The Interns (film)

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The Interns
Poster of the movie The Interns.jpg
Directed by David Swift
Produced by Robert Cohn
Written by Walter Newman
Based on The Interns
1960 novel 
by Richard Frede
Starring Michael Callan
Cliff Robertson
Music by Leith Stevens
Cinematography Russell Metty
Edited by Al Clark
Jerome Thoms
Robert Cohn Productions
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • August 8, 1962 (1962-08-08)
Running time
120 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $9,230,769[1]

The Interns is a 1962 drama film that starred Michael Callan and Cliff Robertson. This film is a medical melodrama that presages many similar TV programs to follow. It centers on the personal and professional conflicts of young medical interns under the tutorage of senior surgeons, Telly Savalas and Buddy Ebsen.


John Paul Otis' (Cliff Robertson) ambition to become a doctor is compromised when he falls in love with model Lisa Cardigan (Suzy Parker), then steals pills from the hospital on her behalf. His close friend and classmate, Lew Worship (James MacArthur), feels compelled to inform on Otis, ending his friend's career.

Lew becomes involved romantically with Gloria (Stefanie Powers), a student nurse. Alec Considine (Michael Callan), a classmate who wants to become a psychiatrist, is caught in a love triangle and experiences an emotional breakdown. The interns gather a year later to see what's become of their lives and careers.



The film was based on a novel by 26 year old Richard Frede, who had worked as an intern for two years. It was published in 1960 and became a best seller.[2][3] Film rights were bought for a reported $75,000 plus 15% of the profits.[4] It was optioned by producer Robert Cohn who set up the project at Columbia.[5]

Robert Wagner had signed a three picture deal with Columbia, and announced he would play the role of Lew. "This won't be another Dr Kildare picture, with the standard romance and the other stereotypes, I can assure you," said Wagner.[6] However his role ended up being played by James MacArthur.

Sidney Poitier was also announced for the cast[7] but did not appear in the final film.


The movie originally ran for three hours but was cut down to two.[8]

The film grossed $9,230,769 at the box office,[1] earning $5 million in US theatrical rentals.[9] It was the 12th highest grossing film of 1962 and Columbia's biggest grossing film of the year.[8]


  1. ^ a b Box Office Information for The Interns. The Numbers. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  2. ^ BEST SELLERS Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 26 June 1960: B9.
  3. ^ Young Men In White: THE INTERNS. By Richard Frede. 374 pp. New York: Random House. $4.95. By FRANK G. SLAUGHTER. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 17 Apr 1960: BR25.
  4. ^ TOWER TICKER Lyon, Herb. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923-1963) [Chicago, Ill] 23 June 1960: 18.
  5. ^ Welles Choice for 'Chapman Report': Johansson Sought for "Interns'; Salome Gens Given New Contract Scott, John L. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 20 May 1960: A9.
  6. ^ WAGNER STEPS UP WORK IN MOVIES: Actor Forms Concern, Signs 3-Picture Columbia Deal -- Critics Awards Tonight By HOWARD THOMPSON. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 21 Jan 1961: 18.
  7. ^ FOX ABANDONING 'CLEOPATRA' SET: Studio Will Film Spectacle in Hollywood or Rome -- Comedy-Fantasy Opens By EUGENE ARCHER. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 16 Mar 1961: 44.
  8. ^ a b Swift Will Screen 'Cook for General': Director Tells Pace Secret; Marilyn Monroe Documented Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 04 Oct 1962: C13.
  9. ^ "All-Time Top Grossers", Variety, 8 January 1964 pg 69.

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