AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Dr. Christian Meets the Women
Alternate Title: Dr. Christian's Diet
Director: William McGann (Dir)
Release Date:   5 Jul 1940
Production Date:   began 28 Apr 1940
Duration (in mins):   65 or 68
Duration (in feet):   6,017
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Cast:   Jean Hersholt ([Dr.] Paul Christian)  
    Dorothy Lovett (Judy Price)  
    Edgar Kennedy (George Browning)  
    Rod La Rocque (Professor Kenneth Parker)  
    Frank Albertson (Bill Ferris)  
    Marilyn Merrick (Kitty Browning)  
    Maude Eburne (Mrs. Hastings)  
    Veda Ann Borg (Carol Compton)  
    Lelah Tyler (Martha Browning)  
    William Gould (Dr. Webster)  
    Phyllis Kennedy (Annie, maid)  
    Bertha Priestley (Alice Mason)  
    Dierdra Vale (Gladys Mason)  
    Heinie Conklin (Ed, the plumber)  

Summary: To the tranquil town of River's End comes the scourge of Professor Kenneth Parker, physical culturist, who presents himself as an authority on health. Dr. Paul Christian becomes alarmed at Parker's promises of dramatic weight loss, but Mrs. Browning, the head of the women's club, is charmed by Parker and invites him into her home and offers the women's club as his forum. As the professor preaches stringent diet as the road to self-satisfaction, Dr. Christian warns against wholesale dieting, advising instead of weight loss programs tailored to the individual. Parker not only disrupts the eating routines of the women of River's End, but he also disrupts the Brownings' family life as Mrs. Browning argues with her husband over the professor's intrusion, and their daughter Kitty places herself on a starvation diet to please the professor's assistant, Bill Ferris. When Kitty collapses from starvation, the doctor, enraged, accuses Parker of being a charlatan, but his denunciation goes unheeded. As Kitty's condition worsens, Dr. Christian, on the verge of exhaustion from a strenuous work schedule, drags himself to her bedside. Discovering that Parker has been prescribing benzedrine to his patients, the doctor finally unmasks the cultist as a danger to the community. Bill, realizing his boss's treachery, quits his job and goes to Kitty, and a blood transfusion from Bill saves the girl's life. The town returns to health with the expulsion of the quack, and all ends happily as Bill and Kitty are married. 

Production Company: Stephens-Lang Productions  
Distribution Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.  
Director: William McGann (Dir)
  Gordon S. Griffith (Asst dir)
Producer: William Stephens (Prod)
  Monroe Shaff (Assoc prod)
Writer: Marion Orth (Orig scr)
  Dorothy Barstow (Story ed)
Photography: John Alton (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Bernard Herzbrun (Art dir)
Film Editor: Edward Mann (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Earl Wooden (Set dresser)
Costumes: Morrie Friedman (Cost)
Music: C. Bakaleinikoff (Mus)
Sound: L. John Myers (Rec)
Country: United States
Series: Dr. Christian

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. 5/7/1940 dd/mm/yyyy LP9815

PCA NO: 6353
Physical Properties: Sd:
  b&w:

 
Genre: Drama
 
Subjects (Major): Diets and dieting
  Health faddism
  Physicians
  Quacks and quackery
 
Subjects (Minor): Benzedrine
  Clubs
  Marriage
  Romance
  Small town life
  Starvation

Note: The working titles of this film were Dr. Christian Prescribes a Diet , Love on a Diet and Dr. Christian's Diet . It was the third picture in the Dr. Christian series. For additional information on the series, consult the Series Index and see entry below for Meet Dr. Christian

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   22 Jul 40   p. 3.
Film Daily   5 Aug 40   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Mar 40   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Apr 40   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   22 Jun 40   p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily   25 Jun 40   p. 23.
Motion Picture Herald   29 Jun 40   p. 33.
New York Times   2 Aug 40   p. 12.
Variety   26 Aug 40   p. 18.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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