11 user 4 critic

Strange Lady in Town (1955)

Approved | | Action, Drama, Romance | 12 April 1955 (USA)
She plays a female doctor who plans to introduce modern techniques of medicine to old Santa Fe in 1880, but is opposed by an established doctor.


Mervyn LeRoy


Frank Butler (original story and screenplay)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Greer Garson ... Dr. Julia Winslow Garth
Dana Andrews ... Dr. Rourke O'Brien
Cameron Mitchell ... Lt. David Garth
Lois Smith ... Spurs O'Brien
Walter Hampden ... Father Gabriel Mendoza
Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez ... Trooper Martinez-Martinez
Joan Camden Joan Camden ... Norah Muldoon
Anthony Numkena Anthony Numkena ... Tomascito Diaz
José Torvay ... Bartolo Diaz
Adele Jergens ... Bella Brown
Robert J. Wilke ... Karg
Frank DeKova ... Anse Hatlo
Russell Johnson ... Shadduck
Gregory Walcott ... Scanlon
Douglas Kennedy ... Slade Wickstrom


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 nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She was the one woman Rork didn't want in Santa Fe ... but he'd kill anybody who'd try to make her leave ...


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

12 April 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aus dem Leben einer Ärztin See more »

Filming Locations:

Tucson, Arizona, USA See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (optical prints)| 4-Track Stereo (magnetic prints)| Mono (RCA Sound System)


Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Margaret O'Brien was originally considered for the role of Spurs O'Brien. See more »


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.
See more »


Music by Geronimo Villavino
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User Reviews

Terrible casting but a decent little film.
4 December 2012 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

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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