Top Five… Doctors

strangeloveIs there a doctor in the house? Yes, there is, as it happens. Five of them. And all are great movie characters in one way or another. You can go right through – the doctors will see you now…

5. Dr Henry Jones Jr


For Indy 5, Spielberg and Lucas should forget the fedora and the bullwhip – the movie I want to see centres around Dr Jones and some unruly kids in his classroom. Surely it’s about time an instalment of the series was devoted to the archaeology professor’s home turf. Indiana Jones And The Staff Room At Lunch would be way better than Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull.

4. Dr Richard Kimble


What is it with Harrison Ford and doctors? He also plays one in Polanski flick Frantic. But it is his portrayal as a vascular surgeon (no, I have no clue what it means either) in The Fugitive where he really puts the ‘action’ in ‘Actionident & Emergency’. Kimble may be a man of medicine, but he’s not averse to jumping off a bus before it’s hit by a train, plunging into a dam from a great height and keeping a straight face while Tommy Lee Jones hams it up.

3. Dr Peter Venkman


PhD holder Pete Venkman is a parapsychologist, but he takes the stand-up comedy approach to his chosen field. Continually wisecracking while carrying a nuclear accelerator on your back isn’t as easy as it looks. As Venkman himself says: ‘Back off man. I’m a scientist.’

2. Dr Strangelove


Dr Strangelove in English, Dr Merkwürdigliebe in German – call him what you like, this is one messed-up dude. So where better for this crazy scientist to spend most of his time than in the war room, with the world’s fate almost in his hands. Well, one of his hands, anyway. When not restraining himself from giving Nazi salutes and calling the US president ‘Mein Führer’, he dreams of repopulating the Earth with women ‘selected for their sexual characteristics which will have to be of a highly stimulating nature’. Nice.

1. Dr Michael Hfuhruhurr


And now we come to cinema’s top doc. Who else could it be but Dr Hfuhruhurr, the brain surgeon with the unspellable name and fan of England’s greatest one-armed poet, John Lillison. Considering he’s The Man With Two Brains, wackiness is a given, yet he remains a doctor’s doctor – so devoted to his discipline (‘So many brains. I feel like a kid in a candy store’) it even costs him his marriage to his lovely wife (‘She’s not ill, she’s a cheap, vulgar slut’). This is one doctor you’ll want to visit again and again.



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26 Responses to “Top Five… Doctors”

  1. A vascular surgeon deals with veins, arteries and the like, think blood flow. 🙂

    Agree with all your choices, sans the first one and that’s only because I haven’t seen the movie in question. I’m trying to think of any other doctors I would nominate, but my mind is coming up black at the moment.

  2. Great topic, lad, think you could have a top 10.

    Would vote for M J Fox’s jock Doc Hollywood – the film where apparently he first had the symptoms of Parkinsons.

    Also, the Doc in Back to the Future, parts 1 to 100, but others will know better about that.

    Would also vote for Ryan O Neal’s comic Dr Howard Bannister in What’s Up, Doc but think the big miss is Dr Frankenstein.

    In all his forms he has been a mainstay of movies since about the 1920s but the best was Gene Wilder’s Frookensteen in Young Werewolf, genius.

  3. Val Kilmer’s Doc Holliday in Tombstone was great. No, seriously!
    Was he a real doctor? Or was that just a stupid nickname?
    Hang on and I’ll Wiki him
    Oh he’s a dentist. So no then.
    Dentist Holliday.

  4. Gene Wilder as Dr Frankenstein (“That’s pronounced FRAWN-ken-SCTEEN!”) in the Mel Brooks film perhaps??

    I mean come on – he got the big lug doing a pretty nifty “Puttin’ On the Ritz”, no?

  5. How about Donald Sutherland & Elliott Gould in MASH?

    If you are going to include dentists: Laurence Olivier as Szell in Marathon Man and Frank Sangster (Steve Martin) in Novocaine (not as good as Dr. Hfuhruhurr though!) maybe dentists deserve their own list.

  6. MASH – Great call Fandangogroovers, if that is your real name.

    And how did we forget Patch Adams?

    And just because he is a favourite of the Rosses, Dirk Bogarde in the Doctor series of films in the 1950s was, er, great.

  7. M*A*S*H sprang to mind for me, too

    “The Fugitive where he really puts the ‘action’ in ‘Actionident & Emergency’.”

    that is very funny

  8. Going with Strangelove on this one, but David up there nailed it with Doc Brown. Good list, McG & McD.

  9. Considering the time of year, Donald Pleasance as Dr. Loomis might warrant a mention. His intense, crazy delivery never gets old. “I shot him six times.”

    Also, speaking of Bond villains, what about Dr. No? He was the only baddy who was ever disappointed by Bond.

  10. Wasn’t Hannibal Lecter a doctor?

  11. Paul the Ball Says:

    Lecter definitely a doc – a doc of what though? eating people’s faces off?
    cant believe McG that you left out the greatest doctor of them all – Dr Ian Malcolm.
    uh, what have you got in there, uh, lots of dinosaurs who are gonna run amok and eat everybody?

  12. Lecter was less dangerous than Dr Harold Shipman…murder doesn’t stop from using the title

    Technically Ian Malcom doesn’t count because Jurassic Park is such a crap film

  13. Paul the Ball Says:

    personally i think the list should read:
    1. Dr Ian Malcolm
    2. Dr Alan Grant
    3. Dr Ellie Satter
    4. one of the doctors who examines ET
    5. Dr Elsa Schneider – the Nazi bitch in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, played by lovely Irishwoman Alison Doody, who not only also appeared in a Bond movie but turned down a role in The Lord Of The Rings: The Protagonists Keep Walking or whatever one of them was called

    David, I seem to remember Ross McD ridiculously trying to argue that Jurassic Park was better than Jaws in these very pages, but its still a great movie.
    After careful consideration, David, I have decided not to endorse your last comment…

  14. Wasn’t Bruce Banner a doctor?

  15. My favourite film doctor is Doctor Van Helsing from The Cannonball Run. – he was in over 200 films! Kudos.

    Brilliantly nuanced performace. “CYSTS on the walls of her lungs!”

  16. Paul,

    You can endorse comments?!

    It is slightly off-topic, actually very off-topic, but had a bit of epiphany a couple of months ago when watching Jurassic Park. In my memory it was a jolly little yarn, good plot, cast etc.

    But watching it after I started shaving, I realised that a T Rex with diarrhoea couldn’t have made a bigger mess.
    Think my favourite bit is having one IT man run the whole show from a broom cupboard and having a small electric fence and ditch to keep these giants at bay.

    Luckily Goldblum reprises his role as Ian Malcolm in Independence Day but just calls himself Jeff Levinson in that one *holds one hand to mouth, pauses, pauses again, speaks, half-smiles*

  17. Paul the Ball Says:

    Alex R – excellent shout on Dr VH – your link tells me he had a pencil jabbed in his eye when he was at school, good trivia.

    David… you obviously didnt watch JP (thats Jurassic Park, from your comments i can tell youre quite old so i will abreviate where appropriate for you) very closely if you didnt get the ‘endorse’ bit.
    its perfectly reasonable for one large man to run a multi-billion dollar facility from one computer and i thought the security fences were adequate – had a t-rex happened upon a live one it would have got a very nasty toe injury.

    and besides, this is the worst bit of Jurassic Park –

  18. Paul,

    Abbreviations are not for oldies like me but for slackers from your wasteful wii and hoodie generation.

    It’s not age that stops me from remembering lines from Jurassic Park, it’s taste.

    Now, I am off to watch Countdown.

  19. Paul the Ball Says:

    Hi David,
    why not try unscrambling this conundrum:
    G E R I A T R C I
    you have 30 seconds
    do-do do-do-do-do do-do do-do…. deduh deduh deduduh.. piiiishhhhh!

  20. ha ha, one ball, one joke

    keep telling it paul and I am going to have to get a Dr out for my ribs

  21. mcarteratthemovies Says:

    What? No Dr. Victor Fronkensteen? This makes me sad. He’s the only mad scientist smart enough to recognize that his grandfather’s work was doo-doo!

    Glad to see my man Harry Ford made it on here twice. Nobody plays a movie doc quite like him.

  22. Hmmm…you speak of Mr Ford in the possessive, M. Are you part of his family? what about his familiy? or his family? or his wife? what about his wife? are you his wife? where is his wife? –

  23. What about Dr Carlisle Cullen ….. Anyone…..Anyone?

    Aww 😦

  24. Love seeing Richard Kimble on there. Being a doctor is essential to the portrayal of his character as he uses his wits and brains to get out of tight spots.

  25. Ah but what about Dr. Rumack (Leslie Nielson) from Airplane?

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