The Hospital

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The Hospital is a 1971 black comedy film directed by Arthur Hiller and starring George C. Scott as Dr. Herbert Bock. The script was written by Paddy Chayefsky, who was awarded the 1972 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay (at that time qualified as "Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Based on Factual Material or Material Not Previously Published or Produced").[citation needed]


Plot summary

The film is set in a teaching hospital in Manhattan and centers around Dr. Bock (George C Scott), the Chief of Medicine, whose life is in disarray: his wife has left him, his children don't talk to him and his once beloved teaching hospital is falling apart.

The hospital suffers from the sudden deaths of two doctors and a nurse. Incompetence on the part of hospital staff appears initially to be the cause.

At the same time, administrators must deal with a protest against the hospital's annexation of an adjacent apartment building. The annexation is to be used for a drug rehabilitation center; the building's current occupants demand that the hospital find them replacement housing before the building is demolished.

As Dr. Bock complains of impotence and has thoughts of suicide, he falls for Barbara Drummond (Diana Rigg), a patient's daughter. This temporarily gives Dr. Bock something to live for.

The deaths are discovered to be murders, perpetrated by Barbara's father. Dr. Bock and Barbara use a final, accidental death of a doctor at the hospital to cover Mr. Drummond's tracks, and Barbara and Mr. Drummond head to the airport.


The film won the Oscar, the Golden Globe, the WGA, and the BAFTA for Best Screenplay for Chayefsky's script. Despite having rejected the Oscar the previous year for his work in Patton, Scott was nominated for Best Actor, but the gold statuette went instead to Gene Hackman for The French Connection.

At the 22nd Berlin International Film Festival in 1972, the film won the Silver Bear Extraordinary Jury Prize.[1]

In 1995, this film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[citation needed]


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