Cinema: Scalpel Job

By most standards, Doctors' Wives is a terrible movie. This does not prevent it, however, from being fun. In fact, it is an enormously entertaining slab of Hollywood kitsch because of, not despite, its outrageous plot turns, its hyperthyroid acting and its determination to out-sex and out-suds even the seamiest TV soap opera. It is an example of assembly-line, big-studio moviemaking at its grotesque best.

The sharp and frequently funny scenario is by Daniel Taradash, who cannily undercuts the elephantine melodramatics of Frank G. Slaughter's original novel with some fleet and biting dialogue of...

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