Bethune: The Making of a Hero (1990)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Biopic [feature], Docudrama, Medical Drama  |   Release Date - Sep 17, 1993 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 115 min.  |   Countries - Canada, China  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

Having previously essayed the role of real-life Canadian physician/political activist Norman Bethune in a 1977 TV movie, Donald Sutherland returns to the role in the 1989 theatrical feature Bethune: The Making of a Hero. Over a period of several decades, Dr. Bethune grows increasingly disenchanted with the corrupt politics that have fomented so many wars. Radicalized during the Spanish Civil War, he declares himself by fighting with Mao Tse Tung's Chinese Communist forces against the Japanese in World War 2. He remains a staunch Mao supported in the postwar years, winning him both loyal supporters and bitter foes in the West. This warts-and-all film makes no effort to cover up Bethune's personal demons, notably his boozing and philandering. Still, one emerges from the film wishing to learn just a wee bit more about the good doctor's motivations. Bethune: The Making of a Hero was released in the US in 1993 as Doctor Bethune.



research, teacher, altruism, battle [war], conquest, doctor/nurse, Fascism, flashback, marriage, medical-treatment, profession, reputation, techniques, training, violence