Feature Drama | 1950 | Sound | B/W
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Film about the recovery of an aphasic, a kind of stroke brought on by serious head injuries.
A man in a suit, Konrad Styner MD. A snake entwined around a stick. It is on a shield with a bird's head, a lion's head and a hand. Konrad Styner. The film is about neurology. A cross section of a neuron. The film is about Frank Elwin Summers. A man by a teletyper. He tears off a sheet of paper. He is smartly dressed with his shirt sleeves rolled up. He hands the paper to Mr Summers who is smoking a pipe. Other people in the office leave so Mr Summers is on his own. Mr Summers asks one of them to cover for him if he is a bit late the following day because his son is graduating from high school. Someone else comes up to Mr Summers and asks about jobs. Frank puts on his jacket to go. The fellow who asked about jobs asks the first man we saw in the newspaper office for a light. They talk about job security. Frank leaves the newspaper building. It is the Evening Star News. He strikes a match on the door to light his pipe. In the foreground is a car with two people in it. They get out of the car. One of them has a crowbar. They run in the direction Frank went. A damp deserted street. it is night time. Frank comes into view. The two lads run up behind him. Too late, Frank realises the danger and starts running. They hit him on the shoulder with the crowbar and Frank falls down. Street crime as he is mugged. He lies prone while they rifle his pockets. All they find is a handful of coins. One of them kicks Frank in the head. He is beaten up. Violence in America.
Frank in a hospital being examined by doctors. One of them says Frank may have a depressed fracture in his skull. The other doctor tests his reflexes with a hammer with no response. he has concussion. The first doctor who spoke talks about the injuries Frank may have. Frank's wife sitting on a sofa. The doctor talks to her about Frank's injuries. She has sent her son to school for his graduation because it is what Frank would have wanted. An X-ray dated 25/1/1952. It shows a skull in profile. Two masked doctors look at it. They go into an operating theatre. A doctor leaves a room and enters a hospital corridor. Mrs Summers arrives. She goes to say hello to Frank. Frank is lying in bed with a bandage around his upper head. He cannot speak.
The doctor leads Mrs Summers out of the room. The doctor says Frank has aphasia. Mrs Summers wants to know the worst. The doctor says it will be some time before the full extent of the damage is known. A box with lots of wires coming out fro various sockets. A nurse attaching electrodes to Frank's head. A large machine recording Frank's responses in the form of graphs, like a seismograph.
Frank lying on a bed trying to sit up. A doctor is beside him. Frank in a room with a doctor. He is sitting at a desk doing an intelligence test. He appears to be having difficulty. The doctor is explaining the results to Mrs Summers. Frank's paralysis of his right side has begun to clear up. Frank, though, has lost the power to speak, write and read. They are sat in the doctor’s office which has a certificate and books on the wall. The doctor tries to explain brain damage to Mrs Summers. However, there is a chance that Frank could re-learn his lost skills. It will take a very long time and be very expensive.
Frank lying in bed. His son comes into the room. He is wearing a suit. He tells Frank he has got a job rather than going to college so that there is money coming in at home. Frank is not happy about this. Frank's wife is getting a job as well. After this brief visit, the son leaves. Frank is not happy. The son and Mrs Summers talk to the doctor in the hospital. The therapy is supposed to start in a week. Frank in a wheelchair is wheeled into a room in a hospital or sanatorium for corrective therapy. His arm is moved by a nurse ?. Training to regain the muscles in his arm. Walking between parallel bars. Frank in a room with other brain-damaged people. A man on an exercise bicycle. Indian clubs on the wall. An old man sitting in a chair staring into the distance. Frank on a walking machine. Frank getting better at walking. Frank arrives home. He is with his wife and his son greets him. Frank being trained by a woman to recognise objects. She shows him a cup. Frank being trained to talk again. Frank in the sanatorium. He meets the doctor. Frank getting better at speaking. Frank gets home and his joy at being able to string a sentence together is not recognised. His son is on the phone. He overhears his son saying that he (Frank) is helpless.
Mrs Summers in the doctor's office. Frank's son is there too. Frank has not been eating. It appears he is depressed. Frank lying in bed. It is dark. The doctor comes in and turns the light on. He speaks to Frank about security and self reliance. The doctor is on the telephone, speaking to Mrs Summers. Frank is showing remarkable improvement. Frank learning how to speak again. Frank writing on a blackboard. Frank reading a book. His wife comes into the room. Someone else is sitting by the door. She calls him. She is very glad that he can speak again. Frank and his son pack Frank's typewriter. He's leaving the sanatorium and going back to the paper, his wife tells the doctor. Frank's son takes Frank's bags to the car. They discuss Frank's return to work and his plans for going to work in Paris. Frank thanks the doctor.
Konrad Styner. Until the Second World War, there was no speech therapy programme for aphasics, which doomed many of them to useless lives.
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