Where Does It Hurt?

  • 1972
  • Movie
  • R
  • Comedy

Warning: The Surgeon General does not sanction this movie. Nor do the AMA, medical school graduates, insurance companies, ethnic groups, or sick people who are about to enter the hospital. Although it's not as plausible as THE HOSPITAL, the movie cuts deeply into the sometimes-corrupt business side of medicine. Unfortunately, instead of using a sharp scalpel,...read more

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Warning: The Surgeon General does not sanction this movie. Nor do the AMA, medical school graduates, insurance companies, ethnic groups, or sick people who are about to enter the hospital. Although it's not as plausible as THE HOSPITAL, the movie cuts deeply into the sometimes-corrupt

business side of medicine. Unfortunately, instead of using a sharp scalpel, the filmmakers opted for a scythe. Sellers is a rapacious hospital administrator whose major aim is making money. He goes about this in the traditional way by duping insurance companies, having surgery performed on

patients who don't need it, padding the bills of his charges, falsifying reports, and even going so far as to hit a patient in the abdomen after surgery. One or two of the above would have been all that were needed to make the point, but the authors and director thought more had to be better, so

they laid it on with a trowel. Lenz, an out-of-work construction woker, comes to Sellers' hospital for nothing more than a chest X ray. When Sellers learns through the admitting nurse, Pflug, that Lenz owns his own house, he conspires with Morita, the lab assistant, and Lenz is told that he must

have his appendix removed. Later, when Lenz learns that he is now devoid of a part of his body that needed no removal, he is ready to take action. Sellers fears a lawsuit would close the hospital, so he asks his girl friend, Pflug, if she would help get Lenz's mind off legal action. She doesn't

want to seduce him at first but does it anyhow. Then she learns that the whole sexual liaison is being filmed by Sellers in the next room and she is irate. To get even with Sellers, she arranges a Mexican fiesta at the hospital, without Sellers' knowledge. The place turns into the site of a huge

Cinco de Mayo celebration, and Pflug knows the city hospital administrator, McKinley, is coming to inspect the shenanigans. McKinley fires Sellers right away and, putting Lenz in charge as an investigator, keeps the hospital open. Sellers goes to jail for a short time, but with revenge in mind, he

comes back to the hospital after he completes his jail term. He masquerades as a patient and uses blackmail to get surgeon Lambert to plan to remove Sellers' appendix (unnecessarily) so Sellers can show up later and begin a malpractice suit. Sellers is in the operating room, and the anesthesia is

taking effect, when Lambert gives the task to Gould, his bumbling brother-in-law. Gould is totally inept and has to ask where the appendix is, then begins the surgery by closing his eyes and pointing the scalpel in the general direction of Sellers' abdomen. The movie ends, and none too soon for

most viewers.

The film slanders nearly every ethnic minority at one time or another. The language is profane, the proceedings inane, and the story insane. True, the film has a few laughs, but not enough to make up for the appalling lack of taste. Director Amateau and executive producer Josef Shaftel had made

an earlier exercise in bad taste called THE STATUE. Until this picture came out, that had to have been the nadir of major studio nonsense. This is even lower. If you hate doctors, Mexicans, homosexuals, blacks, females, Catholics, Jews, Italians, Japanese, insurance companies, hospitals, Poles,

and humanity, you'll love this movie. Good performances by Morita, as the lab technician, and Lambert, as the head surgeon, are wasted.

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  • Released: 1972
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Warning: The Surgeon General does not sanction this movie. Nor do the AMA, medical school graduates, insurance companies, ethnic groups, or sick people who are about to enter the hospital. Although it's not as plausible as THE HOSPITAL, the movie cuts deep… (more)

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