Contact Page
Comment memorable quotes

The Doctor's Dilemma (1958)
Alastair Sim in The Doctor's Dilemma"The Doctor's Dilemma" is very much a "film of the play" and as such could be perceived to be somewhat dry by many viewers. However, George Bernard Shaw's laconic humour and wonderful turn of phrase, combined with some delightful acting performances and vivid Technicolor photography make this a very engaging cinematic experience. A "great" artist is dying of consumption and Sir Colenso Ridgeon (the eponymous doctor with the dilemma) must decide whether to try to save him or an unpretentious and kind doctor colleage. His decision is clouded by the fact that the artist is an amoral rogue and that he is also falling in love with the artist's wife. Full synopsis

Sir Patrick Cullen: Cutler Walpole, he's got hold of something he calls the nuciform sac, which he's made quite the fashion. People pay him 500 guineas to cut it out. They might as well get their hair cut for all the difference it makes.

Sir Patrick Cullen: Well, I've known over thirty men who've found out how to cure consumption. Why do people go on dying of it, Colly? Devilment I suppose!

Sir Ralph B.B.: Walpole has no intellect. A mere surgeon. A wonderful operator but, after all, what is operating? . . . . Manual labour.


cast list production credits

Cutler Walpole

Alastair Sim


Anthony Asquith
Jennifer Dubedat Leslie Caron

Production Company

De Grunwald Prods
Louis Dubedat Dirk Bogarde Producer Anatole de Grunwald
Sir R. Bloomfield Bonnington Robert Morley Screenplay George B. Shaw
Sir Colenso Ridgeon John Robinson   Anatole de Grunwald
Sir Patrick Cullen Felix Aylmer Original Novel George B. Shaw
Doctor Blenkinsop Michael Gwynn Dir Photography Robert Krasker
Emmy Maureen Delaney

Mexican Doctor's Dilemma Poster

Redpenny Alec McCowen
Globe Newsman Colin Gordon
Minnie Timwell Gwenda Ewen
Mr. Lancaster Terence Alexander
Head Waiter Derek Prentice
Mr. Denby Peter Sallis
Butcher Clifford Buckton

35mm, Metrocolor, 99 mins

Interesting facts

Alastair would have sympathised with the plot line of this film. The idea that one could see a number of different doctors and each doctor would diagnose an illness relating to their own area of expertise was not unfamiliar to him. In 1934 he became ill with severe sciatic pain in his back. The pain was such that he and Naomi feared he would never act again in either theatre or film. No doctor seemed to be able to make a successful diagnosis and he was sent from one specialist to another. Alastair was in much pain and there was no money coming in. However, almost by chance, he was directed to Edward Hall, Dean of the British School of Osteopathy, who identified the problem immediately (a torn muscle had bled and formed adhesions pressing on the sciatic nerve). A course of treatment, involving manipulation to break down the adhesions, finally resolved the problem and Alastair was able to take up his first film role in The Riverside Murders.