Doctor in the House

Synopsis: Simon Sparrow is a newly arrived medical student at St Swithin's hospital in London. Falling in with three longer-serving hopefuls he is soon immersed in the wooing, imbibing and fast sports-car driving that constitute 1950's medical training. There is, however, always the looming and formidable figure of chief surgeon Sir Lancelot Spratt to remind them of their real purpose.
Genre: Comedy
Director(s): Ralph Thomas
Production: VCI Entertainment
  Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
92 min

Hello, Marion.

- Hello, Butch. Back again.

- Hello, Grimsdyke!

Elizabeth, you've lost weight.

- Hello, Jessup.

- Oh, hello, Mr Grimsdyke.

- Back again?

- Once again.

New term wouldn't seem the same

without you.

Thank you.

What's the prescription? Same?

Yes. The Dean's coming along now.

I suppose

I'd better make an appearance.

- I think you'd better.

- At least I can read the paper.

Excuse me.

- Hm?

- I'm a new medical student.

Are you, now?

Well, I'm a very old doctor.

I was wondering where I should go.

Take my advice -

straight into another profession.

- How much?

- 15 shillings on the clock.

15 shillings?!

What? From Waterloo station?

- Via the Windmill Theatre.

- Oh. Clock's a bit fast, isn't it?

- 15 bob, mate.

- Hey, Taffy!

- Back in a tick.

- Hey! Where you going?


- Taffy, lend me a pound.

- A pound?

Where would I get a pound?

And you owe me 32 bob.

You'll get it back. A bookie I met...

I haven't got a pound.

How did you do in the anatomy exam?

- Failed.

- Me, too.

Those examiners

never asked a question I knew.

- Back where we started.

- Never mind. Plenty of football.

- Hello, Mr Benskin, Mr Evans.

- Hello, Jessup, you old rogue.

- Had a nice holiday?

- Shocking run of losers.

- Any letters?

- Only bills, sir.

- Throw them away.

- Can you get me a head and neck?

- I want a brain.

- I don't know about a brain, sir.

Brains is hard to come by these days.

Times aren't what they were.

- Both failed your exam, eh?

- Back with the new boys... and girls.

- You'll pass this time.

- What time is the Dean talking?

Five o'clock. You'd better get going.

I'm about to ring.

I left a taxi waiting at the gate.

Pay him off, there's a good fellow.

- Excuse me, I...

- Sit down here, please.

- Name?

- Sparrow. Simon Sparrow.

- Have you been here before?

- No.

- Have you a doctor's letter?

- Do I need one?

- You're making it very difficult.

- I'm sorry. I...

- Have you been here before or not?

- No.

Very well. Go in there

and take your clothes off.

- Now, wait...

- Really! You are the limit.

- What's the matter, Nurse?

- This patient won't undress.

Won't he? We'll see about that.

I've been trying to explain.

I'm a new medical student.

- Taff, me boy.

- Hello, Grim. How are you?

- Hello, Tony. How's the love life?

- Easy come, easy go.

Excuse me. Could you tell me

where the students go?

Well, certainly not in here.

- Where are you looking for?

- Actually, I'm new.

- Could you tell me where to go?

- The medical school.

- That's right over the other side.

- Could you tell me how to get there?

Go past Physiotherapy,

right at Neuropathology,

left by Gastroenterology,

till you come to the main hall.

- Then it's...

- That's not the quickest way.

Go down there by DXR and EEG,

then straight on past ECG,

till you get to the almoner's office.

No, it's... You're going

in the right direction.

Thank you... very much.

You took the stitches out too soon!

- Funny.

- Let me help you.

It is customary for me,

as dean of this hospital,

to welcome new students

at the beginning of each year,

but thanks to the vigilance

of the examiners

in protecting the public against

the medical ministrations of idiots,

I see that I am welcoming

many familiar faces, as well.

Medical students, gentlemen,

were described by Charles Dickens

as "a parcel of lazy, idle fellows

"that are always smoking

and drinking and lounging."

That is, unfortunately, still true,

and the time has come, gentlemen,

for a change.

Mr Evans,

I suggest you devote to your studies

some fraction of the energy

you expend on the football field.

And Mr Benskin, I would ask you

in future kindly to remember

that nurses are here for the comfort

of the patients, not the students.

Furthermore, you will be expected to

arrive at every lecture punctually.

Last term, it was a disgrace.

Students thought they could come in

at any time that suited them...

Good afternoon.

Won't you be seated?

- May I continue?

- Oh, yes.

Thank you.

Your course here will be

for a minimum of five years.

Those of you

who at the end of that time

satisfy the examiners

you have sufficient skill

will receive your degrees and be

entitled to call yourselves "Doctor".

It will require the greatest

hard work, application

and serious-mindedness from you.

For your first two years

you will study biochemistry,

physiology, anatomy and pathology.

Three minutes shorter than usual.

Did he do female patients

and professional etiquette?

- I think he mentioned it.

- He must have speeded up.

- You heard it before?

- Three times.

Three times?!

You must be a very senior...

Not a bit.

I haven't passed an exam yet.

Oh, I'm terribly sorry. I...

Don't be. I always fail on purpose.

Shall we see the Padre?

- Is that what you usually do?

- That's what I do. Come on.

- Hello, Padre.

- Mr Grimsdyke. Nice to see you.

- Nice to see you. How are you?

- Fine, thanks.

- Good. Meet... What's your name?

- Sparrow. Simon Sparrow.

- Glad to meet you, sir. New?

- Yes.

I expect we'll be seeing a lot

of you. What'll it be, gentlemen?

- Two pints, please. Beer all right?

- Guinness.

Make one a Guinness, Padre. He's been

here years. Nobody knows his name.

- We call him the Padre.

- Why?

- Why? Shall we tell him?

- Yes.


the patients might get a bit upset

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Nicholas Phipps

Nicholas Phipps (23 June 1913 – 11 April 1980) was a British actor and screenwriter who appeared in more than thirty films during a career that lasted between 1938 and 1970. He was born in London in 1913. He appeared mainly in British comedy films, often specialising in playing military figures. He was also an occasional screenwriter, sometimes working on the script for films in which he acted. Best known for his collaborations with Herbert Wilcox and Ralph Thomas, Phipps wrote some of the most popular British films of all time, including Spring in Park Lane (1948) and Doctor in the House (1954). He retired from acting in 1970.His script for the 1954 film Doctor in the House was nominated for a BAFTA. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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