The Citadel (1938) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Andrew Manson (Robert Donat), a young, enthusiastic doctor takes his first job in a Welsh mining town, and begins to wonder at the persistent cough many of the miners have. When his attempts to prove its cause are thwarted, he moves to London. His new practice does badly. But when a friend shows him how to make a lucrative practice from rich hypochondriacs, it will take a great shock to show him what the truth of being a doctor really is.

  • Idealistic young Dr. Andrew Manson (Robert Donat) is just beginning his career. He is looking for a balance between fair working conditions and being able to properly take care of his patients. After quitting his initial job in Wales as an assistant to Dr. Page (Basil Gill) due to the unfair working conditions set by Dr. Page's tyrannical wife (Dylis Davies), Manson gets a job working as the doctor for the local mine. Quickly, Manson notices that many of the miners have a persistent cough which had been treated by the previous doctor with "pink medicine". Suspecting that the cough has something to do with the mining conditions, Manson decides to investigate. Without the support of the local hospital, Manson, with the urging and support of his equally idealistic schoolteacher wife, Christine (Rosalind Russell), opens a research facility in their home. Their research does determine that the silica dust from the mine is causing the miners' tuberculosis. However, many of the miners and the miner's board question the need for the research and want Manson to go back to solely prescribing the pink medicine for the cough. Disillusioned, Manson hastily quits and opens a practice in London. After an initial struggle, Manson, with advice from an old colleague, learns that a lucrative career can be had by treating the wealthy whose only medical problems are the want for attention. Money changes Manson's outlook, an outlook not supported by Christine. But a personal tragedy close to the Mansons caused by medical incompetence makes Manson reexamine the path he's chosen in London.

  • Dr. Andrew Manson (Robert Donat) has recently qualified as a physician and accepts a position as an associate with an existing practice in a Welsh mining village. He is appalled not only at the conditions he finds there but also with the way health care is delivered. He finds himself to be the only working doctor in the practice, but most of the income goes to the elderly physician who contributes nothing. He also finds typhoid to be rife, but a local town council that will do nothing to improve the water supply. Something he and a colleague, Dr. Philip Denny (Sir Ralph Richardson), are quite prepared to deal with in a unique way. In the end, he is forced to leave the community when his experiments into work-related illnesses is misunderstood. His attempt to establish himself in London is a challenge but a chance meeting with a colleague, Dr. Frederick Lawford (Sir Rex Harrison), sets him up nicely with the elite of British society. He finds that the practice of medicine is filled with incompetents, hypocrisy, and deceit.


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