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Doctors' Wives

Doctors' Wives(1971)

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At a country club in Southern California, Lorrie Dellman, the sexually confident wife of surgeon Mort Dellman, plays cards with her friends Amy Brennan, Della Randolph, Maggie Gray and Elaine McGill, who all suspect their physician husbands of straying. Lorrie announces that she plans to sleep with each of their husbands, then promises to report back to the wives why they have been unable to satisfy their mates. Lorrie's plan goes awry, however, when Mort discovers her in bed with Paul McGill, the husband of Elaine, and in a fit of jealous rage, shoots Lorrie in the back and critically wounds Paul. When word of the shooting reaches Lorrie's friends, they all rush to the hospital, unsure of which of their husbands was Lorrie's unfortunate bedmate. After surgeon Pete Brennan performs open heart surgery on Paul to save his life, the women and their husbands begin to reflect on their disastrous marital situations: Amy, whose use of morphine to relieve her migraine headaches has caused her to withdraw from Pete, tries to rekindle her husband's affections but is too late, because he has turned for comfort to widowed, black nurse Helen Straughn. Della's husband, psychiatrist Dave Randolph, then confronts his wife about her frigidity, prompting her to confess that she had a lesbian relationship with the now-deceased Lorrie. Dr. Joe Gray, the estranged husband of the alcoholic Maggie, decides to visit Maggie to try to reconcile with her. Finding her floating face-down in the swimming pool following a suicide attempt, Joe rescues her, after which he fondly recalls the good times they shared. Shaken by her husband's shooting, Elaine breaks off her affair with young intern Mike Traynor, who then begins a romance with student nurse Sybil Carter, who has a penchant for surreptitiously taping recording her trysts. As the doctors and their wives gather for Lorrie's funeral, Helen interrupts the service to announce that her young son needs immediate brain surgery. Because Mort, who has been jailed for his wife's murder, is the only doctor capable of performing the delicate surgery, the district attorney agrees to release him under heavy police guard. Mort refuses to operate, however, unless Lorrie's wealthy father, Jake Porter, will secretly arrange for him to escape across the Mexican border. Porter consents, but after Mort successfully completes the surgery, alerts the police about Mort's planned escape. After Mort's attempted escape is thwarted, the doctors and their respective wives, sobered by the unsettling turn their lives have taken, begin to resolve their problems.