Meet Dr. Christian


1h 8m 1939

Film Details

Release Date
Nov 17, 1939
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Stephens-Lang Productions
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 8m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

Kindly old Dr. Christian has forfeited a promising career in Chicago to minister to the country folk of River's End. When the mayor resigns, the townspeople want to appoint Dr. Christian to fill the position, but the humble doctor selflessly defers to the managerial abilities of lumber mill owner John Hewitt. Dr. Christian is then appointed the head of the health department, but his concern with public welfare over issues of budget and efficiency earn him the ire of the new mayor. The doctor's faith in Hewitt is shaken when the mayor earmarks funds for building roads rather than for a much needed hospital. When the doctor questions Hewitt's priorities, the mayor angrily fires him in front of the whole town. Hewitt soon grows to regret his rashness when the town rallies against him and his little daughter Patsy is seriously injured in an auto accident. When Patsy's cerebral hemorrhage prohibits her from being moved to the hospital in a neighboring town, Hewitt sends for Dr. Wells, a brain specialist from Chicago. Wells is dismayed at the primitive conditions under which Dr. Christian must work, but is greatly impressed with the country doctor's skill. Together, the two doctors save the little girl's life and Dr. Wells then lectures Hewitt about his abuse of Dr. Christian. This forces Hewitt to recognize his misjudgment of the good doctor, and in appreciation, he authorizes Dr. Christian's hospital.

Film Details

Release Date
Nov 17, 1939
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Stephens-Lang Productions
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 8m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to the materials contained in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the script of this film was initially rejected on the grounds that it justified mercy killing. The script was then changed and won the Hays Office approval. A news item in Hollywood Reporter notes that the film was shot on location at Toluca Lake, CA. This was the first in a series of RKO films based on the radio show, Dr. Chrisian which also starred Jean Hersholt. According to a New York Times article, Howard Lang and William Stephens, Hersholt's agents, formed Stephens-Lang productions just to make this series. The article notes that the picture cost $116,000 to make and grossed $400,000 at the box office. From 1939-1941, William Stephens produced six "Dr. Christian" films for RKO, starring Jean Hersholt as the kindly doctor and Dorothy Lovett as his nurse. The last in the series was the 1941 film They Meet Again. For additional information about the series, consult the Series Index.