|People Will Talk|
|© 1951||20th Century Fox|
Noah "Ludwig" Praetorius - At 42 years old he is a jack of all trades. A medical doctor, a psychiatrist, a surgeon, a conducter, a humanitarian, and now a husband to an unwed pregnant mother. This quick witted gentleman, played by Carey Grant, is fun to watch!
Mrs. Debra Higgans-Praetorius - Debra gets Noah's attention by fainting in a class and would't you know, just a few weeks later they were married. This sly she-devil cries just a little too much but is certainly a match for Dr. Praetorius.
Mr. Shunderson - Nicknamed "The Bat", Mr Shunderson is the strong silent type. This covicted murderer also has a surprising connection to Noah that is revealed in the later parts of the film! My personal favorite character.
Professor Rodney Elwell - Dr. Praetorius' archnemesis. This evil character is so evil he has a skull for a pencil cup! Seriously! Mr. Elwell is the scrooge type and we see that running rampant as he digs into Noah's past. For some reason he is trying to dig up some kind of dirt on poor Noah.
Professor Lionel Barker - This fat German friend of Noah's remains faithful till the very end! A little too obsessed with bratwurst and sauerkraut though. Everyone in this film was so talented and this man was no exception. If he wasn't teaching physics, he was playing his bass for the school orchestra!
Arthur Higgans - If you thought Noah was multitalented, you haven't met Debra's father. This man held all kinds of jobs before settling on sponge. He was a reporter, teacher, businessman, farmer, & philosopher.
John Higgans - Owner of the farm that Arthur and Debra are staying at. He is also Arthur's brother and cheap by nature. This man wrote off dinner as a tax deduction because he talked about work during it. I would hate to be him if the IRS caught on.
Sarah Pickett - This little number was Noah's EX-housekeeper and now a key witness in Elwell's investigation. This woman harbors some serious issues as to the level of her beauty! (shudder)
*You over estimate both of us.
*That's him. Only he looked younger 15 years ago.
*Why should a man die then laugh for the rest of eternity?
*I bet I know what you're thinking. Here comes Dr. Happiness the Good Humor man!
*Let them rummage. They're spitting into the wind.
*Sunday ain't Sunday without chicken!
*Comes tomorrow we'll slap a tail on this monkey.
*Little ell, Elsie Dinsmoor, or Catherine the Great, it's entirely possible.
*The trouble with you Elwell is you've never had a cadaver of your own, much less one that bit your finger.
2min: That certainly sums up the whole idea missed by HMO's!
8min: For a dead girl ... she's kind of sexy.
9min: ummm. Her eyes just twitched there Dr. Praetorius!
12min: Looks like she'll be "working" on a A. heehee
15min: Wow. isn't he Mr. Sensitivity today.
19min: Her examination took a few hours and they refer to it as ONLY a few hours?? Thank God for today's medicine!
26min: HE SPEAKS!!! ... and he makes a lot of sense too!
32min: I think I'm stupid. That joke just went right over my head!
43min: *sigh* I hate smartass Germans.
49min: Bella's ugly as sin and Shunderson is a little too eager to help with the cooking. These two are a match made in Heaven!
78min: A bit touchy isn't she?
80min: That's an understatement honey! You cry like a little girl with a skinned knee!
92min: YOU TELL'EM NOAH!
97min: Murderer? Wow. This is getting pretty cool!
101min: I like this Shunderson character all the more now! heeheehee beat'em with a cops club. (snicker)
107min: Here here Mr. Shunderson.
From what I understand and what I have been told, this was quite a controversial film back in the day. I guess unwed pregnant mothers who attempted suicide and the doctors that married them was not a popular topic, or one well accepted, in the 50's. Now-a-days we read about it in the daily papers or see it on an episode Ricki Lake. But there was more to this movie than simple controversy. Hell, anyone can make a film that can cause some kind of disruption except this movie had something most films today don't, great character developement.
The majority of the time in this film was spent not only introducing characters like Praetorius, Debra, and the big man Shunderson, but with making us care about them with subplots that were actually interesting or even emotionally climactic situations that touch you! A rarity in todays world of Hollywood! On top of all that, the interaction between them was great and so fluid. Yes, perhaps some of the words used are a bit out of the ordinary for everyday conversation but it was still fun to watch. Even films today that have wonderful writers suffer from that. Kevin Smith films for example. Half the stuff Kevin has the characters Jay and Silent Bob saying are so far from believable. Not that it is being said but who it is coming from.
Great writing, good make-p by Ben Nye (Those of you who are knowledgable of TV and film will remember him as the make-up man from the 60's TV series Batman.), a superb story, and one of my all time favorite classic film actors, Carey Grant, all came together to make this film one of Grant's best! Still not toping "North by Northwest" but still good!
I'm sure you would like to know a little of what this film is about by now so here is a quick synopsis. Noah Praetorius is a medical doctor from a small town called Goosecreek who seemed to have worked miracles while there. Only thing is he was a butcher and not a doctor, although licensed to be one. Once confronted by the twonspeople he moves away and takes up a connection with a University and sets to practicing medicine only to become one of the best the university has ever seen. After a while he makes a few friends like Professor Barker, his future wife in troubled patient Debra Higgans and an enemy in Professor Elwell. It seems Professor Elwell has some sort of problem with Noah and has discovered his terrible secret, as well as that of his faithful friend, Shunderson, who never seems to be far from Praetorius' side.
Here's what I don't understand though. Why was Noah so ashamed to practice medicine in Goosecreek? I mean he did have a degree to. Why was Elwell so hell bent on destroying Noah? How did Shunderson survive the hanging? These are just a few of the nagging questions left unanswered in the film. And before I get flooded with e-mails, yes they are open to interprutation but they were still unanswered by the writer. Over looking these questions is somewhat easy though. Now to get a hold of "Arsenic and Old Lace" sometime and give that a once over.