5.4/10
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12 user 3 critic

Critical Condition (1987)

R | | Comedy | 16 January 1987 (USA)
Con man Kevin Lennihan, framed in a jewel smuggling, tries for an insanity plea, and is sent to a hospital for review, where he is confused for a doctor and takes over the hospital when a major storm hits.

Director:

Michael Apted

Writers:

Denis Hamill (story), John Hamill (story) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Pryor ... Eddie / Kevin
Rachel Ticotin ... Rachel
Rubén Blades ... Louis
Joe Mantegna ... Chambers
Bob Dishy ... Dr. Foster
Sylvia Miles ... Maggie
Joe Dallesandro ... Stucky
Randall 'Tex' Cobb ... Box
Bob Saget ... Dr. Joffe
Joseph Ragno ... Palazzi
Jon Polito ... Kline
Garrett Morris ... Helicopter Junkie
Brian Tarantina ... Tommy Pinto
Jude Ciccolella ... Jack Kinney
Çigdem Selisik Onat ... Dr. Hoffman (as Cigdem Onat)
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Storyline

Kevin Lennihan is a con artist. But this time he's framed and comes before a judge. By claiming insanity he hopes to get off the hook. He manages to end up in a hospital on Governors Island in New York Harbor for a mental examination. That night a storm breaks out over the area and the electricity to the hospital is out. In the ensuing chaos that follows Kevin is mistaken for a doctor, Eddie Slattery. Suddenly he is in charge of a whole hospital. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Guess who's playing doctor? See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 January 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alkalom szüli az orvost See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$20,240,502
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of four 1987 movies featuring Joe Mantegna. See more »

Goofs

Box opens the garage door, yells about his dog being kicked. However, Stuckey kicks the patient who thinks he's a dog several seconds before Box actually opens the garage door. There is no way that Box could have seen Stucky kick the dog. See more »

Quotes

Eddie Lenahan: [a patient asked about if he knows about his diagnostic] Yes, I do. You're suffering from a severe cause of full of shitness.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A slightly different intro was filmed for the TV version. In the original theatrical release, Richard Pryor is seen meeting the loan shark in a sex shop. But the TV version has the meeting in an old warehouse. In addition, the TV version tones down some of Richard Pryor's language, and has a slightly different end credits sequence showing the main characters as their names are displayed in the credits list. The theatrical version just had standard titles over a black background. See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: The Worst Films of 1987 (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

PARTY ALL THE TIME
Written by Rick James
See more »

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User Reviews

 
You know you're in trouble when the title says it all...
25 March 2014 | by Rodrigo_AmaroSee all my reviews

Never trust the ratings in here, some say from time to time, cause they never reveal what lies beneath some underrated precious jewels and also some overrated classics. "Critical Condition", however, deserves the current negative evaluation, not much because it's a terrible picture, cause it's not in fact. The problem is that the movie is so misguided despite its effective (and few) positive scenes that you suspect the talented people involved in its making were way over their heads in thinking they're creating good comedy. Richard Pryor alone, only in stand-up routines, and we all know it that his films worked better if he had a partner - not even if a brief companion being Pryor and Gene Wilder one of the most interesting duos of comedy. But the supporting cast assembled makes this a little enjoyable, though not going too far.

I believe the setting given here would benefit more a thriller/horror movie than a comedy but if the writers think they can find real humor in it, well, it's their opinion. Pryor is a scam lawyer who is sent to jail after being framed in a suspected deal with some mobsters. Knowing that he's about to get killed in prison, he acts like an insane person during trial much to everyone's belief and sent to treatment on a mental facility for 21 days in order to establish if his crazy or not. But during a huge storm that cuts the power and contacts of the place, he manages to get out of the psychiatric warden and ends up getting confused as an important medical doctor whose arriving was long waited there. Now it's up to this fake doctor to help the staff of this chaotic hospital filled with regular patients (who comes up with this stuff, a mental hospital glued next to a regular facility?), managing his best and worst in a place with almost no electricity, with its disappearing administrator and with a dangerous criminal (Joe Dallesandro) on the loose, and just like him also trying to get away from there.

Half an hour goes by without any laughs, and almost with no understanding of what those loud characters are saying for the most part. Only when the absurd starts to take place is that movie progresses, gets a little involving yet eternally confusing and lacking in substance. But already too late. And what Michael Apted was doing with this comedy? He's trustworthy directing drama and action flicks; his direction here feels very uninspired, more like "in it for the money" (and I bet no one got paid all that much). I'm not recommending "Critical Condition" but if you wanna see it for yourself there's room for enjoyment in scenes like the "Apocalypse Now" parody with Pryor putting a helicopter inside of the hospital to generate energy in the building; the great presence of Rachel Ticotin as the substitute administrator, a fine dramatic effort in showing how important decision must be during troubled conditions; Bob Dishy finally getting a noteworthy and extended role as the doctor who puts pressure on everybody including Pryor. Randall 'Tex' Cobb, Joe Mantegna, Bob Saget, Sylvia Miles Jon Polito and a few others have fine roles, the best they could get.

Well, final diagnosis: not worthy of much attention, suffers from a severe case of lack of great humor, and it's almost a waste of time. The medication for it can be found in all other Pryor's movies. This one is just wrong. 4/10


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