Film Overview: Not As A Stranger (1955)

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A medical drama, Not As A Stranger is a modestly profitable story of ambition, combining character flaws, overheated feelings, and working room dramatics. 

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Lucas Marsh (Robert Mitchum) is a medical scholar pushed to succeed, however he can barely afford the tutoring since he comes from a poor background and his father (Lon Chaney Jr.) is an alcoholic. He will get by with monetary assist from his finest good friend Alfred Boone (Frank Sinatra) and the kindness of Dr. Aarons (Broderick Crawford). Lucas romances plain-looking Swedish nurse Kristina (Olivia de Havilland) after studying she has saved a good-looking sum of cash. They get married, though she solely hopes he loves her. 

As he completes his research Lucas develops a fame as a perfectionist illiberal of errors and fast to evaluate and humiliate others. He’s additionally genuinely interested by caring for sufferers and fewer obsessed than his classmates about getting wealthy. Upon graduating he accepts a place within the rural city of Greenville helping the aged Dr. Runkleman (Charles Bickford), gaining precious expertise though his marriage to Kristina grows ever colder. Lucas then meets the alluring and lonely widow Harriet Lang (Gloria Grahame), and is tempted into contemplating an affair.

The primary film directed by producer Stanley Kramer, Not As A Stranger adapts a Morton Thompson e book into an engaging-enough cinematic expertise. The feelings are sometimes operating sizzling and by no means removed from the floor, however the plot gives a worthwhile drama stuffed with memorable characters, a number of medical crises, and crackling interpersonal dynamics. 

The 135 minutes of operating time are wealthy with incident and barely drag, the screenplay by Edna and Edward Anhalt offering a bountiful central character arc. Marsh’s single-minded drive to turn out to be a health care provider is fuelled by humble origins, however his incapability to modulate, settle for imperfections, and select his spots lands him in repeated bother. He has the smarts to apologize, however might want to confront his personal fallibilities earlier than correctly coming to phrases with the distinction between idealism and success.

Regardless of the undoubted expertise on show, the casting selections are doubtful. Robert Mitchum (38 years outdated) and Frank Sinatra (40 years outdated) are too outdated to persuade as medical college students, they usually lumber by way of the primary half trying precisely like middle-aged guys not too interested by pretending to be up-and-comers. In the meantime, Olivia de Havilland’s Swedish accent randomly fades out and in. A smoldering Gloria Grahame and the supporting veteran actors fare higher, whereas Lee Marvin has a small function as one other medical scholar.

On a number of events Kramer takes his cameras into the working room, and the surgical procedure scenes are sometimes tense and typically boldly graphic. Two crisp and humorous montage sequences successfully convey expertise gained over the passage of time: the primary as Marsh and Boone turn out to be residents and begin treating sufferers; the second when Marsh begins working as a small-town physician. Not As A Stranger might lack scalpel sharpness, however comfortably meets the necessities to graduate.

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