Captain Newman, M.D. - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Captain Newman, M.D. Reviews

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January 3, 2015
One of only a handful of films that tackles the trauma experienced by servicemen coming back from war using some psychology and quite a bit of heart. Masterful performances by Peck and Curtis, Dickinson plays the "love interest" in an unsatisfying role. A couple of other complex cases are featured including Bobby Darin who was the "soup de jour" at that time and delivers a pretty good Academy Award nominated performance. An anti war film which no doubt the Bush Family did not have in their collection and many other politicians/leaders should watch to see what happens when they decide to "do" war. Recommended.
½ August 15, 2014
It was an alright film. It was not a film I would want to see often. It had it's moments. It had a lot of famous actors in it. It was an okey film.
February 21, 2014
oh boy another WWII pic post WWII.
February 19, 2012
Think of a slightly disappointing version of 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' but set in an infirmary for soldiers of World War II seeking psychiatric help instead of a mental institute, and it might resemble 'Captain Newman, M.D'.

Fresh from coming off his Oscar-winning performance as Atticus Finch in one of the most outstanding films in history 'To Kill a Mockingbird', Gregory Peck plays the archetypal Captain Josiah Newman, the polar opposite of Nurse Ratchett, sympathetic, protective, gentle, and the man in charge of helping get traumatised soldiers back on their feet, specifically three, each played by Eddie Albert, Robert Duvall and singer Bobby Darin.

And in the midst of all this is the focusing of Newman's colleague Laibowitz, played by Tony Curtis, whose reputation in the film as the prankster entertaining the patients, those that are merely just there as background characters, dominates the comedic (if it can be called comedic) element of the film.

For a film like this, the drama is primarily essential and a use for comedy is unneccesary. On the positive side, elements included in this film feature an impressive performance by Darin as a traumatised soldier whose medicated re-enaction of the very accident that gets him in the unit in the first place stands out as arguably the most powerful sequence, a scene that does not allow Curtis to display any variation of over-acting and helps give a pained remider of the ways in which army traumisation is displayed.

Furthermore, in the most intriguing of the three scenarios, Albert impresses just as much with his performance as a disillusioned and guilty Colonel displaying the distressing sight of a hulking figure of a man being bought down by his demons with just as much ferocity and vulnerability as Darin's character.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the scenario revolving Duvall's character, having been reduced to a catatonic state after following a 13-month hideout in a basement in Germany. While the scenario sounds interesting, the storyline just does not seem to know where it's heading, and by the end it feels limited and unassuming especially when compared to the more engaging scenarios involving Darin and Albert.

Incidentally, the comedic value is just pointless. In one sequence, bringing in memories of Bunuel's 'The Exterminating Angel', a herd of sheep are seen on the runway just as a plane is about to land on the very runway, prompting a horrifically corny scene in which whilst trying to get the sheep away, Curtis speaks to the 'leader' of the sheep and speaks to it as if he was dishing orders out on a human civilian.

Another 'comedy' sequence involving the theft of a salami makes us wonder whether there is any need for comedy in the film, and Curtis's character just appears unneccesary and pointless to where the film is going, making us wish that the director just wrote out all the comedy and just focused on Newman and the patients.

A film like this should solely be focusing on drama not comedy, for example, the scenario involving sheep should not be in the same film as a scene in which Darin describes in spine-tingling detail his plane crash. If that was the case then John Cassavettes may have included a scene in which someone trips up a banana after Burt Lancaster's first meeting with the young autistic boy in 'A Child Is Waiting', a film that can be compared in terms of possessing the challenge of reaching out to those who cannot be easily reached out for.

In terms of drama, its intriguing elements and enjoyable performances from Peck, Albert and Darin save it from total disaster, but in terms of comedy, the scenarios, and Curtis in particular, fall flat like Michael Cimino trying out the western genre. Not a bad film but one that should have stuck with solely drama.
½ December 29, 2011
Tony Curtis is hysterical, Gregory Peck is perfect, Angie Dickinson is terrific, Robert Duvall is great, and Bobby Darin is brilliant.
Super Reviewer
August 22, 2011
This is the story of a military doctor working at a mental hospital in Arizona catering to soldiers during World War II, and all of the various tuff he has to deal with, from suffering patients, to an oddball new orderly, and a relationship with one of the nurses.

The thing that immediately caught my attention was the cast: Gregory Peck, Tony Curtis, Angie Dickinson, Eddie Albert. Dick Sargenym and supporting roles by Bobby Darin and Robert Duvall. The cast alone makes this a hell of a picture.

It's not just the cast, though. There's a good story here. It's a nice little melodrama typical of the times filled with humor, romance, and sadness, but the cast holds it together. I was really happy with how they were able to blend the laughs with some of the more serious stuff and keep it from being too corny.

The cast are great, and so are their performances. Peck is in typical Peck mode, but that's just fine. Curtis is a real scene stealer, providing some of the best laugh moments, a lot of which are caused just because of goofy faces he makes. The real drama is brought by Darin, Albert, and Duvall who all have some terrific moments of real, moving acting.

This is just a nice good old fashioned film, but that's okay. I liked it. It's entertaining, yet it tries to do a little more.
January 31, 2011
Flirts between comedy and drama, but makes some good points about wartime mental health before it finishes. It's isn't however a stand-out performance film.
October 6, 2010
Before M*A*S*H and Catch-22, there was this little gem of a movie.

A great mix of drama, humor and tragedy. Gregory Peck delivers a great performance as he always does and Tony Curtis provides excellent comic relief as the orderly that Peck shang-hi's into his ward who also has interesting medical opinions. Angie Dickinson as the nurse that Peck ends up recruiting to help him, also his love interest. And excellent performances by Eddie Albert as a
September 19, 2010
August 4, 2010
This was one of those movies where I couldn't tell if it was a drama or a comedy. And by the time to movie ended I didn't care cause it was FANTASTIC! Gregory Peck gave an awesome performance! And Tony Curtis was hilarious! This is a great movie and if you like Gregory Peck or classic films this is a must watch!
½ July 19, 2010
A solid cast is the core of Captain Newman, M.D., an uneven dramady that curves into maudlin.
May 1, 2010
An excellent cast performing well, but there are simply too many characters jammed into this story, and as a result none is very well developed. With no central character arc or plotline, the film lacks momentum, which really hurts given the 126-minute runtime.
January 29, 2010
Good comedy drama, with a fascinating varied cast. The melodrama does get a bit heavy at times, bit for the most part it is interesting. Well made, good production. Gregory Peck gives the best performance in the cast, very subdued and effective.
August 1, 2009
I consider this a Dark Christmas Movie!
Xtra Special Holiday Treats...Tony Curtis...Bobby Darin...Larry Storch...and perhaps my first introduction to Robert Duvall.
July 7, 2009
Pretty good, if this is your genre of movie. Not exactly my kind, but I'm a big Tony Curtis fan, and he has a fun part. Gregory Peck has that enjoyable sort of straight-man personality that he does so well. Overall, a bit long and just not very compelling, but an interesting look into a wartime psychiatric ward, not the first thing you'd think about in a war movie.
½ May 31, 2009
Gregory Peck leads an all-star cast in a movie about psychiatric trauma suffered by soldiers coming back from WWII. Its a brilliant mix of seriousness and comedy, causing hardy laughter at one moment and tugging on the tearstrings the next.
Super Reviewer
May 20, 2009
Enjoyable comic drama. Peck is a tower of strength, Angie stalwart, and Tony Curtis most amusing which is welcome when it gets to be heavy going at times. Rest of the cast full of familiar faces perform well. Only problem is that it's overlong.
March 4, 2009
Fresh off his Academy Award for To Kill a Mockingbird, Gregory Peck jumps into a comedy drama and surrounds himself with some very capable players: Tony Curtis, Angie Dickinson, Eddie Albert, Dick Sargent and a young Robert Duvall.

This isn't a perfect movie by any means but it delivers on the laughs and at no point did I feel the story arch was being lost behind the occasional comic spot of Curtis. Peck isn't given much to work with in terms of character however he reveals his extraordinary ability to be convincing in reacting and observing the other patients. One of the better scenes is one where Bobby Darin is dreaming and explaining his problems to Peck and Dickinson in a hospital room.

This is a very well constructed war, drama-comedy and is full of strong players and performances. About as interesting as a military hospital film can be.
½ December 14, 2008
This is a good movie
November 19, 2007
Loved it...loved it...loved it
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