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Patch Adams (1998)

The true story of a heroic man, Hunter "Patch" Adams, determined to become a medical doctor because he enjoys helping people. He ventured where no doctor had ventured before, using humour and pathos.


Tom Shadyac


Patch Adams (book) (as Hunter Doherty Adams), Maureen Mylander (book) | 1 more credit »
2,834 ( 184)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Robin Williams ... Patch Adams
Daniel London ... Truman
Monica Potter ... Carin
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... Mitch
Bob Gunton ... Dean Walcott
Josef Sommer ... Dr. Eaton
Irma P. Hall ... Joletta
Frances Lee McCain ... Judy
Harve Presnell ... Dean Anderson
Daniella Kuhn ... Adelane
Peter Coyote ... Bill Davis
James Greene James Greene ... Bile
Michael Jeter ... Rudy
Harold Gould ... Arthur Mendelson
Bruce Bohne ... Trevor Beene


Patch Adams is determined to become a medical doctor because he enjoys helping people. Unfortunately, the medical and scientific community does not appreciate his methods of healing the sick, while the actual patients, medical professors, and hospital nurses all appreciate the work *he* can do, because they are unable to do it. Written by Ari Herzog <ari@ici.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Laughter is contagious. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong language and crude humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Patch Adams said that whenever the film's production would get stressful, Robin Williams would improvise a comedy set to make the cast and crew laugh. See more »


When Patch tells Dean Walcott he wants to see his records, the Dean replies that they are confidential. As Patch walks out, the Dean has his head down, he is writing and his left arm on the desk, before he lifts his head, moves both his arms and prepares to get out of his chair. However, when the Dean says "Only the staff...", he is still writing and his left arm is back on the desk, before he stands up. See more »


Hunter Patch Adams: What's wrong with death sir? What are we so mortally afraid of? Why can't we treat death with a certain amount of humanity and dignity, and decency, and God forbid, maybe even humor. Death is not the enemy gentlemen. If we're going to fight a disease, let's fight one of the most terrible diseases of all, indifference.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Blue Wolf Productions logo after the end credits features a wolf looking to its left. See more »


Featured in Nostalgia Critic: Best F(r)iends (2019) See more »


The Country's Going To War
From the film Duck Soup (1933)
Music by Harry Ruby
Lyrics by Bert Kalmar
See more »

User Reviews

biased but enjoyable
29 September 1999 | by Yonhap SSee all my reviews

Patch Adams is a feel-good movie with nice intentions but somehow the message got muddled. Robin Williams really plays well as an outrageous character and as a person who cares a lot. The film uses every sappy and cliched moments for the audience to like it. However, I'm not sure which message the movie wants to point out: laughter is the best medicine or doctors must care for their patients. Robin Williams displays the former message pretty well. But doctors aren't all that cold and as in the case of Patch's roommate, we do know he cares for his patients. In a scene where gynecologists are visiting the hospital, we see Patch has setup a mock of legs where the middle area is the door and watching the doctors enter the hospital is like that famous scene in Look Who's Talking. It was funny, but I realize also that I wouldn't want that joke played on me. In the generally panned "courtroom" scene, we see Patch making a speech where he is being tried for operating a clinic without a license. He talked his way about improving the quality of life for the patients while skirting the issue that he was illegally operating a clinic. From some of the comments here in IMDB, I think the problem with Patch's character was that his way (supposedly laughter is best medicine) is put too much like a gospel. What we mostly want is that there are people who care for us (much like what William Hurt's character in The Doctor wanted) and treat us well. We don't really care about any dumb jokes, we just want to be happy and cared for. The less fortunate ones like the kids in chemotherapy would benefit more from Patch's clownish ways of entertainment. There's nothing in this movie relating to Make a Wish Foundation, so I wonder why the hell the old woman in the movie must wallow in noodles just so she will eat. Although you could fault the movie for its overly constructed plot, you'll still end up enjoying it. You just wish for less bias in the story. The verdict: 3.5 of 5 stars.

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Release Date:

25 December 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Patch Adams See more »

Filming Locations:

Asheville, North Carolina, USA See more »


Box Office


$90,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,262,280, 27 December 1998

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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