More film clips and sections from novels (Suggested by Gilly Cooper)

Film clips and sections from novels

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Film Clip library          how doctors are portrayed in the movies

Suggested by Gilly Cooper

Topic Resource Notes
Depression The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath Chapter 11 going to psychiatrist Chapter 12 ECT The poet Sylvia Plath wrote this work of fiction not long before she committed suicide herself. The two extracts exemplify some of the stigmas and traumas of being a psychiatric patient
The Hours DVD Scene 12 Julianne Moore’s character contemplates suicide while reading Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs Dallaway. This cuts to a scene where Ms Woolf herself has depression problems.
A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby. First chapter We meet the characters, all different types of depressed people who meet on a roof top on New Year’s Eve. Consider the different narratives. How different people reach crisis point and our differing attitudes to them.
Philosophy of life Tao of Pooh:Chapter: Bisy Backson Think about whether we need to be rushing around apparently being efficient. It’s also important to stop and reflect.
The Alchemist:See 2 excerpts on Scaling the heights website These pieces from a modern fable look at following your dreams and learning from doing.
Education Tao of Pooh:Chapter: Spelling Tuesday The importance of education and experiential learning in particular.
Being a doctor The House of God Pages 170-171 Humorous look at masterly inactivity/ first do no harm
Rape Lucky, also byAlice Sebold: Chapter 1The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold: Chapter 1 The first an autobiographical account of being raped as a student and the second, a fictional account of a girl who has been raped and murdered – from the viewpoint of the girl after death
Drug Abuse Trainspotting Irvine Welsh: Both sections of first chapter. First about



Junk dilemmas No 63; It Goes Without Saying (strong language); shooting up heroin, second reaction to an addict’s child’s death. May be difficult to understand the strong Scots dialect. Possibly better to see film.
RTA/Child death if nobody speaks of remarkable things Jon McGregor – Last chapter There is an accident in the street, child is hit by a car. Short paragraphs describing some of the reactions of those close by.
Breaking bad news if nobody speaks of remarkable things Jon McGregor – Couple at number 20 – page 69, 71, 75 Another exerpt from this wonderful book. An elderly man finds out he has lung cancer, has appointments with his GP, and is trying to keep the news from his wife.
Dying The Sea. John Banville P237-240 A description of a husband being with his wife, who has terminal breast cancer, during her final moments of life
Corporal punishment Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man; James Joyce See extract A scene at an Irish Catholic boarding school when corporal punishment was still considered to be acceptable. How vulnerable children always are to their elders. The scene may have changed but children are still often victims.
Being a patient The Sea John Banville P179- 183 A description of an oncology patient who has taken photos of her fellow patients. Humour and pathos together.
Dementia Iris– Film clip 20 -31.40 minutes Iris Murdoch played by Judi Dench gives a heartrending portrayal of her progressioninto dementia. This clip also has a GP who looks out of his depth doing a home visit and a hospital doctor who is honest. I wonder if you think his truthful words too brutal.
AIDS The Hours– Film Clip scene 6 Meryl Streep’s character, Mrs Dallaway visits her friend who is dying of AIDS and has psychiatric as well as physical problems due to his illness


Information on the clips:


Plath, S. (1999) The Bell Jar London. Faber & Faber Hornby, N. (2005) A Long way Down Viking

Hoff, B. (1998) Tao of Pooh and Te of Piglet London. Methuen Paulo Coelho (1995) The Alchemist London HarperCollins Shem, S (1985) The House of God London. Black Swan Sebold, A. (2002) Lucky London, Picador

Sebold, A. (2002) The Lovely Bones. London, Picador Welsh, I. ((1996) Trainspotting. London, Minerva

McGregor, J. (2003) if nobody speaks of remarkable things London, Bloomsbury Banville, J. (2005) The Sea London Picador

Iris (2002) Eyre, R. Dench, J. Broadbent, J. Winslet, K. Bonneville, H DVD Miramax films The Hours Daldry, S. Streep, M. Moore, J. Kidman,N DVD Paramount Pictures 2003



Film Which bit? What is it good for?
Dead Poets Society ·            Carpe Diem at the beginning·            “Rip” section·            Jumping off the desk·            Funny walks in the quadrngle ·          Seize the day, What is education really about?·          The principles of assessment. Good teaching·          seeing things from a different perspective·          Everyone is different
La vie est bella (Life is Beautiful) ·            Beginning, a Jew in Rome·            1/3 way in, prison barracks ·          Absence of prejudice·          We hear what we want to
Educating Rita 2/3 way in, Rita comes back from her course The learner outgrows the teacher
Master & Commander 2/3 way in, conversation between Doctor Stephen and the Master The nature of Leadership (one view!)
Full Monty ½ way, an attempt to teach them to dance Recruit the learners themselves, and their ideas, if you want them to learn something
Chicken Run The bit in the shed where they are trying out the catapault with the turnip. Trying different ways of doing things and not giving up if it doesn’t work at first
Ground Hog Day Choose any scene that shows repetitive nature metaphor for how we can live our lives day to day with no significant change
Don Juan de Marco Scene near start where psychiatrist talks Juan off roof top by pacing him (entering his map of the world) whole movie is marvellous comment on the map is not the territory.
Truly Madly Deeply Romantic comedy that also conveys in metaphor how the mind holds onto the deceased loved one
Good Will Hunting Second meeting of psychiatrist and Will Explains the difference between a ‘declarative’ and a ‘functioning’ knowledge of life and love.
It’s a Wonderful World Where Clarence, George Baily’s Guardian angel, jumps into the river to save George from suicide. Living an ‘ordinary’ life to your values and principles has a ripple effect. (Thanks Jonas Miller)
The Doctor Scene when surgeon has his students undergo themselves the investigations they order for their patients Insensitive surgeon changes perspective when he develops cancer.
One Flew over the Cuckoo Nest Whole movie about life in a mental institution Abuse of power
The Big Chill, The AccidentalTourist, Grand Canyon Films of Lawrence Kasdan Human relationships
David Copperfield Scene when David is told of Mother’s death Stimulus to discuss the who, when and where of breaking bad news.
Mr Deeds Goes to Town A bit at the end of the original film About personal responsibility and integrity
Bambi There’s the bit where bambi learns to walk with the aid of “thumper”……… …..his mentor
When a Man Loves a Woman The section where she arrives home drunk and hits her daughter and then collapses in the shower The effect of alcoholism on families
The Sea Within The whole movie Euthanasia and personal choices in a man with a cervical spine injury – ehtical issues
Dirty Pretty Things The whole movie Regugee doctors. Organ transplants and organ sales
Tuesdays with Moori Teaching about death and leadership
Only Fools and Horses Series 6 Del Boy visits the doctor Diversity and cultural misunderstanding



Red Beard – Akira Kurosawa Bit where the new young doctor thinks he can “understand & save” the young female patient with mental health problems Taking advice from wiser more experienced colleagues
Iris The whole movie.About Iris Murdoch and her husband and their struggles with her dementia based on his book. Dementia and it’s effects on the patient and the family
A Beautiful Mind The whole movie.Vivid portrayal by Russell Crowe of a top scientist who develops schizophrenia Schizophrenia, mental health disease & its effects
Vera Drake The whole movie Abortion – illegal abortion and ethical issues around abortion




(Research by a US paediatrician Glenn Fores: on 150 movies! Arch Dis Child. 2004 December; 89(12): 1084–1088)

Here’s the full paper  Arch Dis Child-2004-Gatrad-1094-7

We found this summary on the University of Milwaukee website, and we’ve reproduced it below for convenience:

Flores found that in older movies physicians are portrayed as wise and dedicated healers, while in current films, most are avaricious and incompetent.

One theme seen frequently in movies about doctors is money and materialism.

“Money is often portrayed as the prime motivation for becoming a doctor and choosing a medical specialty in the movies,”

Movie doctors, sometimes base treatment decisions on the patients’ ability to pay and are shown as bound by the strictures of insurance bureaucrats. And the foibles of both doctors and patients, consistently provide a treasure-trove of humor. His concern is that because of negative portrayals of doctors, patients’ expectations and the doctor-patient relationship may be adversely affected. He also feels that films about doctors can serve the medical profession as useful gauges of public opinion and a valuable tool in training doctors.

A second theme is bureaucracy and healthcare systems.

“Movie doctors frequently face the frustrations and follies of having to confront inefficient bureaucracies and healthcare systems that hinder patient care,” he said.

A third theme is humor, both intentional and unintentional. He cites episodes that make doctors laugh, even if the average viewer misses the humor, such as a doctor diagnosing severe edema of the abdomen and liver without ever touching the patient’s abdomen, or a doctor using a light microscope to see a virus. In one movie, a doctor developed a cure for a virus in one evening’s work. Since he is a pediatrician, Dr. Flores also looked at how his specialty is treated in movies. His conclusion: they are mostly absent. Only 2% of doctors in the movies he reviewed are pediatricians, all in movies from the 1940s.

His study includes an annotated “Top Ten” list of doctor movies which he considers the best, most humorous and most useful in medical education. This work builds on research he did two years ago when he reviewed 131 films in which one or more characters were doctors. That paper, published in the Journal of the National Medical Association in July 2002, details his major findings:

Compassion and idealism were common in older films but have become scarcer in newer movies.

Positive images of doctors have declined since the 1960s, while negative images have increased.

Doctors are often portrayed as greedy, egotistical, uncaring and unethical, especially in recent films.

A recurrent theme is the “mad scientist,” the doctor-researcher who experiments on patients and values science over his patients’ welfare.

Doctor movies continue to fascinate because they can be humorous, thought-provoking and informative of the public’s perception of doctors,” he said. “And they never cease to entertain. Movie doctors can provide insightful and realistic portraits of the challenges, rewards and excitement of being a doctor.”

The “Top Ten” lists of doctor movies which Dr. Flores considers the best, most humorous and most useful in medical education:


Red Beard (1965)

The Hospital (1971)

Article 99 (1991)

State of Emergency (1993)

Miss Evers’ Boys (1997)

The Elephant Man (1980)

Panic in the Streets (1950)

Spellbound (1945)

Death and the Maiden (1994)

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)

Most Humorous

M*A*S*H (1970)

Body Parts (1991)

High Anxiety (1977)

The Patriot (1999)

What About Bob (1991)

Carry on Doctor (1968)

Doctor at Sea (1956)

What’s New Pussycat (1965)

Torture Ship (1939)

Malice (1993)

Most Useful in Medical Education

The Doctor (1991)

Arrowsmith (1932)

The Citadel (1938)

Not As a Stranger (1955)

Pressure Point (1962)

Whose Life is It Anyway (1981)

Miss Evers’ Boys (1997)

The Interns (1962)

Critical Care (1997)

And the Band Played On (1993)