Knock (original French title, Knock ou le Triomphe de la médecine) is a French satirical play written in 1923 by Jules Romains. It follows the ambitious Dr. Knock who arrives in the rural village of Saint-Maurice to succeed Dr. Parpalaid, an honorable man, but with very few patients, because the people of the district are all in excellent health. Realizing that he was duped by his predecessor before taking the job, Dr. Knock is able to convince the people of Saint-Maurice that they actually are not in good health, and are in fact in need of medical care, but don’t realize it.
So Dr. Knock begins offering free consultations to the townsfolk and diagnoses them with exotic illnesses in order to prescribe treatment. His practice thrives as the townspeople turn into hypochondriacs. Naturally, it doesn’t end well.
The play has been adapted for the screen a few times since its debut on the Paris stage, including a British television version for the BBC in 1966.
Now French superstar Omar Sy, who continues to split his time between Los Angeles and Paris, is starring in a new film adaptation of Knock. This version won’t deviate much from the original story, as Monsieur Sy stars as Dr. Knock, a doctor who convinces the healthy inhabitants of a small French village that they are suffering from previously undiagnosed illnesses, in an effort to enrich himself.
French screenwriter, film and stage director, and playwright, Lorraine Lévy is directing the film.
TF1 Studio, the newly branded, vertically integrated French film banner, is repping Knock (or Dr Knock) which they describe as an “upbeat,” “feel-good” crowd-pleaser.
A first trailer for Knock premiered this morning, although it’s for the film’s French release (October 18; no word yet on any American distributor interest), and so it’s in French without English subtitles. We can only hope the film does get picked up for USA release, as it’s on my 2018 Oscar predictions list.
Omar Sy continues to be one of the hardest working cross-continental actors today, starring in films both in his native France and in Hollywood-backed productions as well. He most recently appeared in Ron Howard’s Inferno, based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Dan Brown, which was released in the USA on October 28; and he’ll next be seen in French director Hugo Gélin’s Two Is a Family, which opened in France on December 7, and has yet to cross the Atlantic, westward.
On his to-do list are the ambitious action-suspense film The Song of the Wolf, and co-starring with Luis Guzman in the intercontinental buddy-cop action-comedy Belleville Cop.
Check out the first trailer for Knock below for a glimpse at what to expect from the film (underneath is a poster):