The Hospital

Friday, June 4 - Sunday, June 6, 2010

“‘My God!’ shouts Dr. Herbert Bock (George C. Scott), the chief of medicine at a huge, modern New York City hospital that appears to be collapsing into premature ruins, ‘the incompetence here is absolutely radiant!’ But, as his head nurse says, in the manner of someone who has seen Rome fall more than once: ‘These things happen.’

“[A] very funny melodramatic farce… [featuring] pilferage of equipment that amounts to piracy, a confrontation with a local action group that objects to the hospital’s participation in slum clearance, a patient who dies after having been wrongly diagnosed, and a series of mysterious coincidences that threaten to push the mortality rate of the doctors and nurses higher than that of the ordinary Blue Cross subscribers.

“THE HOSPITAL is not, as you might be led to believe, the sort of pious, inside-institution literature that Arthur Hailey grinds out to satisfy the book clubs, if not the muses, nor is it really one of those malpractice horror stories that are so helpful in obtaining lecture tours for medical men.

“It deals in such horror stories, in grotesquely comic, inventive detail, but the ultimate concern of Arthur Hiller, who directed the film, and Paddy Chayefsky, who wrote the exuberant screenplay, is not the hospital but a social order that has grown so complex that it allows people to be forgotten to death, and is so full of awful contradictions that only escape, by one means or another, seems rational.” – Vincent Canby, The New York Times

  • Country USA
  • Rating PG-13
  • Year 1971
  • Running Time 103 minutes
  • Director Arthur Hiller

IFC Center does not generally provide advisories about subject matter or potentially triggering content in films, as sensitivities vary from person to person. In addition to the synopses, trailers and other links on our website, further information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media, IMDb and as well as through general internet searches.