The Hospital

Synopsis: Herbert Bock, the chief of medicine in a New York City teaching hospital, is contemplating suicide; he's impotent, his wife has left him, and his children aren't speaking to him. His hospital is also suffering from a recent spate of inexplicable deaths. In the midst of these setbacks, Bock is romantically drawn to the much younger Barbara, whose father is a patient. As Barbara restores Bock's will to live, it turns out that the hospital deaths are murders.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Mystery
Director(s): Arthur Hiller
Production: United Artists
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
103 min

On Monday morning,

a patient named Guernsey...

male, middle 70s, was admitted

to the hospital complaining of chest pains.

He had been referred by a nursing home...

where the doctor had

diagnosed his condition as Angina pectoris.

It is axiomatic...

that nursing-home doctors

are always wrong.

The intern who admitted

Mr. Guernsey, however...

accepted the diagnosis

and prescribed morphine...

a drug suitable for angina,

but not at all suitable for emphysema...

which is unfortunately

what the old man actually had.

Within an hour, the patient

became unresponsive and diaphoretic...

and was raced up to Intensive Care,

with an irregular pulse of 150...

blood pressure 90 over 60,

respiration rapid and shallow.

The resident on duty in Intensive Care

compounded the blunder...

by treating the old man

for pulmonary edema.

He gave him digitalis, diuretics and oxygen.

This restored the old mars color.

He was sent to his room

in the Holly Pavilion...

ruddy-complected and peacefully asleep.

But the patient was in CO 2 narcosis,

and died at 7:
30 that evening.

I mention all this only to explain

how the bed in Room 806 became available.

The intern involved

was a prickly young buck named Schaefer...

who had a good thing going for him

with a technician in the Hematology Lab.

In the haphazard fashion

of hospital romances...

Dr. Schaefer had been zapping this girl...

on wheelchairs, stretchers, pantry shelves...

in the kitchen, in the morgue,

in the dark corners of corridors...

standing up, sitting down...

So you can imagine

what an available bed meant to him.

Sheila, this is Howard.

I got a bed for us for tonight.

A real, honest-to-God bed.

Dr. Schaefer...

Did you know that Dr. Schaefer

was in Room 806 because he's dead?


I'm just telling you that Dr. Schaefer is dead.

- What do you want, Perez?

- I don't know what this is about...

but Dr. Schaefer is in Room 806

with an IV running, and he's dead.

- I didn't even know he was sick.

- What the hell are you talking about?

- Do you know what she's talking about?

- No.

Maybe I'm going crazy. I don't know.

Isn't Room 806 the patient Guernsey?

Did something happen

that maybe I didn't know about?

I don't know what you're talking about.

This is the nuttiest thing I ever saw.

Dr. Schaefer is in Room 806, dead.

What Dr. Schaefer? Our Dr. Schaefer?

Our Dr. Schaefer. The one

who's always grabbing everybody's ass.

- Do you know what she's talking about?

- No.

I don't know what you're talking about.

What do you mean,

"Dr. Schaefer's in Room 806, dead"?

I mean, he's lying on the far bed,

stone dead, and with an IV.

If you don't believe me,

you ought to go and look for yourself.

Maybe you'd better call Mrs. Christie.

Dr. Bock.

Yes, Mrs. Christie, what is it?

It's all right. I'd have to be getting up

any minute, anyway.

Sorry, I missed that.

Would you say it again, please?

I know.

Schaefer, the stud with the glasses,

fancies all the nurses.

I'm afraid I don't understand.

What do you mean?

Was he sick?

I mean...

What was the cause of death?

Was he being treated? I don't understand.

What was he doing in the bed?

You did say...

Mrs. Christie, did you call the office?

Good, I'II...

It's all right.

I'd be getting my wake-up call

any minute, anyway.


What do you say, Sundstrom?

How long do you think your monopolistic,

exclusionary, racist policies will work?

Free the hope!

Now, hold it.

Herb! I'm glad I caught up with you.

How's it going?

One of my interns

dropped dead this morning.

Really? I'm sorry to hear that.

I understand you moved out to a hotel.

- Things got that bad with Phyllis?

- It's been that bad for 24 years.

You gonna be solicitous?


I'm the guy

that brought you into this hospital...

so I think I can skip

the diplomatic overtures.

Marty stopped me

in the hall yesterday, very upset.

He had just had lunch with you.

He said you sounded suicidal.

Marty tends to be extravagant,

but he's not the only one.

Jack Singer mentioned

that you were boozing it up a lot.

Let's face it, you have been sloughing off.

I understand

you haven't even been doing rounds.

I'm going to do rounds today.

Do you want to take a couple of days off?

Go down to Montego Bay,

get drunk, get laid, get a little sun?

For God's sake, I'm 53 years old,

with all the attendant fears.

I just left my wife, after 24 years.

A standard case of menopausal melancholy.

- Maybe you wanna see Einorn.

- Don't wanna see a psychiatrist, don't worry.

If I just get to work, I'll be fine.

I'm sorry if I caused you concern.

Sid called from St. Luke's.

He said the demonstrators there...

- are planning a march to join those here.

- God.

- Did you call the cops?

- Sure.

- They're all in 806, Doctor.

- What happened?

I think I'll just let Mrs. Christie

tell you about it.

Oh, boy, what happened?

I've seen some pretty good snafus.

But this one...

There's a certain splendor to this one.

One of the night nurses

thought he was a patient...

and plugged an IV into him.

He was a diabetic.

What do you mean

she plugged an IV into him?

It's a really screwed-up story.

We had an old man in there

who died last night.

So the bed was available.

You know Schaefer. He's Sammy Stud.

He talked a nurse

into zapping him on the bed?

A girl from Hematology

he's been running around with.

Rate this script:3.0 / 1 vote

Paddy Chayefsky

Sidney Aaron "Paddy" Chayefsky was an American playwright, screenwriter and novelist. He is the only person to have won three solo Academy Awards for Best Screenplay. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Hospital" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 20 Jun 2024. <>.

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