Chattahoochee (1989)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama  |  20 April 1990 (USA)
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Reviews: 22 user | 9 critic

In 1955 Florida, a Korean vet has a breakdown and is incarcerated in a "maximum security" mental health prison, where patients are abused.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mae Foley
Dr. Harwood
William De Acutis ...
Gary Howard Klar ...
Clarence (as Gary Klar)
Timothy Scott ...
Dr. Debner
William Newman ...
Whitey Hughes ...
Mr. Johnson


An American war hero attempts suicide and ends up in Chattahoochee State Mental Hospital. But he realizes that the doctors in the hospital are humiliating patients, and staff are murdering them. Written by Harun Mehmedinovic <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


At the edge of insanity lies hope. See more »


Biography | Drama


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 April 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A téboly börtöne  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$259,486 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of three films that stars both Dennis Hopper and Gary Oldman. The others are: True Romance (1993) and Basquiat (1996). See more »


[first lines]
Emmett Foley: When you come back a certified hero, it kinda raises people's expectations. Makes 'em think you're a big guy.
Mae Foley: It started off like any other Sunday as far as I could see. I can't even remember what I did that morning. You always think, I guess, that, well, if you seen it coming, you coulda done something. But I don't know what it woulda been. He seemed normal enough the last time I seen him. A little tight around the eyes, but nothing worth mentioning. Kinda like maybe he looked ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The producers would like to thank the people of Columbia and Newberry, South Carolina for their generosity and support during the making of this film. See more »

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User Reviews

It Wasn't As Powerful As I Thought It Would Be
22 August 2010 | by (Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

In 1955, Korean War veteran Emmett Foley had a breakdown and shot up his neighbourhood, apparently in the hopes that the police would kill him and his wife would get insurance money. Instead, the police captured him and he ended up being committed to a mental institution with deplorable conditions where the inmates were routinely mistreated. I realize that this is supposedly based on a true story (I always wonder how accurate a movie is when it's "based" on a true story. How many liberties are taken in the telling?) and yet, this somehow seemed stale to me. It was predictable; it lacked power. Mental institutions of that day were horrible places. 1948's "The Snake Pit" (although set a bit earlier) packs a better punch than this, quite frankly, if you want an account of what conditions were like - even though it wasn't "based on a true story."

Gary Oldman's performance as Emmett was a good one. He was clearly the highlight of the movie. There are a lot of other familiar faces in this, but it's Oldman's movie. I appreciated his take on Emmett - who was really quite clear-headed in most respects. Once he's incarcerated, Emmett becomes an advocate for the prisoners being abused, writing letters to their families to tell them what's happening, and, with the help of his sister (played by Pamela Reed) getting state officials involved in the case. That's where the movie really let me down. It just fizzled out. The Governor learns about the situation and establishes a committee that Emmett testifies in front of - and then it's over. Just the captions telling us about some reforms that were made to the system. Surely it wasn't that easy? One piece of testimony in front of a committee and the problem is solved? It was just too easy. I was left thinking that there should have been more - not wanting more in a positive sense, but thinking that there should have been more as in "that's it?" Oldman gets points for a good performance. The movie itself disappoints.

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