Rx Murder 1958

aka Rx for Murder/Prescription for Murder

(UK title: Family Doctor)

 

Directors: Derek N. Twist

 

Writers: Joan Fleming (based on her novel)John W. GossageDerek N. Twist

Rôle: Dr Henry Dysert

Release Date: 18 February 1958

Synopsis: American doctor Jethro Jones comes into a quiet English seaside resort to investigate the activities of its leading medical doctor, Henry Dysert. He learns from Miss Bettyhill, the town-gossip, and others that 'the good doctor' might not be all that good, since each of his three wives (only one at a time), Louise, Charlotte and Stella, had mysterious and tragic deaths. The non-gossiping townsmen had regarded the three deaths, each of which left Dr Dysert in better financial shape, as unfortunate personal tragedies. Jason has only a short time to prove that Dysert is a multiple wife-killer, since Kitty Mortlock appears to be the next designated victim, and Jason has fallen in love with her himself.

Comment: Based on the 1955 novel "The Deeds of Dr. Deadcert" by Joan Fleming, Rx Murder was filmed in beautiful black and white CinemaScope by Arthur Grant (who would later work with Marius on The Unstoppable Man (1961)). It takes advantage of location filming in scenic Sidmouth, Devon standing in for the fictional seaside town of Frogmouth.

Reviews: User review on IMDb by jotix100: "The arrival of Jethro Jones at an English seaside boarding house for the wealthy attracts the curiosity of the residents. This Mr. Jones has no clue about the formalities about the institution in which he has reserved a room. Typical American, Mr. Jones sticks out like a sore thumb. He becomes the topic of conversation among the retirees.

One no nonsense woman, Ms. Bettyhill, acts as Jones' guide and confident. The truth is this man is in reality a doctor, only that his real name is Forbes, Dr. Jethro Forbes. He has come trying to make sense of the untimely death of his ex-wife, Stella, who was married to Dr. Henry Dysert, the man in charge of seeing the sick in the boarding house.

Ms. Bettyhill becomes friendly toward the newly arrived guest. He uses her to gather information about Dr. Dysert's life. Finding the beautiful Kitty Mortlock, who is ailing from an unknown malady next door to him, piques his curiosity even more. The fact, he discovers, Dr. Dysert has been married to three women that have died tragically. Now, Jethro finds out, he intends to make Kitty his wife, that is, if first she does not die from the medicine he has been prescribing.

This film was shown on a classical channel recently. Directed by Derek Twist, who also collaborated on the screenplay co-written with John Gossage. The original material came from a novel written by Joan Fleming, "The Deeds of Dr. Deadcert". The action takes place in a lovely seaside resort. The creators made a good decision to keep the action at a brief 85 minutes running time.

Rick Jason, an actor that worked a lot on American television is Jethro Forbes. The great Marius Goring, the composer of "The Red Shoes" ballet, from the movie of the same title, appears as the evil Dr. Dysert. Lisa Gastoni is seen as Kitty, the girl slated to be the next victim of the evil doctor. Mary Merrall, the English character actress, is about the best thing in the film. She does quite well as the local gossip with a heart of gold."

Rx Murder 1958 Poster

Wardrobe Trivia: Marius wears the same dark silk scarf with white roundels which he also wore in Circle of Danger (1951).

 

Availability: DVD (20th Century Fox Cinema Archives) Release Date: 20 November 2014.