A telling demonstration of the true value of film archives is the recent discovery, in the Netherlands Film Museum, of a unique surviving print of the debut feature of Garson Kanin, who later found greater success as a writer (Born Yesterday, Adam's Rib), but whose directorial skills are manifest in this delightful small gem of a movie made at the Citizen Kane studio, RKO. Perhaps because it was branded a B-movie, Kanin's film became lost and long-forgotten until a search by Turner Classics unearthed the Dutch print: and Dutch it is and remains in this restored version, which carries indelible Dutch subtitles and written inserts.
Happily, these do not detract a jot from the ageless charm, wit and humanity which underpin the film's gentle, unambiguously liberal story of a small-town doctor who puts his patients before his pocketbook and earns the respect and affection of all his fellow citizens bar a few grasping businessmen. The film opens with a beautifully cadenced funeral procession, the prelude to a series of nicely judged flashbacks recalling the life and generous deeds of the good doctor. The centrepiece is a wonderfully naturalistic performance by Edward Ellis - not a name to be found easily in any movie reference book, but who deserves more than a footnote in cinema history on the evidence of his screen presence here: a man to remember, indeed.
Official Website: http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff/man_remember
Added by BFI on October 14, 2008