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STRANGE LADY IN TOWN (director: Mervyn LeRoy; screenwriter: story by Frank Butler/Frank Butler; cinematographer: Harold Rosson; editor: Folmar Blangsted; music: Dimitri Tiomkin; cast: Greer Garson (Dr. Julia Winslow Garth ), Dana Andrews (Dr. Rourke O’Brien), Cameron Mitchell (Lt. David Garth), Lois Smith (Spurs O’Brien), Walter Hampden (Father Gabriel Mendoza), Joan Camden (Norah), Nick Adams ( Billy the Kid ), Gonzalez Gonzalez (Trooper Martinez-Martinez), Anthony Numkena (Tomasito), Paul Birch (Sheriff), Adele Jergen (Bella Brown), Frank De Kova (Hatlo), Douglas Kennedy(Slade Wickstrom); Runtime: 112; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Mervyn LeRoy; WB; 1955)
“The characters were all one-dimensional.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Mervyn LeRoy(“Five Star Final”/”I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang”) directs this grand-scale Western feminist soap opera bore, filmed in CinemaScope. It tells the story of a Boston lady doctor, Dr. Julia Winslow Garth (Greer Garson), who in 1880 sets up a modern medical practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where her wayward brother David Garth (Cameron Mitchell) is a lieutenant in the cavalry. The sight of a woman doctor is too much for some locals, so she receives negative comments. She also receives hostility from the refined established rival male doc in town, the widower Dr. Rourke O’Brien (Dana Andrews). Predictably a romance will eventually flourish for them. The redheaded Julia treats for a toothache the friend of Billy the Kid (Nick Adams), cures the glaucoma of a Mexican boy (Anthony Numkena) and treats a young lady (Joan Camden) suffering from mental problems. Soon word gets around that she’s a saintly doctor, and even Rourke’s old-time patients go to her. Spurs (Lois Smith), the tom boy daughter of Rourke, befriends Julia. Spurs is in love with Julia’s brother David. But he takes the wrong path and robs the bank on the night of the fiesta, and is hunted down by the posse.. Walter Hampden is the pious priest, who built a hospital on the church grounds. When the town doctors finally tie the knot for good, they will together run the hospital. The screenplay by Frank Butler keeps it less violent than most Westerns from the 1950s, but the characters were all one-dimensional and the story was trite.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”