Doctor and the Girl, The (1949): Curtis Bernhardt’s Medical Melodrama, Starring Glenn Ford and Janet Leigh (Doctors and Medical Heroes)

Curtis Bernhardt directed the medical drama, The Doctor and the Girl, starring Glenn Ford and the young Janet Leigh, inspired by the French novel Corps et Âmes of Maxence Van der Meersch.


The Doctor and the Girl
The Doctor and the Girl.jpg

Grade: B- (** 1/2 out of *****)

Hailing from from a family of physicians, upon completing his own medical degree, Dr.  (Ford) moves back to New York to start internship at Bellevue Hospital.

Michael is critical of his sister Mariette’s fiancé George Esmond of marrying because he wants to be part of their renowned family.

At the hospital he is criticized himself for poor performance in the E.R. by his older and  experienced colleague, Dr. Granville.

When malicious rumors about Michael start circulating at the hospital, he decides to make an extra effort, so he takes extra good care of the patient Evelyn, a young poor woman working in a candy store. Predictably, Michael falls in love with Evelyn, to his father’s dismay.

Fabienne, Michael’s youngest sister, leaves the family home to live alone in the Greenwich Village. To save the family reputation, Michael’s father gets his friend and colleague Frank to pay Evelyn money to stay away from Michael.

When Michael learns of the money, he roams the streets in desperate search for Evelyn. He finds her in the candy store and decides to take care of her until she’s well enough to marry him. Together they then open up medical practice a poorer neighborhood.

Michael’s father falls ill, and Mariette puts her wedding plans on hold to nurse him. Fabienne turns up at Michael’s doorstep, sick after having illegal abortion, and dying shortly after.

Michael changes his ways when treating poor people at his practice, and helped by Evelyn, he develops greater empathy and decides to continue his work at the practice instead of pursuing profitable medical career.

The movie was moderately successful at the box-office.


Glenn Ford Dr. Michael Corday
Charles Coburn Dr. John Corday
Gloria DeHaven Fabienne
Bruce Bennett Dr. Norton
Warner Anderson Dr.Esmond
Janet Leigh Evelyn Heldon
Basil Ruysdael Dr. Garard
Nancy Davis Mariette Esmond
Arthur Franz Dr. Kenmore
Lisa Golm as Hetty


Directed by Curtis Bernhardt
Produced by Pandro S. Berman
Written by Theodore Reeves, story by Maxence Van der Meersch
Music by Rudolph G. Kopp
Cinematography Robert H. Planck
Edited by Ferris Webster
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Release date: September 29, 1949

Running time: 98 minutes