joe King Costumes/Costume Designer
Frederic Knudtson Editor
Don Loper Costumes/Costume Designer
Morton Maxwell Consultant/advisor
Franz Planer Cinematographer
Marjorie Lefevre R.N. Consultant/advisor
Howard Richmond Art Director
Earl Snyder Sound/Sound Designer
Rudolph Sternad Production Designer
Bill Woods Makeup

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >