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Desperate Measures (1998)

Frank Conner is an honest police officer who desperately needs to save his son's life. However, after losing all hope, he finds out that a criminal Peter McCabe in jail is his only savior.

Director:

Barbet Schroeder

Writer:

David Klass
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Keaton ... Peter McCabe
Andy Garcia ... Frank Conner
Brian Cox ... Captain Jeremiah Cassidy
Marcia Gay Harden ... Dr. Samantha Hawkins
Erik King ... Nate Oliver
Efrain Figueroa ... Vargas
Joseph Cross ... Matthew Conner
Janel Moloney ... Sarah Davis
Richard Riehle ... Ed Fayne
Tracey Walter ... Medical Inmate
Peter Weireter Peter Weireter ... SWAT Team Commander
Keith Diamond ... Derrick Wilson
Steve Park ... Dr. Gosha
Steven Schub ... SWAT in Airduct
Neal Matarazzo ... Cell Guard
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Storyline

San Francisco police officer Frank Connor is in a frantic search for a compatible bone marrow donor for his gravely ill son. There's only one catch: the potential donor is convicted multiple murderer Peter McCabe who sees a trip to the hospital as the perfect opportunity to get what he wants most: freedom. With McCabe's escape, the entire hospital becomes a battleground and Connor must pursue and, ironically, protect the deadly fugitive who is his son's only hope for survival. Written by Sony Pictures (with permission)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His son needs a DNA donor to live. The clock is ticking. The only match is a vicious killer. Now all Frank Conner has to do is catch him. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 January 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Medidas Desesperadas See more »

Filming Locations:

Québec, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,833,412, 1 February 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$13,806,137, 19 April 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In addition to some of the scenes filmed in Pittsburgh, an elaborate set was constructed in a vacant hangar at what is now known as the San Bernardino International Airport, what used to be Norton Air Force Base. The prison and the hospital were three stories high, and were connected by the concourse seen in the movie. See more »

Goofs

Rigging to make semi trailer appear to jackknife is visible. See more »

Quotes

Peter McCabe: Do you like school, Matt? I fucking hated every minute of it.
See more »


Soundtracks

PROUD MARY
Written by John Fogerty (as John C. Fogerty)
Performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival
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User Reviews

Desperate. Very.
29 January 2004 | by Piston_SmashSee all my reviews

Andy Garcia is the "hero" in this predictable and ludicrous film. He plays Conner, a cop with a son who needs a bone marrow transplant to stay alive. Enter Michael Keaton as McCabe, a mad psychopathic criminal genius (aren't they all?) whose bone marrow is a perfect match. What follows is an irritating battle of wits between Conner and McCabe, who decides he'd like to bust outta the hospital using nothing but a half-swallowed ampoule of a magical elixir, a dislocated thumb and a cigarette lighter flint. Move over MacGuyver.

Garcia is particularly annoying as actor and character. His character is devoted to his son. Nothing wrong with that. Unless your devotion for your son means that EVERYONE ELSE'S life is meaningless and expendable. As McCabe tries to escape from the hospital Conner has to save McCabe's life many times because once dead, his bone marrow is no longer useful. Conner causes a cop to get shot as well as motorway carnage in his attempts to capture McCabe unharmed. I got increasingly more angry watching Garcia as Conner risk everyone he comes into contact with so that his son may have a chance of living. What about the rest of us? Don't we deserve a chance at life too? The Conner character seems to be rooted in the maverick cop tradition, playing by his own rules and deciding what is and isn't right. It's a world where a bully makes the rules and you follow them or face the consequences. Something along the lines of what happened in Germany in the Thirties...

Garcia as actor is annoying to the extreme, spending most of the film tearing about the place in a semi-crouch with one arm stiff by his side for some reason. He trots out his usual bits of actor's business that appear in most Garcia films. He does the scene where he grabs someone's head in both of his hands and speaks/shouts right into their face. He does the scene where he explosively loses he temper and kicks some furniture only to immediately regain control of himself and instantly become the ice-man. He does the scene where he shouts in anger at the top of his lungs, while his face looks as if he has just spent an afternoon staring at the test card. You know the stuff. We've seen it all before.

The film goes on for far too long and credibility is stretched time and again until even the densest viewer's intelligence is insulted. We're encouraged to sympathise with the Garcia character: his wife is dead, his son's dying, he's a cop, he's pretty, he is a devoted father etc etc, but really, all he is, is a self-centred fascist bully.

Keaton has to make flesh a one dimensional cliché of a character and he has a go but is on a losing wicket from the outset. How can you put a new and imaginative slant on the stock Mad Criminal Genius character? And Barbet Schroeder, what were you thinking? From the classic Barfly to this? Pity...


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