Synopsis: An aspiring young physician, Robert Merivel found himself in the service of King Charles II and saves the life of a spaniel dear to the King. Merivel joins the King's court and lives the high life provided to someone of his position. Merivel is ordered to marry one of the King's mistresses in order to divert the suspicions of another one of his mistresses. He is given one order by the king and that is not to fall in love. The situation worsens when Merivel finds himself in love with his new wife. Eventually, the King finds out and relieves Merivel of his position and wealth. His fall from grace leaves Merivel where he first started. And through his travels and reunions with an old friend, he rediscovers his love for true medicine and what it really means to be a physician.
Director(s): Michael Hoffman
Production: Miramax
  Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
117 min

[ Chattering, Shouting ]

- [ Baby Crying ]

- [ Man Coughing ]

- Dr. Merivel.

- ln a moment.

- Doctor !

- ln a moment !

- Merivel, we must move on.

- l've sprinkled the lavell in to heal.

This will strengthen the hand. We must

not allow the tendons to atrophy.

- Merivel !

- l'll return this afternoon.

Old Mr. Parr is suffering from

an extreme shortness of breath.

What do you prescribe ?

Let's try some syrup

of sage flower.

- Doctor ! Doctor !

- Citron pills to relieve coughing.

- Doctor !

- l shall be with you

presently, Mr. Watchurst.

- Mr. Hodges.

- Hodges.

- l'm starving.

- You can't be.

- l am.

- You've already eaten.

l had a piece of bread

and scarcely any cheese.

There's no time to eat !

For the five years we've worked here,

there is never time to eat.

There is no time to drink. There is no

time, even, to look after our patients.

[ Man ]

Doctor ! Doctor Merivel !

Samuel needs you.

Sam-Samuel ! Samuel !

Look-- Look at me !

lt's Robert. lt's Robert. Quiet now.

Be quiet. Be quiet.

Merivel ! You must see to Parr.

He'll only accept comfort from you.

Give him a complice for his head

and some camomile.

Mr. Parr !

Mr. Parr, tell me

how you're feeling.

ls there hope

l will get well again ?

There is always hope.

You must rest and allow

my medicines to do their work.

Dr. Merivel !

Doctor !

l-l do what l can

to treat them.

But our science gives us no hope

of curing most of them,

and l am frustrated !

No, l'm... frightened.

Of what ?

Their faith

and my ignorance.

That is why you prefer

a life of debauchery.

Your mother died believing

you were a man of honor.

And l beg her pardon every night, and

l am at the hospital every day for her.

You mean your whoring is interrupted

daily by the care of the sick.

You've not come to me for money

to spend on your medicines.

lndeed l have, in a sense.

The five shillings

l require are for--

well, for a pawnbroker so l can

redeem my case of instruments.

Father, l am sorry

to confess it.

- You should be damned for it.

- l should.

Look. Look at these hands.

Look at them.

Worked to the bone for

your case of instruments,

for your teachers and for

the books on your table.

Or have they

been pawned too ?

[ Sighs ]

So that the son of a glove maker...

should not be denied

the use of those gifts...

which marked you as a physician

before you could spell ''physic.''

My gifts ?

Your gifts, Robert.

Oh, yes, my gifts.

My first patient was a frog.

l cured him of jumping.

Now l can cure people

of breathing.

My gifts, Father, bring me

to dark despair in dark rooms...

so l can hear joy

in the street.

The King is restored to us,

the theaters are open,

the tailors and wig makers

are happy as whores...

and rich men

go to heaven again.

l would like to shake

the King's hand.

Take the hand of your

friend Pearce, Robert.

He is the example

to follow.

He may dress like a crow,

but he once infected himself

with scarlet fever,

the better to study

the disease.

Well, in my own small way,

l'm doing the same for the clap.

[ Dog Barking ]

Look at this glove.

Touch it.

This glove

is for the King.

And that is the closest

you will ever get...

to touching the hand

of the King of England.

Here are your

five shillings.

Redeem your case

of instruments.

And if you've a heart,

redeem your gift, Robert.

Thank you, Father.

And don't spend

the money on women.

[ Laughing, Moaning ]

[ Man Knocking At Door ]

Merivel ! l must prevail on you...

to come to the examining

theater this instant.

l won't be

a moment, Pearce.

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