While Gerald Thomas directed the longest-running comedy franchise in the world (the Carry On movies), elder brother Ralph contented himself with directing a mere seven movies based on the Doctor In… series of books written by Richard Gordon. Doctor at Large was the third in the franchise.
Dirk Bogarde stars as Dr Simon Sparrow, a medical practitioner who decides to branch out from St Swithin’s hospital to see what’s available in the world at large. Firstly he joins the country practice of Dr Hackett (Lionel Jeffries), although his stay is short-lived when he finds himself the subject of Hackett’s wife’s unwanted attention. Next up is an equally unsuccessful stint with the arty Dr Potter-Shine (Derek Farr).
Sparrow’s lack of job satisfaction is tempered by the news that his friend Benskin (Donald Sinden) has been left £15,000 by a wealthy patient. The two set off on a European jaunt, although even this isn’t what it seems – Benskin was left the money for charitable purposes, not personal gratification. Ironically, Sparrow’s quick thinking to aid a governor from his old hospital finds him back on familiar ground at St Swithin’s. He’s soon running into an old adversary, Dr Lancelot Spratt (James Robertson Justice), although thankfully there is also a student doctor, Joy (Muriel Pavlow), who seems intent on living up to her name.
Dirk Bogarde as Dr Simon Sparrow
Muriel Pavlow as Dr Joy Gibson
Donald Sinden as Dr Tony Benskin
James Robertson Justice as Sir Lancelot Spratt
Shirley Eaton as Nurse Nan McPherson
Michael Medwin as Dr. Charles Bingham
Derek Farr as Dr. Erasmus Potter-Shine
Lionel Jeffries as Dr. Hatchett
Athene Seyler as Lady Hawkins
Noel Purcell as Padre
George Coulouris as Pascoe
Anne Heywood as Emerald
Barbara Murray as Kitty
Mervyn Johns as Smith
Dilys Laye as Mrs. Jasmine Hatchett
Terence Longdon as George
Maureen Pryor as Mrs. Dalton
Ernest Thesiger as Examiner
Geoffrey Keen as Examiner
Director: Ralph Thomas
Writer: Nicholas Phipps (based on the novel by Richard Gordon)
UK | Rank | 104 minutes | 1957
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