CAREY TREATMENT, THE (director: Blake Edwards; screenwriters: from the novel by Michael Crichton/James P. Bonner; cinematographer: Frank Stanley; editor: Ralph E. Winters; music: Roy Budd; cast: James Coburn (Dr. Peter Carey), Jennifer O’Neill (Georgia Hightower), Pat Hingle (Capt. Pearson), Skye Aubrey (Angela Holder), Alex Dreier (Joshua Randall), Elizabeth Allen (Evelyn Randall), Dan O’Herlihy (Dr. J.D. Randall), Melissa Torme-March (Karen Randall), Michael Blodgett (Roger Hudson), James Hong (David Tao), John Fink (Dr. Murphy); Runtime: 101; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: William Beleasco; MGM; 1972)
“Shallow character study murder mystery, that seems like a made for TV film.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Blake Edwards (“Operation Petticoat”/”Days of Wine and Roses”/”The Pink Panther”)directed this shallow character study murder mystery, that seems like a made for TV film. It’s based on the novel written under a pseudonym by Michael Crichton; the script was written by three writers (Irving Ravetch, Harriet Frank, Jr. and John D. F. Black) who received screen credit under the single fictitious name of James P. Bonner (the writers were upset with MGM for all their interference and asked that their names be removed from the credits). It was such a botched effort that even Edwards bails out on it, disowning the picture after he saw how MGM altered it.
A swinging playboy pathologistDr. Peter Carey (James Coburn), newly arrived from Palo Alto, works in a busy and prominent Boston metropolitan hospital. The laid back Doc is dating Bostonian Georgia Hightower (Jennifer O’Neill), the hospital’s attractive dietitian, and living the good life. But he gets serious when he comes to the defense of a wrongly accused colleague, Dr. David Tao (James Hong), who is sitting in jail for supposedly botching up the abortion of the 15-year-old Karen Randall (Melissa Torme-March) and killing her. Karen is the daughter of Dr. J.D. Randall (Dan O’Herlihy), the hospital’s chief of staff.
With no help from the police, the hospital or the girl’s parents, Carey sticks his neck out by taking the law into his own hands and carrying out a questionable investigation, such as frightening a teenage girl into giving up the name of the boy Karen was involved with and tracking down this dangerous thug to the point he nearly also becomes a vic of this killer and thief of hospital drugs.
The film’s best line that’s pure retro 1970s is when one character tells another: “you just stay who you are baby, I’ll stay who I am.”
REVIEWED ON 7/27/2011 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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