• Released
  • March 17, 1978
  • G , 1 hr 43 min
  • Drama
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Set in a small Maine town in 1883, this made-for-TV production tells the tale of an honest physician's attempt to warn his community about a public hazard that politicians and investors want to hide. The story begins with Thomas Stockman, M.D. (John Glover), who is awaiting results of the university's analysis of a water sample he took from a local spa. The spa promises to bring the town a windfall of tourist dollars, but he suspects that illnesses among the first users of the spa resulted from contaminated water. When the university confirms the presence of "infectious organic matter," Dr. Stockmann proposes to publicize the report and close the spa in order to make improvements that will purify the water. He believes the public will embrace him as a hero for discovering the pollution. But his brother, Mayor Peter Stockmann (George Grizzard), insists that the spa remain open, calling his brother a niggling busybody who would ruin the town with a false report. Besides, it would cost an enormous sum to rectify the problem. At first, a reform-minded newspaper editor, Hovstad, backs the doctor, saying his report will not only disclose the problem at the spa but will also expose corruption among local power brokers who back the spa. But Hovstad withdraws his support after the mayor tells him the loss of tourism would force merchants to curtail their newspaper advertising. Meanwhile, the townspeople turn against the doctor because the mayor claims the spa improvements would force a substantial tax increase. At a town meeting, almost everyone sides against Dr. Stockmann and agrees to boycott his medical practice. That evening and into the following morning, angry citizens stone the doctor's house as the film moves toward its conclusion. ~ Mike Cummings, Rovi

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