Stephan may be young, but he's made a name for himself as a skilled, compassionate surgeon. But it's actually Karl, his foster brother, who is the surgeon. And behind Karl's use of his brother's identity lies a tale of secrets, love and sacrifice.
New York Times - 01/14/2011
"[Curtiz] creates a genuine Old World atmosphere, not least by his use of low camera angles, elaborate back lighting and slow tracking shots."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Stephan Brenner may be young, but - after his work with a severely injured child and his subsequent efforts with earthquake victims in Italy - he's made a name for himself as a skilled, compassionate surgeon. But it's actually Karl (Richard Barthelmess), Stephan's foster brother, who is the surgeon. And behind Karl's use of his brother's identity lies a sentimental tale of secrets, love and sacrifice. Director Michael Curtiz and art director Anton Grot elevated their status at Warner Bros. with Alias the Doctor. Using tilted walls, shadows and other expressionist techniques, Curtiz and Grot made the film a triumph of style and paved the way for their teaming few months later in the eerily atmospheric Doctor X.
A Bavarian orphan, raised by a wealthy family, grows up to become a promising physician (Richard Barthelmess). Meanwhile, the privileged young man (Norman Foster) with whom Barthelmess has grown up fails to make the grade at medical school. When Foster bungles an operation, Barthelmess nobly accepts the blame, thereby ruining his own career. The truth comes out after several scenes in which self-sacrificing Barthelmess is pilloried by all those who'd once loved and trusted him. ALIAS THE DOCTOR reportedly features Boris Karloff as an autopsy surgeon, though in most existing prints the role credited to Karloff is played by John St. Polis.
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