The Rape of Doctor Willis (1991) Jaclyn Smith, Holland Taylor, Robin Thomas, Lisa Jakub, J.C. Quinn Movie Review

The Rape of Doctor Willis (1991)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Jaclyn Smith in The Rape of Doctor Willis (1991)

The Power Shift

Having just moved towns with her daughter Carrie (Lisa Jakub), Dr Kate Willis (Jaclyn Smith) is trying to juggle work and single motherhood when she ends up being raped at knife point whilst walking to her car late one night. Refusing to let this horrific incident destroy her Kate returns to work and some time later whilst performing surgery she finds herself with the man who raped her on her operating table and facing a conflict as she would love to just let him die but took an oath to save lives. Following the surgery all hell kicks off as Kate finds her career on the line with only her friends in the hospital willing to back her.

I suppose the story in "The Rape of Doctor Willis" could happen, as in a medical professional who has had a wrong done to them finds the power has shifted and now is in a situation where they could exact revenge. Unfortunately the way the story builds to this in "The Rape of Doctor Willis" ends up coming across as far too convoluted to work as we have the police narrowing in on the rapist who then makes a mistake and is seriously injured in an accident which is how the tables turn and he ends up on Kate's operating table. And unfortunately it is all the little additional touches which add to this such as when the rapist, a businessman, is trying to race away from the police he reaches in his glove compartment for a gun.

Lisa Jakub in The Rape of Doctor Willis (1991)

The thing is that "The Rape of Doctor Willis" could have been a very good movie as the rape and the accident are just the first half of the movie and then not only do we have the emotional conflict when Kate finds herself face to face with the man who raped her on the operating table but we have the consequences of this after the surgery has ended. I won't go in to detail but will say things continue to go poorly for Kate especially when it comes to how a senior female doctor treats her.

What this means is that instead of being a realistic drama "The Rape of Doctor Willis" ends up more about the entertainment factor. What that means is that we have a lot of scenes which rely on Jaclyn Smith giving that look of being an innocent but also determined woman. It is not just Smith as all the characters come across as too honed including young Carrie with Lisa Jakub unfortunately coming across as annoying for making this young girl too strong a charachter.

What this all boils down to is that if you are a fan of TV movies and want to be entertained then "The Rape of Doctor Willis" might just do that. But considering its storyline if you watch hoping for gritty, realistic drama you are going to be left bitterly disappointed.