Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bing Crosby and Blythe Danner in Dr. Cook's Garden (1971)

Obscurity factor: 9

Thanks to frequent commenter propagatrix I saw this cunning little film last night. It was a TV movie back in 1971, but before that it was a notorious Broadway flop (running only 8 performances) by Ira Levin, author of such creepy fare as Rosemary's Baby and The Stepford Wives. The play starred Burl Ives, the film features Bing Crosby as the kind, benevolent doctor of the title. His young protege returns from his residency for a much needed rest in his old New England home town. While staying with the doctor it strikes him that the town has the most idyllic residents - only the good, kind, healthy members of the population seem to survive. As he casually examines his records he begins to wonder if Dr. Cook might be responsible.

This film is a prime example of great casting. Bing Crosby strikes just the right notes of respectability and charm as the doctor with a dark secret, he turns in a very solid performance, as do the rest of the cast, including Frank Converse as the young protege and Blythe Danner as Dr. Cook's nurse and receptionist. Look for veteran Barnard Hughes as the town constable and Dr. Cook's gardener.

This film is not on DVD, though you can see it on YouTube in its entirety, thanks to cmcb09. The first installment is above. You can also find copies on

Obscurity factor: 9 (not on DVD, TV movie, largely forgotten, available on YouTube and


  1. Saw Bing in the film , he was great.

  2. Yes, he's very good in it, isn't he?

  3. I found this on dvd at these sites if anyone is interested. Thanks