Knock (play)

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Knock (French title: Knock ou le Triomphe de la médecine) is a play written in 1923 by Jules Romains. It was presented for the first time in Paris at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on December 15, 1923, in a production starring Louis Jouvet.

Titled Dr. Knock, the play was presented at the Peacock Theatre in Dublin in 1932, with set designs by the 16-year-old Orson Welles.[1]:106[2]:329

Film adaptations include the following:

  • Knock ou le triomphe de la médecine (1933) directed by Roger Goupillières and Louis Jouvet
  • Dr. Knock (1951) directed by Guy Lefranc

A British television version for the BBC's Theatre 625 series was broadcast in 1966.


The ambitious dr. Knock arrives in the country village Saint-Maurice to succeed dr. Parpalaid, a brave and honest man but whose customers are rare. The health status of the country is excellent. Realizing that he was duped by his predecessor, dr. Knock is determined and successful in convincing everyone in good health that he or she is a patient who does not know. The result was immediate. The whole village is found in bed; the hotel is transformed into a clinic and even dr. Parpalaid, who temporarily returns to his village, is worried about his health following the "diagnosis" of dr. Knock, and also ends up in bed.


  1. ^ Callow, Simon, Orson Welles: The Road to Xanadu. New York: Viking, 1996. ISBN 9780670867226
  2. ^ Welles, Orson, and Peter Bogdanovich, edited by Jonathan Rosenbaum, This is Orson Welles. New York: HarperCollins Publishers 1992 ISBN 0-06-016616-9.

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