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Desperate Measures (1998)

Frank Conner is an honest police officer who desperately needs to save his son's life. However, after losing all hope, he finds out that a criminal Peter McCabe in jail is his only savior.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Captain Jeremiah Cassidy
Nate Oliver
Sarah Davis
Ed Fayne
Medical Inmate
Peter Weireter ...
SWAT Team Commander
Derrick Wilson
Dr. Gosha
SWAT in Airduct
Cell Guard


San Francisco police officer Frank Connor is in a frantic search for a compatible bone marrow donor for his gravely ill son. There's only one catch: the potential donor is convicted multiple murderer Peter McCabe who sees a trip to the hospital as the perfect opportunity to get what he wants most: freedom. With McCabe's escape, the entire hospital becomes a battleground and Connor must pursue and, ironically, protect the deadly fugitive who is his son's only hope for survival. Written by Sony Pictures (with permission)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Time is running out See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

30 January 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Medidas Desesperadas  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,833,412 (USA) (1 February 1998)


$13,806,137 (USA) (19 April 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


In addition to some of the scenes filmed in Pittsburgh, an elaborate set was constructed in a vacant hangar at what is now known as the San Bernardino International Airport, what used to be Norton Air Force base. Both the jail/prison was three stories high and the hospital, built to the same level, were both physically connected by the concourse seen in the movie. See more »


Rigging to make semi trailer appear to jackknife is visible. See more »


Peter McCabe: What are you gonna do? Shoot me, Frank?
See more »


References History of the World: Part I (1981) See more »


Written by John Fogerty (as John C. Fogerty)
Performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival
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User Reviews

Measuring up, Keaton dead-on.'
28 July 2006 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

I originally saw the previews and wasn't really paying attention, but I wasn't impressed. Then finally some years later I had the video and I watched it. It's a gripper. A shocker too.

From movie viewer to movie viewer, everyone has a different opinion. However I was astounded by Keaton's dead on 'lunatic' performance in "Desperate Measures" he is bigger than life.

In addition Garcia is quite the believable character as Frank Conner. Nurturing his son, Mathew through his debilitating illness and trying to cope with life and work despite the circumstances with his son. He is a fighter, a scrapper, who doesn't back down. Looking for a 'donor' for his son, searching and finally finding a match. Then he meets his match. A nightmare is about to unfold, here is a scrapper and a fighter, who kills and won't back down, either. McCabe is smarter than the average prison inmate. Keaton is full on and worse than even the 'pshycotic' renter that he played in 'Pacific Heights'. He is raw, at times caustic and most of all numb. If you look in his eyes, the only thing that registers from his pupils is 'Death'. He's strong and bound by a piercing determination. He is looking for a 'payback' for something or 'things' that have happened to him in his younger life.

'Captain Cassidy', played by Brian Cox is worthy of praise. Cox always seems to add more color to everything that he's in. And as he looks like a 'fitting' candidate, he convincingly brings himself to the forefront. Again, once it looks good and everyone is vulnerable, Keaton's- Peter McCabe, focuses and attacks, leaving his surroundings and the area he was occupying, in a state of debris. And when the fight is fought and it looks like he is defeated think again...(***)

18 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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