Writer Paddy Chayefsky's wicked satire of the medical profession is seen by some as a warmup for the more ambitious NETWORK five years later, but THE HOSPITAL is quite successful on its own terms. George C. Scott plays Dr. Herbert Bock, a once-brilliant physician now reduced to a suicidal shell of a man, owing to his disgust with his own estranged family, as well as the increasing depersonalization and incompetence within the medical profession. Diana Rigg is the lovely young free spirit who makes him realize that life might have a few things to offer after all. Chayefsky plays no favorites, in that everyone from profit-obsessed hospital administrators to naive and uninformed young radicals are targets for his venom. The film is also remarkably, and sadly, prescient, in that its lampooning of medical bureaucracy and insurance-regulated socialization plays more as reality than satire today. - JL
QUOTE AND MAKE IT A
"Now what in hell am I going to tell this boy's parents? That a substitute nurse assassinated him because she couldn't tell the doctors from the patients on the floor?"