Dirk Bogarde in Doctor in Distress (1963)

Spratt's Getting Physiotheraputical

Some things never change for Dr. Simon Sparrow (Dirk Bogarde) as he finds himself getting romantically involved with a patient, model Delia Mallory (Samantha Eggar), who he ends up treating when she arrives in casualty with a sprained ankle. He also has to deal with the cantankerous and abrupt Sir Lancelot Spratt (James Robertson Justice) on a daily basis. But it seems some things do change as when Sir Lancelot ends up becoming a patient following a fall he not only starts to sleepwalk but he loses his cantankerous nature as he falls for Iris Merchant (Barbara Murray), the physiotherapist. But it seems others are also falling in love with her and hear healing hands including Major Tommy Ffrench (Donald Houston) which leads to Sir Lancelot calling upon Simon for his advice.

How would you describe "Doctor in Distress" to someone who has never watched any of the previous "Doctor" movies or seen a "Carry on" movie. I suppose the best way to describe it would be to say it is the comedic trials and tribulations of a doctor and the goings on in a hospital where half the doctors seem to work there to hit on attractive patients and nurses. In fact that would be the basic description for many of these "Doctor" movies and as such we have plenty of comedy featuring junior doctors not only hitting on patients but of course getting things wrong.

Johnny Briggs and Derek Fowlds in Doctor in Distress (1963)

But what is nice about "Doctor in Distress" is that on top of all this usual comedy which sees Dr. Simon Sparrow falling for a patient the focus not only switches to Sir Lancelot but sees him fall in love and being obtuse about it when it comes to it causing him to sleepwalk and act differently. It means that we get to see James Robertson Justice not only give us the usual cantankerous performance but also the sweet pussycat style one as well as featuring in some fun sketches such as when he ends up at a health camp to she a few pounds.

What this all boils down to is that "Doctor in Distress" is a lot of fun especially if you are a fan of British humour from the 1960s. Plus this is also one of those movies where you play spot the star as not only is there a variety of famous faces from back then but also some such as Richard Briers and Johnny Briggs who would go on to become household names.