6.4/10
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23 user 10 critic

Chattahoochee (1989)

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

Director:

Mick Jackson

Writer:

James Cresson (as James Hicks)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Oldman ... Emmett Foley
Dennis Hopper ... Walker Benson
Frances McDormand ... Mae Foley
Pamela Reed ... Earlene
Ned Beatty ... Dr. Harwood
M. Emmet Walsh ... Morris
William De Acutis William De Acutis ... Missy
Lee Wilkof ... Vernon
Matt Craven ... Lonny
Gary Howard Klar Gary Howard Klar ... Clarence (as Gary Klar)
Timothy Scott ... Harley
Richard Portnow ... Dr. Debner
William Newman ... Jonathan
Whitey Hughes ... Mr. Johnson
Wilbur Fitzgerald ... Duane
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Storyline

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 <Pkojovic@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Heroes happen in crazy places. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 April 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A téboly börtöne See more »

Filming Locations:

Columbia, South Carolina, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$259,486
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hemdale See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TV)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The "Emmet Foley" character is based on real life Christopher Calhoun, who moved to Los Angeles after his release and wrote about and became an activist for similarly abused people. See more »

Quotes

[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

 
Oldman and Hopper save it from being a total waste.
28 January 2012 | by Rockwell_CronenbergSee all my reviews

There's not a lot to say about this, other than it's not very good. Gary Oldman and Dennis Hopper save it from being a complete waste, but the whole thing is flawed out the rear. Director Mick Jackson doesn't seem like he has any competency behind the camera; the film deals with very dark ideas like attempted suicide and guard violence and inhumane conditions in prison, but the tone is disastrously light for the majority, with random bits of narration popping up now and again. The script from James Hicks leaves a lot to be desired, meandering all over the place for the first act, lazily trying to find it's footing in the second act and then out of nowhere becoming a law drama in the final one.

It's unfortunately handled by everyone other than some of the actors, particularly Oldman who still manages to impress in the leading role. Hopper has a couple of nice emotional moments (guy really was such an underrated actor), but Oldman steals the thing with another magnetically absorbed performance that is entirely unique to anything else he's ever done. His character is suicidal when we meet him, but in the rough and legally unfair conditions of the prison he's locked away in he finally discovers a new purpose in life. He's a war veteran who finds another battle to fight and Oldman plays him with strong desperation and emotional pull. It would have been even more impressive had it been in a film that was trying half as hard as he was.


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