Critical Care

Overview

Sidney Lumet filmed this hospital satire at a Canadian studio. Alcoholic Dr. Butz Albert Brooks in old-age makeup advises younger Dr. Werner Ernst James Spader to only treat patients with much insurance. "When the lawyers start crawling all over you," says Butz, "that's when you know you're a doctor." Ernst, a second-year resident working in the ICU with head nurse Stella Helen Mirren, winds up in the middle of a dispute between two sisters Kyra Sedgwick and Margo Martindale. One wants to pull the plug on their ...
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Overview

Sidney Lumet filmed this hospital satire at a Canadian studio. Alcoholic Dr. Butz Albert Brooks in old-age makeup advises younger Dr. Werner Ernst James Spader to only treat patients with much insurance. "When the lawyers start crawling all over you," says Butz, "that's when you know you're a doctor." Ernst, a second-year resident working in the ICU with head nurse Stella Helen Mirren, winds up in the middle of a dispute between two sisters Kyra Sedgwick and Margo Martindale. One wants to pull the plug on their wealthy father; the other demands that he remain alive at a cost of $112,800 a month. Soon events swivel from the money-mad medical mire to equally murky legalistics. Steven Schwartz's screenplay was adapted from the novel by Richard Dooling. Shown at the 1997 Chicago Film Festival.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Robert Firsching
For those viewers who haven't seen The Hospital (1971) or Brittania Hospital (1982), this darkly comic satire about people dying in a money-hungry hospital might seem fresh and wickedly funny. Others may find the tale of a doctor (James Spader) caught in the middle of a lawsuit between half-sisters over the fate of their comatose father tasteless or cliched. Whatever the case, there are some amusing wrinkles, including Wallace Shawn as an emissary of the Devil, Helen Mirren as a compassionate nurse driven to mercy-killing, and Albert Brooks as a drunken, forgetful doctor who tries to teach young Spader his cynically greedy philosophy of medicine. Although much of its satire seems trite or blatant, and its irreverence is not for all tastes, Critical Care is quite funny, oddly spiritual, and even somewhat touching.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/18/2002
  • UPC: 012236040033
  • Original Release: 1997
  • Rating:

  • Source: Live / Artisan
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Spader Dr. Werner Ernst
Kyra Sedgwick Felicia Potter
Helen Mirren Stella
Margo Martindale Connie Potter
Jeffrey Wright Bed Two
Wallace Shawn Furnaceman
Anne Bancroft Nun
Albert Brooks Dr. Butz
Philip Bosco Dr. Hofstader
Edward Herrmann Robert Payne
Colm Feore Wilson
James Lally Poindexter
Al Waxman Sheldon Hatchett
Harvey Atkin Judge Fatale
Technical Credits
Sidney Lumet Director, Producer
Enrico Campana Set Decoration/Design
Don Carmody Executive Producer
Carolyn Cartwright Set Decoration/Design
Bruce Carwardine Sound/Sound Designer
Michael Convertino Score Composer
Dennis Davenport Art Director
Dona Granata Costumes/Costume Designer
Avy Kaufman Casting
Philip Rosenberg Production Designer
Steven Schwartz Producer
Steven S. Schwartz Screenwriter
Tom Swartwout Editor
Martin Walters Asst. Director
David Watkin Cinematographer
Gord White Set Decoration/Design
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