25 October 2014

Dr. Cook's Garden (1971)
74 min.
Directed by Ted Post.
With Bing Crosby, Frank Converse, Blythe Danner, Thomas Barbour, Fred Burrell, Staats Cotsworth, Barnard Hughes.
Interesting TV horror film.

For generations, lovable town physician Dr. Leonard Cook (Crosby) has administered to the ill and infirm in the sleepy town of Greenfield.

Over the years, just as he fastidiously weeds and prunes his own rose garden, the beloved doc has also killed by quick-acting poison those citizens he's deemed evil, unworthy or troublesome.

After medical school, young Jimmy Tennyson (Converse) returns home to Greenfield...and slowly begins to uncover the old doctor's shameful secret.

But will Cook defend his reputation to the death?

Popular vocal crooner and screen legend Crosby reigns supreme in this wonderfully acted TV thriller, delivering a nuanced (and ultimately moving) performance as the doctor who'll kill for his world to just be...perfect.

Really well done, highlighed by a powerful ending full of sweet irony, this one is both an effective thriller and a treatise on ethics, euthanasia and humanity.

Written by Rosemary's Baby author Ira Levin.

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