Bob Merrick (Rock Hudson) is a reckless playboy who is injured in a speedboat accident. Life-saving equipment is brought to his aid although it is needed for the brilliant but seriously ill Dr. Phillips, who dies. Merrick’s selfish clumsiness leads to yet another accident, in which the doctor’s widow, Helen (Jane Wyman), is blinded.

Overcome with remorse, Merrick studies medicine, visits Helen under a false name and falls in love. He refers her for special eye examinations in Europe. She begins to love him too, but the specialists are unable to help her and when she learns of his deception, she flees. Years later, Merrick is summoned from his busy practice by Helen’s confidante and nurse (Agnes Moorehead); he arrives just in time to perform brain surgery, saving both her eyesight and her life.


In this remake of the 1935 film of the same name, the young doctor’s "magnificent obsession" with medicine is a metaphor for his path to redemption through the new religion of science. Drenched in colour and set in the rich scenery of Europe and southwest America, the visual dimensions of this film seem to underscore the tragedy of Helen’s blindness.

The inevitability of her husband’s death without his special machine and her implausible recovery both bear witness to an optimistic confidence in the power of medical science that characterized the 1950s. Moorehead portrays an ironic, but compassionate nurse who in the end dutifully takes orders from a man she once had good reason to doubt. Wyman’s performance earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress, and Hudson’s made him a star.


Based on the novel by Lloyd C. Douglas.

Primary Source

MCA Home Videos, 1985