- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 52 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: March 23, 2009
- Originally Released: 1938
- Label: Warner Archives
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Description by OLDIES.com:
Oscar-winners Rosalind Russell ("Auntie Mame") and Robert Donat ("Goodbye, Mr. Chips") star in this Oscar-nominated drama about a struggling doctor who gives up his ideals for a posh high-society practice. In the process, he nearly loses his wife and his friends before tragedy opens his eyes. Co-starring Oscar-winner Rex Harrison ("My Fair Lady"). Nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture, Director and Actor (Donat).
Echoing George Bernard Shaw's contention that every profession is a conspiracy against the rest of society, King Vidor's adaptation of A.J. Cronin's popular novel takes dead aim at the complacency of the British medical establishment. It stars Robert Donat as Dr. Andrew Manson, an idealistic young man who begins practicing his profession on victims of tuberculosis in a poor Welsh mining village. At length he uncovers the town's obsolete sewer system as the source of the disease but is unable to cut through the necessary forest of red tape to remedy the problem. Therefore, he and a friend, Dr. Denny (Ralph Richardson), take it upon themselves to blow up the town's most dangerous sewer. Yet his victory is short-lived as the miners, ignorant of the benefits of his research into black-lung silicosis, refuse to cooperate in his experiments. Frustrated by their response as well as his meager income, Dr. Manson and his wife, Christine (Rosalind Russell), move to London. A chance meeting with his old friend Dr. Lawford (Rex Harrison) results in his admission to a circle of doctors who specialize in a hypochondriacal carriage trade. The film's attack on the avarice of the medical profession and its indifference toward the poor is strangely mitigated by Vidor's decision to place Donat in comfortable, wide-open compositions, which often seem to place his various moral dilemmas on a plane far above the suffering of his patients. Nonetheless, THE CITADEL is an interesting film brilliantly acted by a cast of British luminaries.
Robert Donat stars as a devoted doctor who labors over treating Welsh miners infected with tuberculosis but ends up treating rich London patients at the risk of losing his faith in himself. The death of a close friend shakes him out of his slump, and he returns to the cause of the poor.
- Fearing repercussions from the medical profession, MGM insisted on attaching a disclaimer to the film.
- In a twist on typical Hollywood practice, King Vidor altered the more optimistic ending of A.J. Cronin's novel.