Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Maude Ebern, Jean Herscholt and nurse

DR. CHRISTIAN MEETS THE WOMEN (1940). Director: William C. McGann.

You might hope for something provocative with that title, but no such luck. Dr. Christian (Jean Herscholt) is a middle-aged-going-on-elderly physician in a small town who is alarmed when a type of nutritionist, Professor Parker (Rod La Rocque) moves in and claims he can help every woman lose twenty-five pounds in two weeks. Before long all the town porkers are signing up in hopes of looking as good as the professor's shapely nurse, Carol (the ever-hard Veda Ann Borg). Meanwhile Kitty Browning (Marilyn or Lynn Merrick) has fallen hard for the professor's front man, Bill (Frank Albertson), and her dieting is making her weak and seriously ill. And the fat ladies turn on the well-meaning Christian like ungrateful vipers. This comedy-drama is like a sitcom in the days before sitcoms, with the dramatic moments lacking authority and the comedic bits lacking real laughs. Even Maude Ebern as Christian's peppery housekeeper can't do much to make this entertaining. Hersholt appeared in a few of these Dr. Christian movies in the forties before doing the inevitable TV series, Dr. Christian, in 1956. [Think I'll give that a pass.] La Rocque played The Shadow in The Shadow Strikes

Verdict: Leave Dr. Christian to his women. *1/2.

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