A Man to Remember

A Man to Remember.  This is a Capra-esque movie that looks back on the life of a small town doctor who enriched every life in town except his own.  When a woman dies in childbirth and her husband is unwilling to accept the responsibility of raising the child, Doc Abbott proceeds to raise the child as his own daughter.  When a drunken suitor accidentally shoots his daughter in the arm (not really an Ozzie and Harriet moment, although it was almost portrayed that way), Doc Abbott uses the threat of scandal to force the boy's rich father to build a hospital for the town.  When a few cases of probable polio fail to convince the city council to cancel the pending county fair, Doc Abbott single-handedly inoculates every child in the town.

Doc Abbott is played by Edward Ellis, the titular "Thin Man" from The Thin Man. Besides the creepy gunshot sequence there is another uncomfortable plot line when Doc Abbott's natural born son, Dick, returns from medical school and discovers that his "sister", Jean, has blossomed into an attractive young lady.  Apparently the four years of absence enables him to forget that she was raised as his sister from the day of her birth and, reasoning that they are not really brother and sister, the two former siblings become obvious romantic targets for each other.  This is not consummated in more than hand-holding in the movie, thank goodness.


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