The medical world seems to be a favorite haunt for movie makers, and we can all think of classic films and TV series set in hospitals. It may seem as if the world of dentistry has been overlooked in comparison, but there are many classic movies with dental themes. Here are five of the very best dental movies.
1. Eversmile, New Jersey
This is a dental movie with star appeal, and unlike some of the other films on our list, the dentist is the good guy. Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis plays an Irish dentist traveling by motorbike across Argentina, but after he meets the daughter of a garage owner, he finds that while he can provide fillings and knows how to fix an overbite, he has difficulty extracting himself from a less than ideal, and often surreal, relationship. It has to be said that this film veers towards art cinema, but if you like challenging movies, this is a real treat.
2. Little Shop Of Horrors
‘The Little Shop Of Horrors’ was originally released in 1960, but it became such a cult classic that it was turned into a hit stage musical and then re-made by Hollywood in 1986. It’s a laugh-a-minute as carnivorous plant Audrey II grows and grows, along with its appetite for human flesh. Perhaps the funniest character of all is the sadistic dentist who feeds on nitrous oxide while disfiguring his patients. Steve Martin took all the plaudits when playing this role in 1986.
3. Marathon Man
Another dentist you wouldn’t want to operate on you is Dr. Christian Szell played by acting legend Sir Laurence Olivier in 1976 film ‘Marathon Man’. This is an altogether darker movie, and Szell is a wanted Nazi war criminal who at one stage tortures Dustin Hoffman in a dentist’s chair. It’s a memorably gruesome scene, but it rightly won Olivier an Academy Award nomination.
4. The Whole Nine Yards
After the horrific Szell, we need a good, clean dentist again, so who better to turn to than loveable Matthew Perry in ‘The Whole Nine Yards’? His character Oz likes to help everyone, but this brings him more than a few problems when he becomes involved in the travails of his new neighbor, Jimmy the Tulip – perhaps the best ever performance by Bruce Willis. Jimmy, as you might expect, is a mafia hitman, but now there’s a contract on his life. This movie has everything: thrills, laughs, and a heroic dentist.
Steve Martin obviously has the look of a dentist about him, for 15 years after his brilliant performance in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, he played Dr. Frank Sangster in ‘Novocaine’. Things never go smoothly for movie dentists, as Sangster’s life spirals out of control after his entire supply of dental drugs are stolen. By out of control, I mean that he places his own teeth inside his dead brother’s corpse and then burns his office down. That’s pretty out of control, even for a film dentist.
Don’t worry, real dentists aren’t nearly as bad as the ones featured on this list. Whilst the dentists themselves would soon find themselves out of practice or in jail, these five classic films are worth watching again and again. They can also inspire you to practice good dental hygiene, thereby keeping away from dentists as much as possible.