Friday, 19 July 2013


A while ago I wrote an article about how Hospital Porters were portrayed by the media, see: I was dismayed to find that, with the exception of my own novel, there were no occasions in which Hospital Porters were presented in a positive light, but then one of my old Portering buddies made me aware of a film that I'd never heard of before, called Disorderlies (Warner Bros 1987). I watched it with great excitement, hoping for an exception to the disheartening rule. It's available on YouTube here: The American healthcare designation "orderly" doesn't directly translate as a Porter; it's clear that the role encompasses that of a Porter, but it overlaps with that of a British HCA- Healthcare Assistant too. The film is a mild and light-hearted slapstick comedy starring the famous rap trio, The Fat Boys; so named for their corpulent physiques. They play three hospital orderlies who are employed by the nephew of an elderly and terminally ill billionaire to care for his ailing uncle. Unknown to The Fat Boys' characters, they have been deliberately selected because the nephew considers them dangerously incompetent and so will speed his uncle's demise. He is a compulsive gambler and wishes to inherit his uncle's wealth as quickly as possible in order to pay off a debt to a violent gangster. But the plan backfires because the new orderlies' hedonistic and zany antics give the uncle a new lease of life. The boys take him out to nightclubs and discoes. The fun and excitement are very healing and he begins to recover. The jokes are almost all physical and are often accompanied by cartoon sound effects. I found this movie very enjoyable because for the first time I've seen Hospital Porters on the silver screen who are not contemptuous fools, brutal criminals or insecure wannabe doctors and nurses. Instead we have three Hospital Porters who are good-natured, funny, inadvertently brave and even heroic, within the slightly simplistic style of the film. They're also talented; in one scene they perform one of their raps songs; in another they drive a car from the back seat using nothing but wire. So well done, The Fat Boys and all the rest of the cast. Thank you, director Michael Schultz and screenwriters Mark Feldberg and Mitchell Klebanoff. Thanks for portraying Hospital Porters in a more positive light for a change.

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