Screen legend Cary Grant stars as Dr. Noah Praetorius, a lovable professor and head of a medical clinic who becomes the subject of a McCarthy-style investigation initiated by a jealous colleague (Hume Cronyn). Along the wa... more »y, Praetorius befriends and ultimately marries a young woman who attempts suicide when she discovers she is pregnant. Baut as the witch-hunt into the good doctor's personal life progresses, so do the laughs in this well-crafted, all-star treasure that should be part of every film lover's collection of classics.« less
Terri L. from HILLSBORO, TX Reviewed on 10/7/2009...
Wonderful, funny movie. My daughters and I love Cary Grant, and this is one of his best!
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Good Doctor Praetorius and the Mysterious Mr. Shunderson
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 06/14/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
""People Will Talk" is a movie that I first stumbled upon while flipping channels one day. Cary Grant plays Dr. Noah Praetorius, who both practices and teaches medicine with an apporach that is refreshingly modern, even by today's standards. When young Deborah Higgins (Jeanne Crain) collapses, the good Doctor learns she is pregnant, unmarried, and suicidal. After telling her a story about a frog to make her think she is not really pregnant, some things happen and he ends up marrying Deborah. Meanwhile, Professor Rodney Elwell (Hume Cronyn) find Praetorius's novel methods abominable and is trying to find out the truth about not only the good Doctor but his strange companion, Mr. Shunderson (Finlay Currie). The film's climax is an inquisition into Praetorius's past (which keeps him from conduction his orchestra made up of all the school's med students), where it seems that he cured people in a backwater town as their butcher. However, the more Elwell goes after Praetorius, the better the good Doctor looks. Then there is the unbelievable truth about Mr. Shunderson.For me and a lot of other people the strengths of this film outweigh its weaknesses. The proposal scene does not really work, Grant's performance goes off in different directions from time to time, and you have to think Professor Elwell is too smart to be this stupid. But for me the reason I always watch at least the end of this film whenever I can is that the payoff for the mystery of Mr. Shunderson just bowls me over. Walter Slezak is wonderful as always playing Professor Barker, Praetorius's stout supporter, and although it might be a tad forced I love the scene where the three men are playing with the good Doctor's new train set. Hume Cronyn creates an extremely bitter little man to be the story's villain (pay attention to the little details of his performance). Basil Ruysdael does a nice job as the Dean, who finally restores sanity to the proceedings. Certainly there are massive holes in "People Will Talk," but for me the sum of the whole is greater than the parts. I know lots of better films that are not as enjoyable as this quirky little film."
Dr. Praetorius I Presume!
Stephen Reginald | Chicago, IL United States | 02/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Another one of Joseph L. Mankiewicz's films to be lost in the wake of All About Eve, People Will Talk is a terrific comedy/drama featuring a wonderful cast. Cary Grant is Dr. Praetorius whose treatment of patients is somewhat controversial and unconventional. When he befriends a young, unmarried pregnant woman (Jeanne Crain), Grant finds himself the focus of an investigation lead by a jealous collegue (Hume Cronyn) at the university where they both teach. Grant's interest and concern for Crain goes so far as his proposing marriage. And then there's the matter of Mr. Shunderson (Finlay Currie), Grant's seemingly simple-minded, yet constant companion. No one seems to know the details of Mr. Shunderson's life, except Grant, and he's not telling. Not a huge hit when first released, People Will Talk has developed an almost cult following today, and like many past film "failures," it's now considerd a pretty good film. Perhaps it was ahead of its time, but it has some wonderfully rich characterizations, including great turns by the aforementioned Currie, Hume Cronyn, Walter Slezak, Sidney Blackmer, and a terrific bit by an unbilled Margaret Hamilton as Miss Pickett to keep the narrative moving. My favorite scene is Grant's visit to Crain's uncle's house (she and her father life with her uncle). Grant, Blackmer, Currie, and Crain are all sitting on the front porch. Crain objects to being the center of their discussion and refuses to leave the porch. She goes so far as to scream the cook's name "Bella" at the top of her lungs, rather than move from her perch. What the movie does say about the practice of medicine and human relationships is perhaps more relevant today than when first released in 1951. As with most Mankiewicz films, it is successful on the surface. If there was another intent by the director to tell another tale or an allusion to something else, look at this as an added bonus. Fans of Cary Grant will not be disappointed; this is one of his best and most relaxed performances on film. And fans of Jeanne Crain will be pleased as well. Her role is the more difficult one and she pulls it off quite well, besides looking beautiful in ordinary farm-girl dress. Any way you slice it, you'll be talking about People Will Talk."
Neglected Mankiewicz Classic
Lawrance M. Bernabo | 08/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the late forties, Mankiewicz was on a role with The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, A Letter to Three Wives, rolling right into the fifties with All About Eve and People Will Talk. Unfortunately Eve seems to get all the glory these days. People Will Talk is remarkably up to date. Cary Grant's character, Dr. Praetorius, believes "that knowledge of the human emotions and spirit is as necessary for a medical person as anatomy." Jeanne Crain plays an unwed pregnant student that Grant saves from suicide and despair. The supporting cast includes some of the greatest character actors of all time including Hume Cronyn, Sidney Blackmer, Walter Slezak, Finley Currie, and in a delightfully funny bit Margaret Hamilton. Currie's performance as Grant's faithful assistant/friend is wonderfully under played. One of my favorite moments is the porch scene with Grant, Crain, and Blackmer, with Crain shouting "Bella" at the top of her lungs. You'll have to see the film to enjoy the above commentary. People Will Talk is a delightful film that was way ahead of its time in 1951, and in many ways it still is today."
A timeless commentary on bigotry and small mindedness.
firstname.lastname@example.org | Encinitas, CA, USA | 07/15/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film certainly stands the test of the nearly 50 years since its release. Cary Grant is at the apex of his physical charm, and under Mankiewicz direction, gives one of his most subtle performances as the mysterious Dr. Praetorius. The delineation of all characters is rounded and complex: unusual to find outside of a novel or a stage play. Although one premise in the plot (the stigma of unwed pregnancy) is dated, the scenes involving the small minded bigotry of "little men" are worth seeing again and again. The supporting cast, including Hume Cronyn as the vilain, and the actor who plays Jeanne Crain's uncle, are deserving of special kudos. This is a rare example of a movie that entertains while subtly imparting a lasting message. It also keeps one intrigued waiting for the solution to the mystery of Mr. Sunderson: a solution you won't soon forget."
Another Great Cary Grant Movie I Never Knew About!
email@example.com | 06/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The asbolute best scenes of the movie are at the end, when Mr. Shunderson (Finlay Currie) tells the story of his past and then tells Professor Rodney Elwell (Hume Cronyn) off with some of the best lines ever...Short and to the point! I never knew of this movie and happened upon it late one night on AMC. See the film, it's one of those C.G. movies that sneak up on you, grab your attention and leave you smilling at the end, glad that you stuck with it."