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Doctor in Distress (1963)

Dr. Simon Sparrow's (Sir Dirk Bogarde's) love life improves dramatically when the lovely Delia Mallory (Samantha Eggar) is brought into casualty with a sprained ankle. She's relieved at the... See full summary »


Ralph Thomas


Nicholas Phipps (screenplay), Ronald Scott Thorn (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dirk Bogarde ... Dr. Simon Sparrow
James Robertson Justice ... Sir Lancelot Spratt
Samantha Eggar ... Delia Mallory
Barbara Murray ... Iris Marchant - Physiotherapist
Mylène Demongeot ... Sonia / Helga Stronberg (as Mylene Demongeot)
Donald Houston ... Maj. Tommy Ffrench
Jessie Evans Jessie Evans ... Mrs. Parry
Ann Lynn ... Mrs. Whittaker
Leo McKern ... Harry Heilbronn
Rodney Cardiff Rodney Cardiff ... Student Doctor
Dennis Price ... Dr. Blacker
Fenella Fielding ... Passenger on Train
Jill Adams ... Genevieve
Paul Whitsun-Jones Paul Whitsun-Jones ... Grimes
Michael Flanders Michael Flanders ... Bradby


Dr. Simon Sparrow's (Sir Dirk Bogarde's) love life improves dramatically when the lovely Delia Mallory (Samantha Eggar) is brought into casualty with a sprained ankle. She's relieved at the diagnosis, as she is a model, and is as attracted to Sparrow as he is to her. Sparrow finds himself treating Sir Lancelot Spratt (James Robertson Justice), who has taken to sleep-walking. He has also quite suddenly lost his gruff manner, and is being quite nice to everyone. Sparrow quickly diagnoses Spratt's condition: he's fallen in love. The object of his affection is Physiotherapist Iris Merchant (Barbara Murray). Sparrow urges him on, but she also has another suitor in the form of Major Tommy Ffrench (Donald Houston). Spratt tries to hire a private detective to follow her, but when that doesn't work out, he takes to following her. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


It's the incurable 'Doctor' team! See more »




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Release Date:

2 August 1963 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Consultório Indiscreto See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Opening credits: The characters and events in this film are fictitious. Any similarity to actual events or persons living or dead is purely coincidental. See more »


At c.89 minutes Doctor Sparrow says "What!" but his lips mouth something completely different. See more »


Follows Doctor in the House (1954) See more »

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User Reviews

If he gets through that he's going to blow up!
9 April 2013 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Doctor in Distress is directed by Ralph Thomas and adapted to screenplay by Nicholas Phipps and Ronald Scott Thorn from the Doctor series of characters that feature in the novels written by Richard Gordon. It stars Dirk Bogarde, James Robertson Justice, Samantha Eggar, Donald Houston, Barbara Murray and Mylène Demongeot. Music is by Norrie Paramor and cinematography by Ernest Steward.

Sir Lancelot Spratt (Justice) injures his back and finds himself a patient at his own hospital. Falling in love with his physiotherapist Iris Marchant (Murray), Spratt turns to senior doctor Simon Sparrow (Bogarde) for some lady wooing advice when Iris blows him off. But Simon has his own matters of the heart to contend with, his relationship with aspiring actress Delia Mallory (Eggar) is about to be challenged by a acting assignment in Italy.

The fifth of seven "Doctor" movies, Distress sees Bogarde return after missing part four of the series. The truth is that as a series it was never high end comedy anyway, more a case of solid light entertainment and a chance to spend some time in the company of some fine British actors. The Box Office take in the UK was as usual very healthy, but as amiable as it all is, it feels tired, like an auto-pilot production, where really there's only enough good material to have filled out an extended TV episode (Spratt trying to lose weight and following Iris when he learns another man is in the frame for her affections).

The makers try to invigorate this instalment by shifting the focus from Bogarde's Dr. Sparrow to Justice's irascible Spratt. Which while it undoubtedly is no bad thing having more of Justice's bluster to enjoy, the film wastes Bogarde (who would not return for parts six and seven) and the central joke just isn't strong enough to carry a running time of an hour and forty minutes! The girls are lovely and sexy (Murray impressive), but in the case of Eggar and Demongeot they are short changed by a screenplay that asks practically nothing of them.

Is it a good afternoon by the fire movie? Yes, absolutely, the cast (and the ream of cameos by notable British stars of film and TV) ensure that is the case. But don't be surprised if you find yourself looking at your watch after the hour mark has passed. 6.5/10

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