Doctor in Love
Doctor in Love quad poster.jpg
Original British 1960 quad film poster
Directed byRalph Thomas
Screenplay byNicholas Phipps
Based onDoctor in Love
by Richard Gordon
Produced byBetty E. Box
StarringJames Robertson Justice
Michael Craig
Leslie Phillips
Carole Lesley
Joan Sims
CinematographyErnest Steward
Edited byAlfred Roome
Music byBruce Montgomery
Distributed byRank Film Distributors (UK)
Governor Films (US)
Release dates
  • 12 July 1960 (1960-07-12) (UK)
  • 15 November 1961 (1961-11-15) (US)
CountryUnited Kingdom

Doctor in Love is a 1960 British comedy film, the fourth of the seven films in the Doctor series, starring James Robertson Justice as Sir Lancelot Spratt and Michael Craig as Dr Richard Hare.[1] This was the first film in the series not to feature Dirk Bogarde, although he did return for the next film in the series Doctor in Distress. It was loosely based on the 1957 novel of the same title by Richard Gordon.


Dr Richard Hare is a recently graduated medical intern at St Swithins Hospital. When his new romantic interest, nurse Sally Nightingale, suddenly leaves the hospital, he is devastated. He also leaves after being offered a job in private practice. But when his senior partner, Dr Cardew, has to visit California for a few months, Hare is left in charge.

He is joined by Dr Tony Burke who proceeds to airily order expensive equipment that the practice cannot afford but leaves the practice after breaking an arm. Dr Nicola Barrington joins the practice and Hare is suddenly in love again. The romance doesn't go well, especially when Sally re-appears and takes the job of practice secretary and eventually Nicola leaves.

Hare struggles through various comedic and other complications, mainly stemming from Burke's amorous attentions to female patients.

After enlisting Sir Lancelot Spratt's assistance to save a young dying boy, he diagnoses Spratt with appendicitis and decides to operate, despite Spratt's loud objections. He objects even more when Dr Burke fills in at the last moment as the anaesthetist. Despite Spratt's vociferous protestations, the operation is a success.

Hare is reunited with Nicola and returns to St Swithins.[2][3]

Main cast


Dirk Bogarde did not want to make any more Doctor films, so the filmmakers cast Michael Craig and Leslie Phillips as young doctors. Producer Betty Box later said the entire cast cost as much as Bogarde's current fee at that time.[4] Craig said "it was no sweat, a bit like a mildly peasant piece of deja vu" because he had just worked with the same team on Upstairs and Downstairs.[5] Box says "We all developed an affection for Doctor in Love. It was a gay, happy comedy which brought us into contact with some fine fresh talents."[6]

Shooting took place at Pinewood Studios and on location around London including at University College London. The sets were designed by the art director Maurice Carter. The film features a visit to a strip tease club.[7]


The film was the most popular movie at the British box office in 1960. Craig said "I don't think Doctor in Love's success had anything to do with me - King Kong probably could have played the part with the same result."[5] Betty Box claimed it earned more than Doctor at Large. "We felt we'd pushed our luck to the ninth degree and should now forget about doctors and medical students", she said.[8]

Not all reviews were positive, Monthly Film Bulletin described the film as "an antediluvian farce of staggering witlessness and vulgarity".[3]


  1. ^ "Doctor In Love". The Australian Women's Weekly. Vol. 28, no. [?]. 9 November 1960. p. 63. Retrieved 24 May 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ ""Doctor In Love"". The Australian Women's Weekly. 9 November 1960. p. 79. Retrieved 17 December 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. ^ a b "Doctor in Love, Great Britain, 1960". Monthly Film Bulletin. Vol. 27, no. 319. August 1960. p. 111.
  4. ^ Box p 219
  5. ^ a b Craig, Michael (2005). The Smallest Giant: An Actor's Life. Allen and Unwin. p. 94.
  6. ^ Box p 219
  7. ^ "The Bare Facts About Strip Tease". Western Herald. Bourke, NSW. 3 November 1961. p. 4. Retrieved 17 December 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ Box p 221