Little Pal; Healer, The

1998. LITTLE PAL (THE HEALER) (1935-U5A). With ralph Bellamy, mickey rooney. Ralph Bellamy was often cast in roles as sappy “other men” who in the final reel would lose the girl to Cary Grant (or a Cary Grant type), in this heartwarming Depression-era tale, he has not one but two beautiful women fighting over him. Bellamy plays Dr. Holden, a kindly and dedicated healer who works miracles with his patients at his country health spa. He is secretly adored by Evelyn Allen, his dutiful aide, who has left “the pleasures of the flesh” in New York to work for him. Evelyn turns justifiably jealous upon the arrival of Joan Bradshaw, a wealthy and pampered temptress. Joan comes to understand the doctor’s extraordinary healing powers. She sets out to manipulate him into abandoning his ideals and gaining riches as a doctor ministering to affluent hypochondriacs. Mickey Rooney is cast as Jimmy, a poor youngster afflicted with polio who hobÂbles around on crutches and whom Holden has taken on as a patient. Jimmy would love to be like other boys and play baseball or ride bicycles. While a New York doctor writes him off as a “helpÂless cripple,” Holden has been patiently working to rehabilitate the boy. However, if Joan has her way, the doctor will be disappointing Jimmy and all the other JimmyÕs who benefit from his care. As many Depression-era films, this one pointedly depicts the idle rich in a less than favorable light. Before the film is over there is a plenitude of drama (including a delicate brain operation and a ragÂing brush fire). The performances are collectively first-rate, with Bellamy offering proof that he was indeed leading man material. Then there is Rooney, who was not yet a star when he made this film. Watch him here and you will know why he soon was to become one of Hollywood’s most popular juvenile actors. 68 minutes. Drama