Critical Care

Updated June 26, 2020 | Infoplease Staff
Director: Sidney Lumet
Writer: Steven Schwartz
Director of Photography:David Watkin
Editor:Tom Swartwout
Production Designer:Philip Rosenberg
Producers:Sidney Lumet and Steven Schwartz
Live Entertainment; R; 107 minutes
Cast:James Spader, Kyra Sedgwick, Helen Mirren, Margo Martindale, Philip Bosco, Jeffrey Wright, Wallace Shawn, Anne Bancroft, Edward Herrmann and Albert Brooks
Based on the novel by Richard Dooling

A scathing, hilarious satire of the bottom-line obsessed health industry, Critical Care recalls Lumet's Oscar-winning Network with its pointed barbs as well as its overarching speechifying. Set in a big-city hospital where one's care depends on his or her ability to pay, the film follows second-year resident Werner Ernst (Spader), who has learned that MD carries a lot of clout with young, attractive women, as he learns the ropes from boozing, amoral chief resident Dr. Butz (Brooks). Ernst gets involved with a rich patient's daughter, Felicia Potter (Sedgwick), who wants to pull the plug on dear old dad, and falls into a trap when she persuades him to side with her in a lawsuit against her Bible-thumping sister (Martindale), who wants to keep dad alive. Critical Care lacks the multi-layered characters that made Network so caustically funny.

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