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Amputee: Major Films  
TitleCitadel, The (1938)
Alternative/Original Title
DisabilityGeneral Tubercolosis Typhoid Alcoholism Amputee
GenreMedical Drama
DirectorKing Vidor
CastRobert Donat Rosalind Russell Ralph Richardson
NotesB/W A young doctor, Andrew Manson (Donat looking all of this 32 years) arrives to take up his first general practice in the Welsh valleys. The resident doctor whose assistant he will be is in bed with some undefined illness. Sitting down to his first meal with the doctor's wife he has a few slices of bacon and a glass of water, while she has a full plate of meat and potatoes and a pint of stout. This broad brush portrayal of character and injustice sets the tone for the film. Ralph Richardson plays another doctor in the small town who is a drunk but dedicated. When there is an outbreak of typhoid he blames the sewers and together with Manson blows up the sewers forcing the council to rebuild them. Unable to cope with the doctor's wife Manson leaves for another nearby village where he works for a miners' welfare committee. There he discovers that a number of miners, those working with anthracite, have a particular chest complaint. But the head of the practice isn't interested. So now married to Christine (Russell) which was his only means to get the job he researches into the miners' disease using guinea pigs. There is the usual opposition from a conservative community but he is able to show that it is coal dust, not the valley mist as the miners think, that causes their coughs. This he calls silica inhalation and associates it with tuberculosis. 60 odd years later the film seems to be melodramatic but at the time must have been quite revealing about medical practice. One of the doctor's early jobs is to amputate a coal miner's arm when he is trapped by a pitfall. From the novel by A.J. Cronin.

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