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Mr. Patman Reviews

The only reason this film was made was to take advantage of the Canadian tax money that was being tossed about at that time. To do that, the producers had to use either Canadians or Britons in many of the on-screen and behind-the-camera jobs, and such was the case with this film. Coburn is a weird Irish male nurse who works in a psychiatric ward of a Canadian hospital where he is beloved by one and all, in part because of his charm, in part because of his caring about the inmates. He is being shadowed by a mysterious man, and he worries that it might be the husband of his landlady, Flanagan, with whom he is conducting some hanky-panky. He is also hoping to do the same with another hospital staffer, Nelligan, with whom he works the late shift. As the picture continues, one of Coburn's patients commits suicide, another is released as "cured" but is still nuts, and a third dies of a heart attack upon being released. Now we see that Coburn is as whacko as the patients and that the man tracking him exists only in his imagination. His mind is playing tricks on him, and he thinks Nelligan has died in an auto accident. Coburn battles with Kirby, a pompous doctor, and makes sport with the man so that Kirby becomes the laughingstock of the hospital. That gets Coburn his walking papers, and he leaves with Nelligan, after first helping another patient flee the hospital against regulations. Things don't work out for Nelligan and Coburn, and they eventually come back to the area. Coburn attempts to take up again with Flanagan, but she won't have any of it. In a funk Coburn kills his cat, goes totally mad thinking he is being chased by a dead patient, and ends up inside the hospital as a patient himself. MR. PATMAN is a bit like LILITH, the Warren Beatty-Jean Seberg film in which Beatty is also a psychiatric employee who winds up nuts. That was depressing, this is just dumb. Guillermin's direction here is on a par with his work in SHEENA, slow and stupid, with no pacing whatsoever. The movie was made in Vancouver, Canada, and that lovely city never looked worse.