Preston Sturges brings to the screen the compelling biography of Dr W.T.G. Morton, who in 1844 discovered anaesthesia. The film [from the book by Rene Fulop-Muller] is the story of the romance, the trials and the ultimate victory of a Boston dentist, who experimented until he finally hit upon a painless means of extracting teeth, then passed on his discovery to the world of medicine. Performances of Joel McCrea and Betty Field, as well as a solid supporting cast, are well in keeping with the dignity of the yarn.

Preston Sturges brings to the screen the compelling biography of Dr W.T.G. Morton, who in 1844 discovered anaesthesia. The film [from the book by Rene Fulop-Muller] is the story of the romance, the trials and the ultimate victory of a Boston dentist, who experimented until he finally hit upon a painless means of extracting teeth, then passed on his discovery to the world of medicine. Performances of Joel McCrea and Betty Field, as well as a solid supporting cast, are well in keeping with the dignity of the yarn.

McCrea gives an excellent portrayal in the role of the impoverished medical student, forced to forego the study of medicine in lieu of a dental career because of lack of funds. Field, as the wife who sometimes gets on his nerves because of her lack of understanding of what he is endeavoring to accomplish, proves again that she is an actress with loads of talent.

Supporting roles of Harry Carey, the doctor who gives McCrea a chance to prove that anaesthesia is suitable for surgical operations, and William Demarest, as the first patient of McCrea, are expertly handled by them.

The Great Moment

Production

Paramount. Director Preston Sturges; Producer Preston Sturges; Screenplay Preston Sturges; Camera Victor Milner; Editor Stuart Gilmore; Music Victor Young; Art Director Hans Dreier, Ernst Fegte

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1944. Running time: 83 MIN.

With

Joel McCrea Betty Field Harry Carey William Demarest Franklin Pangborn Grady Sutton

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