Dr. Henry Marsh; Credit: The English Surgeon/Eyeline FilmsTonight’s broadcast of The English Surgeon has received some great advance reviews in both the press and online. Blogger Michael Tully at the Hammer to Nail blog effused, “For all of you television watchers out there, do the right thing tonight and put your sitcoms, one-hour dramas, and sports on hold in order to take in the television premiere of Geoffrey Smith’s The English Surgeon.” Tully goes on to say that he found the film “inspiring, sobering, humorous, and, in the case of the film’s climactic surgery, downright thrilling.” Read his full review at the Hammer to Nail blog.

In a juxtaposition that seemed so ridiculous it made me smile, the Wall Street Journal‘s Dorothy Rabinowitz reviewed The English Surgeon alongside tonight’s other big premiere, the updated Melrose Place on the CW. Both get a thumbs up from Rabinowitz, while she noted that “[The English Patient] is a film not always easy to watch. It’s nonetheless clear soon — very soon — what a loss it would have been to have missed a moment of it.” Read the entire review »

And lastly, The New York Times‘s Magnolia Dargis called the film "[a]stonishing. . . . [An] unexpectedly effective and often affecting documentary. . . . These men perform miracles, but they are also agonizingly human." Read the entire review »

Don’t miss three great interviews with filmmaker Geoffrey Smith available online. Smith appeared last week on NPR’s The Treatment with Elvis Mitchell. We’ve included a transcript and downloadable audio file of the interview on The English Surgeon website. Earlier today, Smith appeared on CBS News (watch video below) to talk about the film and on NPR’s Talk of the Nation (audio).

After you watch the film — which, by the way, you can do online through October 9, 2009 — don’t forget to weigh in with your own review on The English Surgeon website.

  • Jeff H.

    FOREIGNID: 20421
    You should have links to organizations that do volunteer work in Ukraine since many people who watch this will naturally want to explore for more information. It’s a shame that while ukrainian billionaires spend hundreds of millions on new stadiums there are thousands of people who’s lives could be spared for just a few million each year. But then again, look at how many billions we in the US have spent on stadiums and arenas with so many unmet human needs here.

  • Leesa

    FOREIGNID: 20424
    Oregeon public broadcasting is not showing this tonight!!
    Must be pledge breaks as we are scheduled to screen, “your mind in love” UGH! Why do they screen terrible, repeat programing during pledge drives.?
    Also, P.O.V. is always shown at 11PM. Why so late?

  • Frank Karner

    FOREIGNID: 20435
    Thank you for this incredibly moving presentation. It restores our faith in humanity and the basic goodness of man. Thank you to all involved in the presentation of this film. f.k.

  • Eva Orozco

    FOREIGNID: 20466
    I’m so touch, by the film. I feel for them how KGB can run the hospital… I cannot imagine..Thank you to all involved for this inspiring film.

  • Enrico Dressler

    FOREIGNID: 20471
    I missed this broadcast and want to know if it will be rebroadcast or available for purchase? Thank you.

  • Rick Dilley

    FOREIGNID: 20478
    The doctors are compelling, the story heart-wrenching and heart-warming at the same time.
    The backdrop of modern day Ukraine is terrifying…How does a proud people arrive at a condition as viewed in the film?
    What does it tell us about collectivism?
    I found this film particualarly instructive of the results of government run healthcare and centralized government control of the economy.
    My apologies for the politicization, but we are at a cross-roads in America and I think I just saw what is on the other side of the intersection.
    just my $0.02

  • Alice Olenchuk

    FOREIGNID: 20480
    I anxiously awaited with many of my friends that I had notified to watch The English Surgeon. Alas, WVIZ in Cleveland did not show it. When can we see this?

  • James Farrell

    FOREIGNID: 20483
    The English Surgen was one of the most moving and inspiring shows I’ve ever seen on TV. It is an important story that needs to be shown over and over in this time of debate about health care . It was a life changing experiance for me God Bless that doctor

  • Robert E. Ecklund, M. D.

    FOREIGNID: 20485
    This program was one of the most honest, rewarding and remarkable programs I’ve seen. Every person who has or will have a major medical or surgical procedure should
    see this.

  • Cynthia Roderick

    FOREIGNID: 20494
    I missed the start of the film.. but saw most of it, and I am so ever-grateful that I did…the condition of health care in Ukraine is heartbreaking… and the level of poverty is frightening… the surgeons represent all that is best in human beings… the love for others, the desire to be of service… these are the things that make life worth living.. the filmmaker, Geoffry Smith, has done a serious service for those of us watching in America, where public discourse has been hopelessly debased and most media want to fill our minds with nothing but empty fluff… thank you Mr. Smith, thank you PBS!!!

  • Patricia McHugh

    FOREIGNID: 20505
    Please ALWAYS TELL US how LONG the P.O.V shows are! PBS in St. Louis, MO, 9.1 w/ ANOTHER Beg-a-thon, did NOT air “The English Surgeon” on 9/8–nor publish an understandable 9.3 schedule. BUT http://www.ZAP2it.com listed it on 9.3 on 9/9/09, 11:30pm-12:30am; I recorded it for my collegiate grandson to be sent ON to relative w/o a PC. NOW? I checked the disc, but last part’s missing? It must have been 90 minutes long!

  • http://www,pbs.org/pov/blog Theresa

    FOREIGNID: 20514
    Thanks so much for all of your great comments.
    I’m pleased to alert you all that The English Surgeon is available online on the PBS Video Player through October 9, 2009. Watch The English Surgeon online now! (It’s 90 minutes long.)

  • Theresa Riley

    FOREIGNID: 20515
    Dear Jeff:
    Thanks so much for your note. You are absolutely right. We have included a link to several medical organizations (on our Links & Books page @ http://www.pbs.org/pov/englishsurgeon/links_books.php#international) that do work abroad, including one in particular, the American International Health Alliance (http://www.aiha.com/en/WhereWeWork/Eurasia/Ukraine.asp), that does work specifically in the Ukraine.
    Do you have any other suggestions for organizations that we should know about?
    Theresa @ POV

  • JW

    FOREIGNID: 20669
    It is right in the US that stay warm and don’t get sick.