Tag Archives: Richard Dysart

The Set of 400: #187 – My Favorite Inpatient Assignation

Today! Because I am the fool for Christ, and the Paraclete of Caborca, the Wrath of the Lamb, the Angel of the Bottomless Pit –

The Hospital (1971)

Directed by Arthur Hiller

Starring George C. Scott (x2), Diana Rigg, Richard Dysart (x2), Barnard Hughes, Andrew Duncan (x2), Nancy Marchand (x2), Jordan Charney, Roberts Blossom, Katherine Helmond, Frances Sternhagen, Robert Walden, Stockard Channing (x2), Lenny Baker, Donald Harron

A black comedy of the highest order, The Hospital is Paddy Chayefsky’s healthcare takedown precursor to dismantling television news five years later in Network. George C. Scott – in his second list film from 1971 in the last two weeks! – plays chief of medicine Dr. Bock who’s deeply sunk in his midlife crisis, marriage ruined, career malaise, while his hospital goes through an epic administrative, public, and lethal meltdown, with protests breaking out constantly over the hospital acquiring-to-demolish nearby slums, patients getting lost, misdiagnosed, and accidentally killed, and doctors being actively hunted by a faceless murderer. There’s also an Indian shaman and an overzealous billing supervisor in the mix. And this all takes place in about a 72 hour span. Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #206 – My Favorite Political Savant

Today! Because life is a state of mind –

Being There (1979)

Directed by Hal Ashby (x2)

Starring Peter Sellers (x2), Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, Jack Warden, Richard Dysart, Richard Basehart (x2), James Noble, Alice Hirson, Elya Baskin (x2), Ruth Attaway

Hal Ashby’s brilliant decade came to an end with Being There, a character-based comedy featuring an absolutely brilliant turn by Peter Sellers as the simple minded gardener Chance. Upon the death of his boss, he’s thrust out into society, which he only knows from television, and while there are some fish out of water moments, the point of the story is more the way he looks at life. Sure, it can be a little schmaltzy, but figure, he’s surrounded by monstrous politicians and people who don’t understand who he is from the second he’s out in the world, and yet he’s not immediately crushed by the unbearable weight of foreign circumstance. He just gets by, unaffected, even though society is almost designed to destroy such a person. Chance the Gardener – later, Chauncey Gardner – makes it work.

Shirley MacLaine is also magnificent in this movie

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