The Carey Treatment (1972)

PG | 100-101 mins | Drama | April 1972

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HISTORY

The working titles for the film were Emergency Ward and A Case of Need . The Carey Treatment was based on A Case of Need , a novel written by Michael Crichton under the pseudonym Jeffery Hudson, the name used in the onscreen credits. Crichton received an "Edgar" Award from the Mystery Writers of America for A Case of Need , which was also chosen by them as the best novel for 1968.
       According to a 26 Jun 1968 Var article, A&M Records had acquired the film rights to the novel. By 20 Sep 1968, Var noted that A&M had signed Wendell Mayes to write the screenplay for the film, but on 20 Mar 1971 HR reported that Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank, Jr., a husband-and-wife team, would write the screenplay for M-G-M. No additional information about A&M Records' involvement is known.
       According to Filmfacts , director Blake Edwards was so displeased with the final cuts M-G-M made to The Carey Treatment that he disowned the film and refused onscreen credit; however, his name did appear on the viewed print. In addition, screenwriters Ravetch and Frank, Jr. were so upset by the changes made to their script that they insisted that their onscreen credit read "James P. Bonner," a pseudonym the team had used on the 1969 film House of Cards . Screenwriter John D. F. Black also refused to have his credit onscreen. Although a 20 Mar 1971 and a 6 Dec 1971 HR article stated that The Carey Treatment was the first film for producer ... More Less

The working titles for the film were Emergency Ward and A Case of Need . The Carey Treatment was based on A Case of Need , a novel written by Michael Crichton under the pseudonym Jeffery Hudson, the name used in the onscreen credits. Crichton received an "Edgar" Award from the Mystery Writers of America for A Case of Need , which was also chosen by them as the best novel for 1968.
       According to a 26 Jun 1968 Var article, A&M Records had acquired the film rights to the novel. By 20 Sep 1968, Var noted that A&M had signed Wendell Mayes to write the screenplay for the film, but on 20 Mar 1971 HR reported that Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank, Jr., a husband-and-wife team, would write the screenplay for M-G-M. No additional information about A&M Records' involvement is known.
       According to Filmfacts , director Blake Edwards was so displeased with the final cuts M-G-M made to The Carey Treatment that he disowned the film and refused onscreen credit; however, his name did appear on the viewed print. In addition, screenwriters Ravetch and Frank, Jr. were so upset by the changes made to their script that they insisted that their onscreen credit read "James P. Bonner," a pseudonym the team had used on the 1969 film House of Cards . Screenwriter John D. F. Black also refused to have his credit onscreen. Although a 20 Mar 1971 and a 6 Dec 1971 HR article stated that The Carey Treatment was the first film for producer William Belasco's St. Regis Productions, this company was not listed on screen or in reviews.
       A modern source adds Stephen Manley, Sol Schwade, Dick Crockett and Ed Peck to the cast. The Carey Treatment marked the feature film debut for actress Skye Aubrey, daughter of M-G-M president James Aubrey and actress Phyllis Thaxter. Blake Edwards' daughter Jennifer also had a role in the film. As noted in reviews and HR production charts, The Carey Treatment marked the last feature film for actress Elizabeth Allen (1929--2006), who continued her acting career for many years in television. The film was shot on location in Boston, MA.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
10 Apr 1972.
---
Daily Variety
30 Sep 1971.
---
Daily Variety
22 Feb 1972.
---
Daily Variety
27 Mar 1972.
---
Filmfacts
1972
pp. 8-10.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Mar 1971.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Sep 1971
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Oct 1971
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Oct 1971
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Dec 1971
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Dec 1971.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Mar 1972
p. 3, 18.
Los Angeles Times
7 Apr 1972.
---
New York Times
21 Mar 1971.
---
New York Times
30 Mar 1972
p. 42.
New Yorker
15 Apr 1972.
---
Newsweek
24 Apr 1972.
---
Time
24 Apr 1972.
---
Variety
26 Jun 1968.
---
Variety
20 Sep 1968.
---
Variety
29 Mar 1972
p. 30.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Blake Edwards-William Belasco Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styles
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit prod mgr
Unit pub
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel A Case of Need by Jeffery Hudson (New York, 1968).
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Emergency Ward
A Case of Need
Release Date:
April 1972
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 29 March 1972
Los Angeles opening: 5 April 1972
Production Date:
late September--early December 1971 in Boston, MA
Copyright Claimant:
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.
Copyright Date:
29 March 1972
Copyright Number:
LP40548
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Metrocolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
100-101
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When California pathologist Peter Carey accepts new position at a conservative Boston hospital, he is reunited with his old colleague David Tao, an Asian-American doctor. After staff introductions on his first day, Carey invites attractive dietician Georgia Hightower to join him and David for dinner. That evening, while the sardonic Carey flirts with Georgia, David gives him the background on various doctors, including chief surgeon J. D. Randall, a racist whose wealthy family endowed the hospital. Soon after, Georgia helps Carey find a deluxe bachelor apartment and tells him that her husband recently abandoned her and her son. The two then begin a casual affair. Days later, Carey briefly meets J. D.’s daughter Karen, a frightened fifteen-year-old girl, and then has his first encounter with J. D., a talented but abrupt and demanding surgeon, more concerned with his golf game than his patients. That night, Karen dies at the Randall home, apparently from a botched abortion, an illegal procedure. David, who has been secretly performing abortions, is immediately taken into custody for the crime. When Carey visits him in jail, David explains that he began performing abortions after seeing young women mutilated by amateur abortionists. David charges only $25 for the procedure to cover the lab fee, which soon-to-retire pathologist Sanderson disguises to prevent David from being caught. David explains that when Karen asked for the procedure after missing her period for four months, he advised her to have the child. Carey, a maverick, is determined to find justice for his friend and remains undeterred even when police captain Pearson warns him that Karen’s mother will testify that Karen told her David performed the abortion. Carey replies that David, ... +


When California pathologist Peter Carey accepts new position at a conservative Boston hospital, he is reunited with his old colleague David Tao, an Asian-American doctor. After staff introductions on his first day, Carey invites attractive dietician Georgia Hightower to join him and David for dinner. That evening, while the sardonic Carey flirts with Georgia, David gives him the background on various doctors, including chief surgeon J. D. Randall, a racist whose wealthy family endowed the hospital. Soon after, Georgia helps Carey find a deluxe bachelor apartment and tells him that her husband recently abandoned her and her son. The two then begin a casual affair. Days later, Carey briefly meets J. D.’s daughter Karen, a frightened fifteen-year-old girl, and then has his first encounter with J. D., a talented but abrupt and demanding surgeon, more concerned with his golf game than his patients. That night, Karen dies at the Randall home, apparently from a botched abortion, an illegal procedure. David, who has been secretly performing abortions, is immediately taken into custody for the crime. When Carey visits him in jail, David explains that he began performing abortions after seeing young women mutilated by amateur abortionists. David charges only $25 for the procedure to cover the lab fee, which soon-to-retire pathologist Sanderson disguises to prevent David from being caught. David explains that when Karen asked for the procedure after missing her period for four months, he advised her to have the child. Carey, a maverick, is determined to find justice for his friend and remains undeterred even when police captain Pearson warns him that Karen’s mother will testify that Karen told her David performed the abortion. Carey replies that David, an excellent surgeon, would not have done the procedure so poorly. Realizing the odds are against his friend, Carey begins his own investigation and asks Sanderson to take over his duties at the hospital. Sitting in on Karen’s autopsy, Carey learns that the blonde young girl had recent weight gain and dark hair growth on her arms and upper lip. The coroner also notes that the abortion was done by someone who had some experience but was not an accomplished professional. Believing that Karen might not have been pregnant, Carey gives a sample of her blood to Dr. Barker to test for pregnancy. Hosting a party that night, Carey flirts with Barker’s surly assistant, Angela Holder, a drug addict who Carey believes might be responsible for the recent morphine thefts at the hospital, but Angela eludes his questions. Late that night, Karen’s brother, Harvey William Randall, breaks into Carey’s home to attack him, admitting that he wants to stop him from freeing David. Carey easily subdues the young man and then learns that Karen attended a private girl’s school and that their uncle, Joshua, is also a doctor who performs abortions for the wealthy. Days later, despite J. D.’s insistence that he stop his investigation, Carey seeks out Karen’s stepmother, Evelyn Randall, an inhospitable drunk who is more concerned with her social standing than finding Karen’s killer. Mrs. Randall is convinced that a $300 check made out to cash found in Karen’s purse was meant for David. That night, Carey examines samples of Karen’s tissue and deduces that she suffered from a tumor, not a pregnancy. The next morning, Carey interviews Karen’s school roommate, Lydia Barrett, who evades his questions. Suspecting that Lydia is hiding something, Carey takes her on a terrifying car ride, refusing to slow down until she tells the truth. Lydia finally admits that she hated Karen for stealing her boyfriend, Roger Hudson. Later, lab work reveals that Karen was not pregnant. Carey then learns that David sent Karen to Joshua after he refused to help her. When Carey confronts Joshua, the insensitive doctor explains that he sent Karen away, telling her to return later for tests. That night, while Carey and Georgia are making love, a photographer snaps their picture through a window, but Carey chases after him and takes the film. Days later, Carey brashly walks into J. D.’s office with a poster-sized print of the revealing shot and states that any attempt to blackmail him into quitting the investigation is pointless. Discovering that Roger works as a masseur, Carey goes to the sleazy parlor where he works and, while Roger is giving him a massage, attempts to provoke him by suggesting that he is supplying drugs to Angela and accusing him of getting Karen pregnant. The impudent and wild-eyed young man denies the charges, but when Roger begins to manhandle him, Carey punches him. Leaving to call the police, Carey is then seriously injured when Roger rams his car into the phone booth. While Carey is admitted to the hospital, Roger seeks out Angela in the laboratory and stabs her, but not before she wounds him as well. Now bloodied, Roger hides in a closet, and when a nurse follows Roger’s trail of blood to the closet, he stabs her, too. After Angela is found and sent to emergency, Carey, who has barely regained consciousness, makes a plan with Dr. Murphy and Pearson to trick the drug-addicted Angela into divulging the truth by erroneously informing her that she could die from going “cold turkey” from her drugs. He then offers her a morphine fix in exchange for the truth, telling Angela that if she dies he can easily label it something else and suffer no blame. Panicked, Angela confesses that she killed Karen while attempting to perform an abortion on her for drug money to pay Roger, her supplier, who acted as the anesthetist. Carey then gives her the “morphine,” which is only a saline solution. Collapsing from internal bleeding, Carey is given a splenectomy and taken to a recovery room where Roger, still lurking in the hospital, tries to stab him, but Pearson shoots Roger first. After David is freed from jail, J. D. apologizes to Carey for doubting him, explaining that “pride makes for perversity.” When Carey and Georgia reunite, she tells him her repentant husband has returned, but Carey suggests that he can provide the love and commitment she and her son need. +

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

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