Doctors' Wives (1971)

Genres - Drama  |   Release Date - Feb 3, 1971 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 102 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Craig Butler

Featuring an embarrassingly bad screenplay by Daniel Taradash, Doctors' Wives is the kind of film that makes viewers shake their heads in disbelief. It's true that Taradash, who won an Oscar for From Here to Eternity, was working with less-than-classic material in Frank G. Slaughter's book, but that's no excuse for coming up with such execrable dialogue. Character development is nil; essentially, once one of the very large cast of characters is introduced, he or she is given an identifying characteristic and that's all the growth allowed. George Schaefer also shares the blame, both for agreeing to shoot such a hackneyed and actively annoying screenplay and for not showing any semblance of imagination in the manner in which he shot it. Of the cast, only Dyan Cannon comes off relatively unscathed, and that is due in part to her disappearance after the first ten minutes. Of the rest, even talented actors such as Gene Hackman, Rachel Roberts, and Diana Sands can do nothing with this material. Doctors' Wives can be enjoyed for a few minutes for its sheer shoddiness, but even that small fun quickly wears off.