The Great Moment

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The odd Sturges film out, a more or less serious biopic of WTG Morton, the Boston dentist who accidentally discovered the use of ether as an anaesthetic in 1846, receiving neither fame nor fortune as a reward for this great service to humanity. But Sturges couldn't be solemn for long, and though telling a basically tragic story (like the hero of The Great McGinty, Morton ruined himself through one 'great moment' of charitable impulse), he injects some delightful doses of slapstick and verbal fancy, while using members of his stock company in very unexpected ways. Recut by the studio and generally considered to be a failure, it's nevertheless an oddly moving film that sticks obstinately and agreeably in the mind.

By: TM

Release details

Duration: 83 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Preston Sturges
Screenwriter: Preston Sturges
Cast: Joel McCrea
Betty Field
Harry Carey
William Demarest
Louis Jean Heydt
Franklin Pangborn
Grady Sutton
Jimmy Conlin
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