Movie Review: Doctor in Trouble (1970)
“When the Doctor Finds Out the Captain is a Lady He Tries to Get to the Bottom of Things”
Doctor in Trouble (1970)
Director: Ralph Thomas
Cast: Leslie Phillips, Harry Secombe, James Robertson Justice
Synopsis: A lovelorn doctor follows the woman who rejected his marriage proposal onto a cruise liner.
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The Doctor series had come a long way since its first appearance in the mid-1950s – and it was nearly all downhill. By the time the wonderful Leslie Phillips (Crooks Anonymous, The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins) appeared in this dreary effort the series was only one step above the ‘Carry On’ series, a bland and tasteless cocktail of schoolboy innuendo and scantily-clad girls who are invariably referred to as ‘birds.’ Phillips plays Tony Burke, a doctor desperate to marry model Ophelia (Angela Scoular – Great Catherine) so that he can secure a lucrative job in the States. Unfortunately, Ophelia departs for a photo-shoot on a luxury cruise ship before Burke has a chance to pop the question, and when he boards the ship prior to its sailing, a series of mishaps result in him having to stay aboard as a stowaway.
The script for Doctor in Trouble is truly diabolical; bereft of any laughs whatsoever, it’s saved only be the sterling performances of certain members of its cast. Phillips is dependable as ever in a role that tests his dignity to the limit, while Harry Secombe (The Bed Sitting Room, The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins) pretty much steals the movie as a working class pools winner who, when he isn’t eyeing up the ‘birds,’ is winding up the ship’s pompous captain (Robert Morley – another good performance). Absolute low mark is a blacked-up Graham Stark (A Shot in the Dark, Alfie) playing an Indian steward.
(Reviewed 3rd February 2012)