Arthur Hiller’s films are often quirky and funny like The In-Laws, but just as often confusing. The Hospital left me with a feeling that most of the material was over my head. At times Woody Allen, and at others Alan Greenspan. The jacket promises a look behind the scenes of the modern hospital. What we mostly get is a character study performed exceptionally by George C. Scott, but little else. Important subplots like the hospital’s takeover of a ghetto building are never really fully developed. One ends up with the feeling that Hiller wasted their time. The supporting cast is brimming with 1970’s TV talent.
This is a pretty lackluster Dolby Digital 2.0 track. The film is really all dialogue, so the poor sound doesn’t take away from the experience all that much. You can usually understand the conversations. The score is used sparingly and at times contains a warble which indicates an analog source.
The Hospital is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The video is typical of mid to low budget films of the early 70’s. There is considerable grain. The source print was a clean one. There are no noticeable film specks of any kind. Colors are somewhat drab while blacks are mediocre in depth.
There is only a grainy trailer.
If you get it and have the necessary appreciation for the film, this DVD is still a bare bones prospect. MGM didn’t give up much in production costs to make this disc anything special. In fact, the whole thing “Seems to me to be a familiar case of morbid menopause”.