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In 1880 New Mexico, a young female doctor from Boston arrives in Santa Fe to establish her new medical practice. Dr. Julia Garth is set to live with her brother, U.S. Cavalry lieutenant David Garth. The town already has a male physician, Dr. Rourke O'Brien. His tomboy niece, Spurs O'Brien, has a teenage crush on the handsome Cavalry lieutenant David Garth. The first hospital of this community is managed by Catholic priest Father Gabriel Mendoza and a few nuns. However, these are times when female doctors are almost unheard of. Some people even consider it a shameful offense for a woman to intrude in a man's profession. The traditional view is that women's roles should only be limited to the minding of the household and the rearing of children. Therefore, Dr. Julia Garth's arrival in town and her medical practice ruffles many feathers, not the least some of the more conservative townsfolk's. Dr. Rourke O'Brien is no exception. He arrogantly dismisses Julia Garth's competency but he ...Written by
At least twice in the film's dialogue, the late-19th century father of antiseptic surgery, Joseph Lister (1827-1912),1st Baron Lister is, for some obscure reason, incorrectly referred to as "Jacob Lister". See more »
Dr. Rourke O'Brien:
The way you roll that off your tongue, it's a pleasure to hear. But what do you have in that steel trap you call a heart? I'll tell you what you've got. Envy, hate, and malice. You envy this woman for all those qualities you'd give your right arm to possess. Envying her, you hate her and hating her you'd like to destroy her. But you'll never do that, Mrs. Clegg. Not you and your kind, not ever, because women like Mrs. Garth are indestructible.
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From the onset, you will probably notice how strange the casting is on this one. After all, of all the actresses to be in a Western, Greer Garson is probably the last you'd expect to see! It gets even weirder when you see she's playing a lady who was born in Boston, as her accent is as much Boston as Brigitte Bardot's! Why didn't they just say she was from England...now THAT would have made sense! And, to make it worse, her brother in the film is played by Cameron Mitchell--who is NOTHING like Greer...NOTHING.
The film is set in Santa Fe during the late 19th century. It begins with a plucky female doctor (Garson) arriving there not only to see her no-good brother but also to live there. However, there already is one doctor in town (Dana Andrews) and he's a sexist who insists that women aren't cut out for 'man's work'. Not surprisingly, the pair eventually fall in love. However, it's the stuff in the middle that makes the film interesting...but I'll let you see that for yourself.
"Strange Lady in Town" is a great example of a decent film despite insane casting decisions. While the film is far from a classic (as it's awfully predictable in some ways), it never was dull and is worth seeing. Plus, while miscast, Garson tried her best and Andrews was, as always, excellent.
By the way, the film shows an insane cliché. When a guy is getting a tooth pulled, his 'friend' bashes him on the head with his gun butt to knock him out!! Kid's DON'T try this at home...all you'll really achieve is brain damage!
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