Doctor Bull (1933)

75-77 mins | Comedy-drama | 22 September 1933

Director:

John Ford

Writer:

Paul Green

Cinematographer:

George Schneiderman

Editor:

Louis Loeffler

Production Designer:

William Darling

Production Company:

Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

The novel was published in England under the title A Cure of Flesh . The working titles of this film were The Last Adam and Life's Worth Living . According to a memo from Will Rogers to a Fox studio executive, he objected to the title Life's Worth Living and preferred instead Ol' Dr. Bull . MPD reported a story that during the production, when two writers suggested to director John Ford that he reshoot a scene from a different angle, he told them, "Better consult Mr. Rogers. He does most of the directing in this picture." According to news items and information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Boots Mallory was originally cast as "Virginia Banning." According to HR , Andy Devine was loaned from Universal. A pre-production news item stated that Charles Grapewin was to play a featured role.
       According to correspondence in the MPAA/PCA Collection in the AMPAS Library, a number of changes were made by Fox in the script for this film after objections by the Hays Office. The most significant of these changes involved dropping all references to abortion in the scene between Dr. Bull and Virginia Banning, and the changing the character of Larry Ward, who suffered from a venereal disease in the original, to a hypochondriac suffering from imaginary ills. This film was re-released by Twentieth Century-Fox on 5 Feb 1937. Modern sources credit B. F. McEveety as unit manager and Robert Parrish as a cast ... More Less

The novel was published in England under the title A Cure of Flesh . The working titles of this film were The Last Adam and Life's Worth Living . According to a memo from Will Rogers to a Fox studio executive, he objected to the title Life's Worth Living and preferred instead Ol' Dr. Bull . MPD reported a story that during the production, when two writers suggested to director John Ford that he reshoot a scene from a different angle, he told them, "Better consult Mr. Rogers. He does most of the directing in this picture." According to news items and information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Boots Mallory was originally cast as "Virginia Banning." According to HR , Andy Devine was loaned from Universal. A pre-production news item stated that Charles Grapewin was to play a featured role.
       According to correspondence in the MPAA/PCA Collection in the AMPAS Library, a number of changes were made by Fox in the script for this film after objections by the Hays Office. The most significant of these changes involved dropping all references to abortion in the scene between Dr. Bull and Virginia Banning, and the changing the character of Larry Ward, who suffered from a venereal disease in the original, to a hypochondriac suffering from imaginary ills. This film was re-released by Twentieth Century-Fox on 5 Feb 1937. Modern sources credit B. F. McEveety as unit manager and Robert Parrish as a cast member. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
6 Jun 33
p. 5.
Film Daily
31 Aug 33
p. 8.
HF
15 Jul 33
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
26 May 33
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Jun 33
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jun 33
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Jun 33
p. 3, 4
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jun 33
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jul 33
p. 6.
International Photographer
Jul 33
p. 38.
Motion Picture Daily
21 Jul 33
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
22 Jul 33
p. 37.
Motion Picture Herald
5 Aug 33
p. 36.
Motion Picture Herald
14 Oct 33
p. 36, 38
New York Times
6 Oct 33
p. 21.
Variety
10 Oct 33
p. 17.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Asst dir
WRITERS
Cont
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Asst cam
Asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus dir
PRODUCTION MISC
Still photog
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Last Adam by James Gould Cozzens (New York, 1933).
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Last Adam
Life's Worth Living
Release Date:
22 September 1933
Production Date:
5 June--mid July 1933
Copyright Claimant:
Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
31 August 1933
Copyright Number:
LP4091
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
75-77
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

The evening visits of Dr. George Bull to widow Janet Cardmaker have been the topic of conversation for five years in the small New England village of New Winton. Dr. Bull lives with his elderly Aunt Myra, who often leaves the telephone receiver off the hook to the annoyance of Dr. Bull's many callers, who keep him busy day and night with their complaints, some imagined, as with the hypochondriacal soda jerk Larry Ward, others serious, as with newlywed Joe Tupping, whose legs are paralyzed from a fall. When Dr. Bull arrives too late to the home of Janet's brother, wealthy Herbert Banning, to save a sick hired girl, because he was up all night delivering an Italian baby, his competency is questioned. Banning's daughter Virginia is pregnant from a night spent with a football player at a nearby university. Frightened because her parents want her to marry a senator's son, Virginia confides in Dr. Bull, he convinces her to marry the football player. After Aunt Myra suggests that a sick girl has typhoid because of her smell, Dr. Bull suspects that typhoid has gotten into the water supply during the recent rain because Banning neglected to keep clean a construction camp for a new power plant, which had been built next to the reservoir, over Dr. Bull's objections. He drives to his colleague Dr. Verney's laboratory where typhoid is diagnosed. The outraged townspeople vote to have Dr. Bull removed as health officer even though Janet, at the risk of disgracing herself, defends him. Although he has lost his self-confidence, Dr. Bull remains dedicated to curing Joe with a serum he devised that helped one ... +


The evening visits of Dr. George Bull to widow Janet Cardmaker have been the topic of conversation for five years in the small New England village of New Winton. Dr. Bull lives with his elderly Aunt Myra, who often leaves the telephone receiver off the hook to the annoyance of Dr. Bull's many callers, who keep him busy day and night with their complaints, some imagined, as with the hypochondriacal soda jerk Larry Ward, others serious, as with newlywed Joe Tupping, whose legs are paralyzed from a fall. When Dr. Bull arrives too late to the home of Janet's brother, wealthy Herbert Banning, to save a sick hired girl, because he was up all night delivering an Italian baby, his competency is questioned. Banning's daughter Virginia is pregnant from a night spent with a football player at a nearby university. Frightened because her parents want her to marry a senator's son, Virginia confides in Dr. Bull, he convinces her to marry the football player. After Aunt Myra suggests that a sick girl has typhoid because of her smell, Dr. Bull suspects that typhoid has gotten into the water supply during the recent rain because Banning neglected to keep clean a construction camp for a new power plant, which had been built next to the reservoir, over Dr. Bull's objections. He drives to his colleague Dr. Verney's laboratory where typhoid is diagnosed. The outraged townspeople vote to have Dr. Bull removed as health officer even though Janet, at the risk of disgracing herself, defends him. Although he has lost his self-confidence, Dr. Bull remains dedicated to curing Joe with a serum he devised that helped one of Janet's sick cows. Soon, Joe's fever breaks and feeling returns to his toes. After an argument with Janet, Dr. Bull is about to propose when Larry arrives with the intimidating brothers of a girl he has been courting, and Dr. Bull calls the reverend to marry them. Later, as the newspaper reports Dr. Bull's serum discovery, Dr. Bull and Janet board the train on their honeymoon, as do Larry and his bride, while Joe, walking with a cane, and his wife May, wave goodbye. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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