People Will Talk

People Will Talk

Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1951
USA | Format: 35mm | 110 minutes

This 1951 adaptation of German playwright and filmmaker Curt Goetz’s Dr. Praetorious was one of Mankiewicz’s personal favorites among his films. The director himself, who did pre-med at Columbia, was always a “medical buff” according to his biographer Kenneth L. Geist, and this story of an unconventional physician (Cary Grant) who takes a personal approach to each of his patients was one of the director’s most autobiographical films. It is also one of his strangest: there’s something deeply mysterious and almost unsettling about the doctor’s Zen-like approach to life and work, particularly as embodied by Grant; and the character of Praetorious’s silent assistant Shunderson, played by the great Scottish actor Finlay Currie, gives the film the aura of a fable. With Jeanne Crain as the woman Praetorious saves and marries, Sidney Blackmer as her father, and Hume Cronyn as the malevolent antagonist Dr. Elwell.

Series: NYFF52 Retrospective – Joseph L. Mankiewicz: The Essential Iconoclast

Venue: Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center