Not As A Stranger

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An ego-driven, aspiring physician, intolerant of the weaknesses of others, especially those closest to him, comes to grips with his own imperfections.

ACTORS :  Olivia de Havilland, Frank Sinatra, Robert Mitchum

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1955

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Storyline

Not As A Stranger  Lucas Marsh, an intern bent upon becoming a first-class doctor, not merely a successful one. He courts and marries the warm-hearted Kristina, not out of love but because she is highly knowledgeable in the skills of the operating room and because she has frugally put aside her savings through the years. She will be, as he shrewdly knows, a supportive wife in every way. She helps make him the success he wants to be and cheerfully moves with him to the small town in which he starts his practice. But as much as he tries to be a good husband to the undemanding Kristina, Marsh easily falls into the arms of a local siren and the patience of the long-sorrowing Kristina wears thin. She reasons he no longer needs her and asks for a divorce. A calamity now brings Marsh to his senses. Dr. Runkleman, Marsh’s gruff and wise employer, is stricken with a heart attack and requires emergency surgery. Marsh is forced to operate.

Great movie, moving scenes

Not As A Stranger  There has been a lot of criticism of Robert Mitchum in this film. I thought he was perfectly cast. I haven’t seen this movie since I was a teen, in the 1960s. However, there were three scenes in the movie that moved me so strongly I can see them in my mind’s eye all these years later. The first is the emotional scene when Olivia de Havilland can take no more of Mitchum’s treatment and tells him to get out. She was so powerful and poignant. The second was when Mitchum was trying to revive Bickford and couldn’t. Finally, the scene where he went back home, and de Havilland opened the door and Mitchum just stood there looking at her so pathetically. I just finished watching The Snake Pit and I’m going to go rent Not as a Stranger. She is such an amazing actress!

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