People Will Talk (1951) Poster

Hume Cronyn: Prof. Rodney Elwell



  • Miss Sarah Pickett - Housekeeper : If I come in does the door get closed?

    Prof. Rodney Elwell : Naturally.

    Miss Sarah Pickett - Housekeeper : Then I don't come in.

    Prof. Rodney Elwell : Why not?

    Miss Sarah Pickett - Housekeeper : You know why not, you're grown up.

    Prof. Rodney Elwell : My dear Mrs. Pickett.

    Miss Sarah Pickett - Housekeeper : Miss Pickett and don't butter me up.

    Prof. Rodney Elwell : I have conducted my affairs behind closed doors for 20 years.

    Miss Sarah Pickett - Housekeeper : Not with me.

    Prof. Rodney Elwell : You overestimate both of us.

  • Prof. Rodney Elwell : Doctor Praetorius, won't you admit that your practice flourished in Goose Creek because you took advantage of the ignorance of its backward inhabitants? Of the pathetic willingness of those poor people to rely upon a belief in miraculous cure rather than scientific knowledge? And because of the readiness with which so many people will prefer the glamorous quack to the licensed practitioner?

    Doctor Noah Praetorius : Despite your definition of a quack as someone who does not practice medicine according to your rules, Professor Elwell, the fact remains that a quack is an unqualified person who pretends to be a doctor. I was a licensed practitioner and therefore not a quack. And as to the willingness of those so-called ignorant and backward people to rely upon the curative powers of faith and possibly miracles too, I consider faith properly injected into a patient as effective in maintaining life as adrenaline. And the belief in miracles has been the difference between living and dying as often as any surgeon's scalpel.

    Prof. Rodney Elwell : That is not the issue under discussion.

    Doctor Noah Praetorius : That is precisely the issue. Whether the practice of medicine shall become more and more intimately involved with the human beings it treats, or whether it's to go on in its present way of becoming more and more a thing of pills, serums and knives until eventually we shall undoubtedly evolve an electronic doctor.

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