Doctors' Wives (1971)

R | 100-102 mins | Drama | February 1971

Director:

George Schaefer

Writer:

Daniel Taradash

Producer:

Mike Frankovich

Cinematographer:

Charles Lang Jr.

Editor:

Carl Kress

Production Designer:

Lyle Wheeler

Production Company:

Frankovich Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

Although the print was not viewed, screen credits were taken from a cutting continuity contained in the copyright files. Although the film was registered for copyright by Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. on 1 Feb 1971, onscreen credits contain a 1970 copyright statement for Frankovich Productions, Inc. According to an Oct 1967 HR news item, Columbia Pictures bought the screen rights to Frank G. Slaughter’s novel when it was still in galley proofs.
       A Sep 1969 DV news item noted that Barbara Eden was being considered for a role in the film. According to the Var review, Dyan Cannon, who received first billing in the film, only appeared in the first eight minutes of the picture. Filmfacts added that location filming was done around Costa Mesa and La Costa, California. Studio publicity contained in the film's files at the AMPAS Library adds that the country club scenes were filmed at La Costa Resort Hotel and Spa near La Jolla, California. Modern sources add Paul Bradley and June Foray to the ... More Less

Although the print was not viewed, screen credits were taken from a cutting continuity contained in the copyright files. Although the film was registered for copyright by Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. on 1 Feb 1971, onscreen credits contain a 1970 copyright statement for Frankovich Productions, Inc. According to an Oct 1967 HR news item, Columbia Pictures bought the screen rights to Frank G. Slaughter’s novel when it was still in galley proofs.
       A Sep 1969 DV news item noted that Barbara Eden was being considered for a role in the film. According to the Var review, Dyan Cannon, who received first billing in the film, only appeared in the first eight minutes of the picture. Filmfacts added that location filming was done around Costa Mesa and La Costa, California. Studio publicity contained in the film's files at the AMPAS Library adds that the country club scenes were filmed at La Costa Resort Hotel and Spa near La Jolla, California. Modern sources add Paul Bradley and June Foray to the cast. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
16 Sep 1969.
---
Daily Variety
27 Jan 1971.
---
Filmfacts
1971
pp. 7-10.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Oct 1967.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Feb 1970
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Apr 1970
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jan 1971
p. 3.
Life
26 Feb 1971
p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
11 Feb 1971.
---
New York Times
4 Feb 1971
p. 30.
New Yorker
6 Feb 1971
p. 89.
Newsweek
15 Feb 1971
p. 82.
Time
15 Feb 1971
p. 65.
Variety
27 Jan 1971
p. 17.
Village Voice
11 Feb 1971
p. 71.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
George DeNormand
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
1st asst cam
Stills
Gaffer
Grip
Dolly grip
Best boy
ART DIRECTORS
Asst art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dresser
Set des
Set des
Set des
Prop master
Props
Standby painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward man
Ward man
Ward woman
Ward woman
MUSIC
Mus film ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Photog eff
Title seq
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Makeup artist
Hair styles
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Exec prod mgr
Unit prod mgr
Dial coach
Scr supv
Tech adv
First aid
Unit pub
Prod assoc
Prod asst
Craft services
Driver capt
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Doctors' Wives by Frank G. Slaughter (Garden City, NY, 1967).
SONGS
"The Costume Ball," lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman, music by Elmer Bernstein, sung by Mama Cass Elliot.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
February 1971
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 3 February 1971
Production Date:
mid February--late April 1970
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 February 1971
Copyright Number:
LP38733
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Eastman Color
Duration(in mins):
100-102
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
22636
SYNOPSIS

At a country club in Southern California, Lorrie Dellman, the sexually confident wife of surgeon Mort Dellman, plays cards with her friends Amy Brennan, Della Randolph, Maggie Gray and Elaine McGill, who all suspect their physician husbands of straying. Lorrie announces that she plans to sleep with each of their husbands, then promises to report back to the wives why they have been unable to satisfy their mates. Lorrie’s plan goes awry, however, when Mort discovers her in bed with Paul McGill, the husband of Elaine, and in a fit of jealous rage, shoots Lorrie in the back and critically wounds Paul. When word of the shooting reaches Lorrie’s friends, they all rush to the hospital, unsure of which of their husbands was Lorrie’s unfortunate bedmate. After surgeon Pete Brennan performs open heart surgery on Paul to save his life, the women and their husbands begin to reflect on their disastrous marital situations: Amy, whose use of morphine to relieve her migraine headaches has caused her to withdraw from Pete, tries to rekindle her husband’s affections but is too late, because he has turned for comfort to widowed, black nurse Helen Straughn. Della’s husband, psychiatrist Dave Randolph, then confronts his wife about her frigidity, prompting her to confess that she had a lesbian relationship with the now-deceased Lorrie. Dr. Joe Gray, the estranged husband of the alcoholic Maggie, decides to visit Maggie to try to reconcile with her. Finding her floating face-down in the swimming pool following a suicide attempt, Joe rescues her, after which he fondly recalls the good times they shared. Shaken by her husband’s shooting, Elaine breaks off ... +


At a country club in Southern California, Lorrie Dellman, the sexually confident wife of surgeon Mort Dellman, plays cards with her friends Amy Brennan, Della Randolph, Maggie Gray and Elaine McGill, who all suspect their physician husbands of straying. Lorrie announces that she plans to sleep with each of their husbands, then promises to report back to the wives why they have been unable to satisfy their mates. Lorrie’s plan goes awry, however, when Mort discovers her in bed with Paul McGill, the husband of Elaine, and in a fit of jealous rage, shoots Lorrie in the back and critically wounds Paul. When word of the shooting reaches Lorrie’s friends, they all rush to the hospital, unsure of which of their husbands was Lorrie’s unfortunate bedmate. After surgeon Pete Brennan performs open heart surgery on Paul to save his life, the women and their husbands begin to reflect on their disastrous marital situations: Amy, whose use of morphine to relieve her migraine headaches has caused her to withdraw from Pete, tries to rekindle her husband’s affections but is too late, because he has turned for comfort to widowed, black nurse Helen Straughn. Della’s husband, psychiatrist Dave Randolph, then confronts his wife about her frigidity, prompting her to confess that she had a lesbian relationship with the now-deceased Lorrie. Dr. Joe Gray, the estranged husband of the alcoholic Maggie, decides to visit Maggie to try to reconcile with her. Finding her floating face-down in the swimming pool following a suicide attempt, Joe rescues her, after which he fondly recalls the good times they shared. Shaken by her husband’s shooting, Elaine breaks off her affair with young intern Mike Traynor, who then begins a romance with student nurse Sybil Carter, who has a penchant for surreptitiously taping recording her trysts. As the doctors and their wives gather for Lorrie’s funeral, Helen interrupts the service to announce that her young son needs immediate brain surgery. Because Mort, who has been jailed for his wife’s murder, is the only doctor capable of performing the delicate surgery, the district attorney agrees to release him under heavy police guard. Mort refuses to operate, however, unless Lorrie’s wealthy father, Jake Porter, will secretly arrange for him to escape across the Mexican border. Porter consents, but after Mort successfully completes the surgery, alerts the police about Mort’s planned escape. After Mort’s attempted escape is thwarted, the doctors and their respective wives, sobered by the unsettling turn their lives have taken, begin to resolve their problems. +

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

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