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Critical Care (1997)

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Werner Ernst is a young hospital resident who becomes embroiled in a legal battle between two half-sisters who are fighting over the care of their comatose father. But are they really ... See full summary »

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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James Lally ...
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Storyline

Werner Ernst is a young hospital resident who becomes embroiled in a legal battle between two half-sisters who are fighting over the care of their comatose father. But are they really fighting over their father's care, or over his $10 million estate? Meanwhile, Werner must contend with his nutty supervisor, who insists that he only care for patients with full insurance. Can Werner sidestep the hospital's legal team and do what's best for the patient? Written by Martin Lewison <mlewison@utk.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

At Memorial Hospital no one ever dies... Until their insurance runs out.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

31 October 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cuidados Intensivos  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$43,380 (USA) (31 October 1997)

Gross:

$141,853 (USA) (14 November 1997)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Stella: [dropping clipboard] That's six's blood gases. I'm up to oxygen 60%.
Dr. Werner Ernst: Thank you.
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Soundtracks

Dry Bones
Performed by the Delta Rhythm Boys
Courtesy of the RCA Records label of BMG Entertainment
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User Reviews

 
The medical profession takes it on the chin in this good comedy, with a wonderful performance by Albert Brooks.
21 November 1999 | by (Pine Grove, California) – See all my reviews

This film takes its place beside many comedy/dramas touching on the inadequacies of the medical profession, such as Otto Preminger's "Such Good Friends (1971)" and Arthur Hiller's "The Hospital (1971)." Though the comedy here is not as "black" as those films, which concentrated more on the incompetencies of some doctors and nurses, "Critical Care" finds its humor in the insurance-driven medical profession today. Albert Brooks is absolutely wonderful as the epitome of a doctor caring only about the bottom line. His only concern is whether or not a prospective patient has medical insurance, and his decision to keep a comatose patient with no chance of recovery alive is based solely on the fact that the insurance company pays $9,500 per week ("cold cash") if he's alive, and zilch if he dies. Conversely, an emergency patient has very little priority if he has no medical insurance. The reason to see the film is Albert Brooks, in a much different role than he usually plays.

The setup is a bit contrived, but is easily forgiven. I also enjoyed the brief roles of Wallace Shawn as the devil (called "furnaceman" in the credits) and Anne Bancroft as sort of an angel in a nun's habit.


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