6.9/10
1,506
21 user 3 critic

...First Do No Harm (1997)

The story of one woman's struggle against a narrow-minded medical establishment.

Director:

Jim Abrahams

Writer:

Ann Beckett
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Meryl Streep ... Lori Reimuller
Fred Ward ... Dave Reimuller
Seth Adkins ... Robbie Reimuller
Margo Martindale ... Marjean
Allison Janney ... Dr. Melanie Abbasac
Oni Faida Lampley Oni Faida Lampley ... Marsha Williams
Leo Burmester ... Bob Purdue
Tom Butler ... Dr. Jim Peterson
Mairon Bennett Mairon Bennett ... Lynne Reimuller
Michael Yarmush Michael Yarmush ... Mark Reimuller
Sean McCann Sean McCann
Millicent Kelly Millicent Kelly ... Herself
Philip Williams
Philip Akin Philip Akin
Damir Andrei Damir Andrei
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Storyline

When Lori Reimuller learns that her young son Robbie has epilepsy, she first trusts the judgment of the hospital staff in how best to bring it under control. As Robbie's health slides radically downhill, however, she becomes frustrated and desperate, and so does her own research into the existing literature on treatments. When she decides to try an alternative treatment called the Ketogenic Diet, devised long ago by a doctor from Johns Hopkins, she is met with narrow-minded resistance from Robbie's doctor, who is prepared to take legal action to prevent Lori from removing him from the hospital. This movie is an indictment of those in the medical profession who discuss only the treatment options they favor. Several of the minor characters are portrayed by people who have been not just helped, but cured by the Ketogenic diet. Written by Debra K. Day <dday@uic.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense emotional and physical depiction of a child's illness | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 February 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Au risque de te perdre See more »

Filming Locations:

Orono, Ontario, Canada See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jim Abrahams helped set up the Charlie Foundation in Santa Monica, California, an institution dedicated to spreading the word about the ketogenic diet to major paediatric neurological centres. It was through this network that he first came into contact with the Reimullers, the family depicted in the film. See more »

Connections

References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Over the Rainbow
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Performed by Aretha Franklin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
...first do not dramatize
13 May 2003 | by stamperSee all my reviews

The main and actually the only complaint I have about this film is, that it falls prey to the typical TV movie set up, which means that this truth inspired story is somewhat over dramatized. Apart from that though, there is nothing much I have to complain about. The performances are safe and sound and so is the directing. I will not give away too much here, but this film is actually quite thought provoking, even in the beginning, starting with the oath of Hippocrates that each doctor is destined to take before being set free on the general public. Note the part where the oath contains the subjectivity of the doctor in stating that the doctor should do the things he deems necessary, right or something of the like. This part of the oath of Hippocrates sets the tone for the rest of the movie, in which doctor's seem to do what they seem is best, but not try everything there is, because it is supposedly not to be scientifically proven. While watching this film one actually gets the impression that our dear doctors think that something is scientific only when it is either scientifically manufactured (drugs) or when there are active reconstructions made on the human body. The fact that other forms of treatment (like acupuncture, diet, change of environment) could actually do something about a disease is out of these scholars reach and most of them seem to make the mistake of looking at diseases through the view of their studies and totally neglecting the more logical holistic view on illnesses. This film shows us that there are things that can go wrong when you go to the doctors, that they too are only humans and its advice is: smarten up. If you're seriously ill, read books, educate yourself and make sure that everything there is has been tried, because even doctor's can make mistakes.

7 out of 10


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