William T.G. Morton and "The Great Moment"
by
Heynick F.
J Hist Dent. 2003 Mar;51(1):27-35.


ABSTRACT

The Great Moment, a Paramount movie released in 1944 about dentist William T.G. Morton's discovery of ether anesthesia a century earlier, was the odd-man-out among the movies made by the highly acclaimed director Preston Sturges in that period. It failed to attract large audiences and generally received only lukewarm reviews. Several biographies of Sturges have discussed the reasons for this anomaly; but only recently have drafts of the various versions of Sturges' scripts been published, plus additional background material about the film's production, revisions and editing. Using all this information, the author analyzes the movie and its history and asks what went wrong - and, more importantly, what went right. The general conclusion is that this little-known film has stood the test of time and is worthy of a revival among enthusiasts of dental history and a serious reassessment by movie critics in general. Despite some flaws in the final version, The Great Moment is in fact a remarkable medical biography, incorporating innovative flashback techniques and themes of inspiration and sacrifice mixed with some humor, while remaining reasonably true to historical facts surrounding dentistry's greatest triumph.
People
"The Great Moment"
John Collins Warren
Obstetric anaesthesia
Molecular mechanisms
Crawford Williamson Long
Anaesthesia/16th October 1846
Hinckley's oil painting "The First Operation Under Ether"



Refs
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general-anaesthesia.com
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