Movie Medical Malpractice! “The Hospital!” Classic Caustic Comedy! “Where Does It Hurt?”

Ready for a “Scalpel Sharp” Dissection Of Medicine, Courtesy Of George C. Scott?

Yes, in an era when “Obamacare” is such a hot button, remember there were films that took on the medical establishment and blew the doors off of medicine!

The Hospital

“Now what in hell am I going to tell this boy Schaefer’s parents? That a substitute nurse assassinated him because she couldn’t tell the doctors from the patients on the floor?”

If you LOVED the screenplay for “Network”, imagine if Paddy Chayefsky put this sharp pen to the world of medical care! Well, he did, and legendary Actor George C. Scott spewed them out in a wicked medical comedy!

best medical comedies

The Hospital!

In 1971, legendary writer Paddy Chayefsky took on medicine, and what a great result! Here’s is the trailer:


Thanks to “Movieclips classic trailers” on youtube for sharing this! Here’s the plot:

George C. Scott was on a roll in the 70’s, starting the decade by winning Best Actor for Patton, then acting in a number of tough, gritty films. THIS undiscovered gem is the setup for 1976’s classic “Network”, as both scripts were written by legendary writer Paddy Chayefsky.

best 70's comedies

Mrs. Cushing: Dr. Spezio. I think one of your patients in here is dead, Dr. Spezio.
Dr. Spezio: Why do you say that, Mrs. Cushing?
Mrs. Cushing: Because he wouldn’t give me his Blue Cross number, Dr, Spezio.

George C. Scott Diana Rigg

This 1971 Chayefsky script looks at the world gone mad through the eyes of a Hospital, and George C. Scott is the guy trying to hold it together. Co-Star Diana Rigg was just coming off her acclaimed performance as the Bond girl in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”…and while it has been largely forgotten to time, it was a razor sharp indictment of the medical establishment!

70's cult films

Scott’s acting and a terrific script make this one of the great, angry movies of the 70’s…with a caustic wit and a searing indictment of the medical community…


Writer Paddy Chayefsky performed a number of roles on the film. Chayefsky was the writer and a producer and also narrated the film at the start. Chayefsky reportedly had full control over content and casting of the movie.

The Hospital

Oscar Worthy Indeed!

Even though actor George C. Scott had rejected the Best Actor Academy Award gold statuette he had won the previous year for Patton (1970), Scott was still nominated in the same category for this picture but lost to Gene Hackman for The French Connection (1971).

George_C_Scott_The_Hospital movie

“Now what in hell am I going to tell this boy Schaefer’s parents? That a substitute nurse assassinated him because she couldn’t tell the doctors from the patients on the floor?”

Paddy Chayefsky film script won the Best Original Screenplay Award at the BAFTAs, the Golden Globes, the Writers’ Guild of America Awards, and at the Academy Awards (Oscars).

Look for this obscure classic – made even greater by the classic 70’s film poster!


And speaking of classic’s 70’s posters, here is one for ANOTHER medical comedy from the same year, starring legendary comedian Peter Sellers!

Where Does It Hurt?

Where Does It Hurt?

This VERY obscure comedy starring Peter Sellers as the head of a hospital that breaks ALL the rules! Take a look at what I found on youtube:

According to the youtube post, “Keith Allison, Paul Revere & The Raiders Bass Player, wrote and recorded the title song, “Where Does It Hurt”, and the theme music for this Peter Sellers Movie. Allison also played the part of Hinckley in the movie. Included in these clips is a second Allison tune probably titled Money,Money or Money Please Come Home.”

cult medical comedy

That youtube clip is to show context and analysis for the music in the film, as it takes on the wild world of medicine in the early 70’s…here is the plot: A corrupt hospital administrator decides to get as much money as possible from the patients by any means necessary – lie, cheat or steal!

Where Does It Hurt? Peter Sellers

Here is some great trivia, courtesy of the terrific website “”.

“Where Does It Hurt?” was filmed with much of the production money invested by director Rod Amateau and actor Peter Sellers, making the director and star both acting producers of the film.

classic movie posters

On the first day of filming, Sellers phoned Amateau and asked that a limousine be sent to his Los Angeles hotel to transport the actor to the film studio. Amateau explained to Sellers that he’d be glad to send a limousine to transport the actor, but since Sellers was sharing in the expenses of the production as well as the profits, the limousine would cost the actor fifty dollars per day. The next morning, Sellers arrived at the studio in the passenger seat of a pickup truck driven by the film’s key grip. Passing Amateau on his way to the set, Sellers explained to the director, “He lives near me.”

cult classic

“Where Does It Hurt?” isn’t as successful as “The Hospital” in tackling the outrageous world of medicine, but it does make an attempt to highlight the world of medicine at the time, which was even more out of control than it is today!

classic 70's comedy

Both films are cult classics, and deserve to be resurrected in this era of ObamaCare and out of control medical costs….once again, Paddy Chayefsky was prescient in his world view!

Where Does It Hurt?

Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Awards, Books / Media, British Cinema, Comedy Movies, Film Noir, Foreign Films, Golden Globes, Great Films, Independent Cinema, London, Movies, New York, Obscure Movies, Politics, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized

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5 replies

  1. Reblogged this on johnrieber and commented:

    Here’s a double bill of medical malpractice from the 70’s, one with a script by Paddy Chayefsky!


  2. ‘Where does it hurt?’ is an all-time great comedy-satire, and one of Sellers’ greatest comic performances – thanks, I guess, mainly to the director and screen-writers. Left to his own devices, Sellers is often carried away by his brilliant comic abilities, leaving us amazed at his talents rather than making us roll on the floor viz. the ‘Inspector’ films etc. In this film, however, we are both amazed and we roll! He needed the biting satire and the great direction to extract performances (from everyone, really) that make us rage while we collapse with laughter. Odd that it seems to have pretty well disappeared.
    Required viewing for anyone interested in Sellers or comedy.
    Peter Deerson



  1. “Hard-Boiled” Movies With An “H”! My A-Z Classic Movie List Continues With Heartbreak – And Helldrivers! – johnrieber
  2. Hard-Boiled! The Hospital! Heartbreak And Hoosiers Too! This “Cult Moive Monday” Has Great Movies With An “H!” – johnrieber

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