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.

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(as James Hicks)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Emmett Foley
... Walker Benson
... Mae Foley
... Earlene
... Dr. Harwood
... Morris
William De Acutis ... Missy
... Vernon
... Lonny
Gary Howard Klar ... Clarence (as Gary Klar)
... Harley
... Dr. Debner
... Jonathan
... Mr. Johnson
... 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>

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Taglines:

Heroes happen in crazy places. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

20 April 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A téboly börtöne  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$259,486
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TV)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Frances McDormand and Gary Oldman, and two Oscar nominees: Ned Beatty and Dennis Hopper. 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 ...
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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

 
Strong Performances, Flawed Movie

Chattahoochee is a film that, to me, held lots of promise. Any film that tells a story about poor conditions in an insane asylum AND stars the fabulous Gary Oldman is usually right up my alley, but this? Not so much.

Here's the deal: This film is, in a word, JUMPY. So much is being packed into such a small time frame that very little of it is actually being communicated. I mean, we're being presented with all of these things: questioning ones' sanity, unlawful exploitation, advocating for prisoner rights, maintaining relationships through incarceration . . . Really solid themes that could make for a fantastic film - but only if given enough time to develop. In Chattahoochee, there is no build up, no introduction, and absolutely no transition.

See, all the right things are there, it's just that they haven't been executed. The audience is never fully allowed to connect with the characters or the situations they face because we're never fully exposed to them. The whole thing is purely objective - just the facts with no prelude, insight or conclusion. Perhaps if it were a good half hour or so longer, it could reach its full potential.

Now, there are things that I did like about it. I do like the score - even if it's comically inappropriate at times (the scene where the patients are walking to lunch, for instance, is set to music that makes it seem as though they were walking the Green Mile). However, the rest of it is very effective and even haunting at times. But more importantly . . .The ACTING was AMAZING!!! The supporting cast, including Dennis Hopper, Frances McDormand, and especially Pamela Reed, add as much foundation to this tipsy story as they can muster. While they have very little valuable screen time, they do manage to add some depth to their respective characters, and truly help us empathize with them.

And of course, at the center of this film is Gary Oldman as Emmett. While the script never actually allows us into his head, Oldman forces us in. His gritty, emotional performance is sometimes overwhelming, and actually transports us into the muck-covered hole that is Chattahoochee. His frequent moments of vulnerability grip desperately at the heart until you're begging him to let go. However, that is the only real reason why this film is any good. It's all about the acting.

Just a side note. I was really ticked off at Oldman's beard. It's honestly the worst bit of costuming that I have ever seen. I don't know if he actually grew that thing or if they just slapped it onto his face(my bet's on the latter), but honestly, it was an itch in my side the whole time. So distracting. When Hopper offered him a razor near the end, I was almost screaming at him to take it, but ... GRRRRR.

Anyway, I would strongly recommend that you buy this film if you're a Gary Oldman fan, or even if you just appreciate great acting. Otherwise, at least rent it. Despite its flaws, its worth a look.


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