A hospital resident is put in the middle of a legal battle between two half-sisters on whether to pull their comatose dad's life support. But more seems to be at stake than dad's life - his inheritance.

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writers:

Richard Dooling (novel), Steven Schwartz (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Spader ... Dr. Werner Ernst
Kyra Sedgwick ... Felicia Potter
Helen Mirren ... Stella
Anne Bancroft ... Nun
Albert Brooks ... Dr. Butz
Jeffrey Wright ... Bed Two
Margo Martindale ... Connie Potter
Wallace Shawn ... Furnaceman
Philip Bosco ... Dr. Hofstader
Colm Feore ... Wilson
Edward Herrmann ... Robert Payne
James Lally James Lally ... Poindexter
Harvey Atkin ... Judge Fatale
Al Waxman ... Sheldon Hatchett
Hamish McEwan ... Hansen
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Storyline

Dr. Werner Ernst (James Spader) is a young hospital resident who becomes embroiled in a legal battle between two half-sisters who are fighting over the care of their comatose father. But are they really fighting over their father's care, or over his ten million dollar estate? Meanwhile, Werner must contend with his nutty supervisor, who insists that he only care for patients with full insurance. Can Werner sidestep the hospital's legal team and do what's best for the patient? Written by Martin Lewison <mlewison@utk.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

At Memorial Hospital no one ever dies... Until their insurance runs out.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Stella: [dropping clipboard] That's six's blood gases. I'm up to oxygen 60%.
Dr. Werner Ernst: Thank you.
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Connections

Referenced in After Tiller (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Quintet in G Minor, K516
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Pinchas Zukerman and The Tokyo String Quartet
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User Reviews

 
Not completely believable medical drama
11 May 2013 | by jjnxn-1See all my reviews

Not bad medical drama hampered by the fact that for a great deal of the film Spader's character behaves like an idiot. This isn't the actors fault, he gives as good a performance as possible considering the actions forced on him by the script. He is certainly supported by a high quality cast in almost every role. Kyra Sedgwick is annoying and not terribly convincing but she is the lone sore spot. Helen Mirren is wonderful as an understanding and compassionate nurse and Albert Brooks a stitch as a loony doctor well past his sell by date. The script has many holes but it does make a strong plea for doctors seeing patients as people not just science projects and sources of income.


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Details

Country:

Australia | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Critical Care See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$43,380, 2 November 1997

Gross USA:

$221,193

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$221,193
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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