Review: ‘The Hospital’

The Hospital is a civilian mis-MASH. George C. Scott stars as a NY medical center chief surgeon whose ruined personal life alternates with a daily routine of apparently inept, callous, bored, overworked and murdered staff members. Diana Rigg is the daughter of a deranged doctor-patient whose unmasking destroys most of author Paddy Chayefsky's basic premise.

The Hospital is a civilian mis-MASH. George C. Scott stars as a NY medical center chief surgeon whose ruined personal life alternates with a daily routine of apparently inept, callous, bored, overworked and murdered staff members. Diana Rigg is the daughter of a deranged doctor-patient whose unmasking destroys most of author Paddy Chayefsky’s basic premise.

In the plot’s medico environment stands Scott, at 53 a washout as husband and father and on the verge of suicide. The heavily sprayed-on sociological angle is that hospitals today treat patients like baggage.

Rigg turns Scott on to the promise of a peaceful life in the western mountains; she is in the hospital because father Barnard Hughes, a gone-berserk Boston doctor, has been treated in bungled fashion by Richard Dysart, a medic whose eye is on the stock market more than his avowed profession.

The film is larded with vignettes strung on a series of mysterious murders: girl-chasing doctor Lenny Baker, internist Robert Anthony and nurse Angie Ortega.

1971: Best Original Story & Screenplay.

Nomination: Best Actor (George C. Scott)

The Hospital

Production

United Artists. Dir Arthur Hiller; Producer Howard Gottfried; Screenplay Paddy Chayefsky; Camera Victor J. Kemper; Editor Eric Albertson; Music Morris Surdin Art Dir Gene Rudolf

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1971. Running time: 103 MIN.

With

George C. Scott Diana Rigg Barnard Hughes Nancy Marchand Stephen Elliott Donald Harron
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