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Medicine Man (1992)

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Romance  |  7 February 1992 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 16,853 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 23 critic

An eccentric scientist working for a large drug company is working on a research project in the Amazon jungle. He sends for a research assistant and a gas chromatograph because he's close ... See full summary »



(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
José Wilker ...
Dr. Miguel Ornega
Rodolfo De Alexandre ...
Francisco Tsiren Tsere Rereme ...
Elias Monteiro Da Silva ...
Edinei Maria Serrio Dos Santos ...
Bec-Kana-Re Dos Santos Kaiapo ...
Angelo Barra Moreira ...
Medicine Man
Government Man


An eccentric scientist working for a large drug company is working on a research project in the Amazon jungle. He sends for a research assistant and a gas chromatograph because he's close to a cure for cancer. When the assistant turns out to be a "mere woman," he rejects her help. Meanwhile the bulldozers get closer to the area in which they are conducting research, and they eventually learn to work together, and begin falling in love. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


On the trail of an amazing discovery he finds an explosive adventure! See more »


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 February 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Stand  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)


$45,500,797 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Tom Schulman was paid $3 million for his script. See more »


When Dr. Crane is rubbing trying to get the blue stripe tattoo off, her skin wrinkles up with the stripe, clearly showing the 'tattoo' is fake. See more »


Dr. Robert Campbell: I don't need a fuckin' interpreter!
See more »


Featured in Siskel & Ebert: The Worst Films of 1992 (1993) See more »


That Old Black Magic
Written by Johnny Mercer (as John H. Mercer) and Harold Arlen
Famous Music Corp. (ASCAP)
See more »

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User Reviews

McTiernan excellently weaves science, ethics and humor in this story about the search for a cancer cure in the jungle
19 December 2003 | by (Zwijndrecht, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

A fine movie, not to be judged on the basis of Hollywood's usual recipe for storytelling. The eccentric scientist Robert Campbell (Connery) who has found a cure for cancer out in the jungle, is not able to reproduce its exact composition. Biologist Rae Crane (Bracco) biologist has dropped in from academia to be his judge and jury and decide on Campbell's continued funding.

The film pays a fair amount of attention to scientific detail (such as "running baselines" and using "experimental controls") interspersing it throughout with lively and shrewd exchanges between Campbell and Crane. To that they add mildly sarcastic observations on field work and fund-raising committees. Whilst this scientific sub-story line runs along, we are shown glimpses of life in a sympathetic tribe for which Campbell has become a sort of sugar daddy. Ethics and personal choice confront both scientists as they struggle with the decision to reserve the last bit of serum either for the good of humanity or the life of one of the tribe's children.

McTiernan has weaved all these elements excellently and Connery and Bracco play their roles so convincingly that you could be excused for thinking they may have scientific backgrounds in real life.

The film is a feast for educated people - which is probably the reason why many of the critics have missed the fine points and proceeded to rattle off some vitriolic commentary more aimed, in my view, at self-aggrandizement than constructive film criticism. One even complained that Medicine Man didn't quite match up to Die Hard. Now there is a proper comparison for you.

37 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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