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Thursday, April 02, 2015

A Swiftian Take On Medicos


The Interns (1962) An Effective 60's Dosage

Are there doctors in the house? Columbia filled a dormitory with them, twice, in feature auditions for talented youth on career upswing. Several would be cast in TV that made them household names. That is to say I'll bet The Interns scored high when CBS network premiered it, and sure enough, inquiry reveals a 20.7 rating on 3/10/66, unusually stout for black-and-white broadcast in that color-besot season. The Interns was package wrapped by directing and co-writer David Swift, lately off one-two excellence for Disney (Pollyanna and The Parent Trap). His was a large talent underestimated due to comedies and family pics being career emphasis. The Interns is Grand Hotel among doctor/patients/staff, appealing starters (James MacArthur, Stephanie Powers, Michael Callan, more) at odds with crusty pros Telly Savalas and Buddy Ebsen.


Maybe it reveals my plebian taste, but I was sorry to see The Interns end, or was it the pin-sharp HD via Sony's Movie Channel? Of an engaging cast, Nick Adams seems the neediest of youth's lot. When rock-bottom beckoned with Frankenstein Conquers The World, I remember Nick telling a Modern Monsters interviewer that he preferred doing horror flix. Just as well, as he'd wrap the career in a brace of them. The Interns could enter wards off limit to TV med dramas, thus sex and ribald, if not coarse, humor, and you-are-there childbirth wheeling us close as Mom and Dad dared go back in the 40's. The "wild party" sequence was what trailers hawked hardest; it goes on for a reel and not a few nurses strip to undies before a wind-up. Kildare and Ben Casey never had it like this! The Interns dates by happy means of staff lighting up as they exit the OR, doors still swinging so the patient will get his/her secondary whiff. Variety said these Interns should be called "Hippocratic Oafs," but Columbia took a five million domestic rentals payday, and that wrote prescription for a two years-later sequel plus a TV series David Swift developed for 1970-71.

Check back Monday for The New Interns.

1 Comments:

Blogger John McElwee said...

Johnny Myers shares an interesting memory of "The Interns" and Stephanie Powers:


Hi John,

Enjoyed seeing your piece on The Interns. It must have been around the summer of 1962 that I was hanging around the poster department at the San Francisco office of Columbia Pictures, running errands, wrapping packages and answering to my title: 'Junior.' I remember meeting Stefanie Powers. They brought us moles up from the basement to meet her as she was in town for the premiere of the film. I had seen her as Lee Remick's younger sister in Experiment In Terror so was thrilled to meet her and she was very nice and extremely beautiful. For some reason, though I had a pressbook for this movie, I never saw it.

Johnny

5:11 PM  

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