Gross Anatomy (1989)

PG-13 | 108 mins | Comedy-drama | 20 October 1989

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HISTORY

The 8 Mar 1989 DV announced that Dolly Parton and Sandy Gallin’s Sandollar Productions was in development with Disney/Touchstone Pictures to produce Gross Anatomy, with an anticipated start date in Apr 1989. Howard Rosenman, co-head of film production at Sandollar, was noted as the producer, and the story was based on Rosenman’s medical school experiences.
       Principal photography began on 1 May 1989 in Los Angeles, CA, according to the 6 Jun 1989 HR production chart.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files list additional CA locations in San Pedro, and Canyon Country, where a motel and truck stop were used for filming. Queen of Angels Hospital served as “St. Stephen’s Hospital,” the University of Southern California (USC) stood in for “Chandler University,” and the film’s anatomy lab was created on a sound stage at Walt Disney studios. According to production notes, the film utilized sixteen cadavers, reproduced by a team of medical experts and special effects artists.
       USC public relations director, Anita Goldstein, praised the film’s cast and crew, in the 20 Jun 1989 DV, for their “exemplary conduct” during their six weeks of filming on campus.
       According to the 20 Oct 1989 HR, the the $8.5 million picture got its start five years earlier when producer Howard Rosenman met with Disney president Jeffrey Katzenberg and pitched him a story about medical students, and shared his personal story about being greatly influenced by a teacher who had died. Katzenberg offered Rosenman a development deal with Disney. However, the first screenplay for the film was rejected, but after rewrites from Mark Spragg, and, later, Ron Nyswaner, the project was ... More Less

The 8 Mar 1989 DV announced that Dolly Parton and Sandy Gallin’s Sandollar Productions was in development with Disney/Touchstone Pictures to produce Gross Anatomy, with an anticipated start date in Apr 1989. Howard Rosenman, co-head of film production at Sandollar, was noted as the producer, and the story was based on Rosenman’s medical school experiences.
       Principal photography began on 1 May 1989 in Los Angeles, CA, according to the 6 Jun 1989 HR production chart.
       Production notes in AMPAS library files list additional CA locations in San Pedro, and Canyon Country, where a motel and truck stop were used for filming. Queen of Angels Hospital served as “St. Stephen’s Hospital,” the University of Southern California (USC) stood in for “Chandler University,” and the film’s anatomy lab was created on a sound stage at Walt Disney studios. According to production notes, the film utilized sixteen cadavers, reproduced by a team of medical experts and special effects artists.
       USC public relations director, Anita Goldstein, praised the film’s cast and crew, in the 20 Jun 1989 DV, for their “exemplary conduct” during their six weeks of filming on campus.
       According to the 20 Oct 1989 HR, the the $8.5 million picture got its start five years earlier when producer Howard Rosenman met with Disney president Jeffrey Katzenberg and pitched him a story about medical students, and shared his personal story about being greatly influenced by a teacher who had died. Katzenberg offered Rosenman a development deal with Disney. However, the first screenplay for the film was rejected, but after rewrites from Mark Spragg, and, later, Ron Nyswaner, the project was finally green-lit.
       The Dec 1989 Box reported $2.8 million in opening weekend ticket sales.
       End credits include the following acknowledgments: “Special Thanks To: Anita Goldstein, Mariangela Asenjo, National Healthcare & Hospital Supply.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Dec 1989.
---
Daily Variety
8 Mar 1989
p. 34, 39.
Daily Variety
20 Jun 1989.
---
Daily Variety
18 Oct 1989
p. 2, 15.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jun 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
18 Oct 1989
p. 4, 24.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Oct 1989.
---
Los Angeles Times
20 Oct 1989
p. 12.
New York Times
20 Oct 1989
p. 17.
Variety
25 Oct 1989
pp. 29-30.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Touchstone Pictures presents
in association with Silver Screen Partners IV
A Hill/Rosenman Production
A Thom Eberhardt Film
Produced In Association With Sandollar Productions
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
DGA trainee
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Best boy elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
ART DIRECTORS
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Prop master
Asst prop master
Set des
Const coord
Const foreman
Greensman
Leadman
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Costumer
MUSIC
Mus ed
Mus scoring mixer
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd eff asst
Sd eff asst
Sd eff asst
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Autopsy cadavers created by
Autopsy cadavers created by
Cadaver consultant
Titles and opticals by
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Scr supv
Prod coord
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst to Mr. Eberhardt
Asst to Ms. Hill
Asst to Mr. Rosenman
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod accountant
1st asst accountant
Medical tech adv/Illustrator
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Extras casting
STAND INS
ADR voice group
ADR voice group
ADR voice group
ADR voice group
ADR voice group
ADR voice group
ADR voice group
ADR voice group
ADR voice group
ADR voice group
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Burnin',” written by Larry Hester and Terry Quinn, performed by Rebel Faction
Mozart: “Overture From ‘Marriage Of Figaro’,” as arranged and performed by Lee Ashley, courtesy of Capitol Production Music/Ole Georg
“Piano With Rhythm,” written and performed by Les Peel, courtesy of Capitol Production Music/Ole Georg
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SONGS
“Burnin',” written by Larry Hester and Terry Quinn, performed by Rebel Faction
Mozart: “Overture From ‘Marriage Of Figaro’,” as arranged and performed by Lee Ashley, courtesy of Capitol Production Music/Ole Georg
“Piano With Rhythm,” written and performed by Les Peel, courtesy of Capitol Production Music/Ole Georg
“She Drives Me Crazy,” written by David Steele and Roland Gift, performed by Fine Young Cannibals, courtesy of MCA Records/I.R.S. Records and London Records
“White Flag,” written by Michael Sherwood and David Young, performed by Michael Sherwood
“Blue Moon Revisited (Song for Elvis),” written by Margo & Michael Timmins and Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart, performed by Cowboy Junkies, courtesy of RCA Records
Mozart: “Flute Quartet, K. 298 Minuet,” as arranged and performed by Les Peel, courtesy of Capitol Production Music/Ole Georg
“David's Theme,” written by Todd Field
“Take A Better Look At Yourself,” written by Kevin Dever and Dale Chadwick, performed by Roadwork
“Jingle Bell Rock,” written by Joseph Beal and James Boothe, performed by Bobby Helms, courtesy of Dominion Entertainment, Inc.
“It Won't Be Love 'Til We Make It,” written and performed by Sam Hogin and Byron Gallimore
“If I Give My Heart To You,” written by Jimmy Crane, Al Jacobs and Jimmy Brewster, performed by Doris Day, courtesy of CBS Records, Music Licensing Department
“I'll Be There,” written by Mickey Thomas, Craig Chaquico and Steven Diamond, performed by Starship, courtesy of RCA Records.
+
PERFORMERS
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
20 October 1989
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 20 October 1989
Production Date:
began 1 May 1989
Copyright Claimant:
Touchstone Pictures, a.a.d.o. the Walt Disney Company
Copyright Date:
20 October 1989
Copyright Number:
PA432597
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
108
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29963
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Joe Slovak interviews at several medical schools, and returns to work alongside his fisherman father. Sometime later, his mother, younger brother, Frankie, and Aunt Rose race to the dock when a letter from a university arrives, and Joe announces that he has been accepted to a medical school. He moves into his dorm room, and meets his roommate and fellow med student, David Schreiner. Joe causes a scene when he arrives late to orientation, and attracts the attention of classmate, Laurie Rorbach. Dr. Rachel Woodruff warns the students to leave immediately if they are not prepared to dissect human cadavers on a daily basis. The students attend their Gross Anatomy class, where they receive their lab group and cadaver assignments from professor Dr. Jeffrey Banumbra. Joe is teamed with his roommate David, Laurie Rorbach, Kim McCauley, and Miles Reed. When Joe makes a joke with their cadaver, Dr. Woodruff chastises him. After class, the group goes to dinner together, where Miles shares his annoyance with Joe over his classroom antics. Joe drives Laurie home, and she denies his request to be invited in. Over time, the students immerse themselves in their studies. When Joe ignores class rules and prepares to dissect a part of the cadaver they have not yet been assigned, Dr. Woodruff reprimands him, and challenges him to answer a complex medical question, with his answer determining the grade for his whole group. Miles Reed asks to be reassigned to another group. However, the next day, Joe answers the question correctly, and impresses his lab mates. Sometime later, Joe gets a work-study job at the University hospital, and is quickly noticed by Dr. Banks. Joe asks Laurie ... +


Joe Slovak interviews at several medical schools, and returns to work alongside his fisherman father. Sometime later, his mother, younger brother, Frankie, and Aunt Rose race to the dock when a letter from a university arrives, and Joe announces that he has been accepted to a medical school. He moves into his dorm room, and meets his roommate and fellow med student, David Schreiner. Joe causes a scene when he arrives late to orientation, and attracts the attention of classmate, Laurie Rorbach. Dr. Rachel Woodruff warns the students to leave immediately if they are not prepared to dissect human cadavers on a daily basis. The students attend their Gross Anatomy class, where they receive their lab group and cadaver assignments from professor Dr. Jeffrey Banumbra. Joe is teamed with his roommate David, Laurie Rorbach, Kim McCauley, and Miles Reed. When Joe makes a joke with their cadaver, Dr. Woodruff chastises him. After class, the group goes to dinner together, where Miles shares his annoyance with Joe over his classroom antics. Joe drives Laurie home, and she denies his request to be invited in. Over time, the students immerse themselves in their studies. When Joe ignores class rules and prepares to dissect a part of the cadaver they have not yet been assigned, Dr. Woodruff reprimands him, and challenges him to answer a complex medical question, with his answer determining the grade for his whole group. Miles Reed asks to be reassigned to another group. However, the next day, Joe answers the question correctly, and impresses his lab mates. Sometime later, Joe gets a work-study job at the University hospital, and is quickly noticed by Dr. Banks. Joe asks Laurie out, but she again rejects him. He forgoes his solo study sessions and shows up for his friends’ study group. When they go to a motel in the country to hold an intense study session, the others are called away, and Joe and Laurie find themselves alone. Laurie shares how important medical school is to her, and worries that Joe will become a distraction. However, she kisses him, and they make love. During the Gross Anatomy final, David Schreiner motions to Joe for an answer, and Dr. Woodruff sees Joe show his test to David. The students nervously await their results before Christmas break. When they are posted, Joe is instructed to see Dr. Woodruff. He denies sharing test answers with David, and although Joe scored “84%,” Dr. Woodruff is disappointed that he is content being “average.” Joe meets Laurie in a bar, where they dance together, and he asks to see her again. She declines, and Joe is surprised when Laurie’s “friend,” Jerry Fanning Forrester, arrives with cocktails in hand, and Laurie explains that Jerry is driving her home for Christmas break. Joe becomes angry, and dances with a girl named Luann, whom he takes back to him room. They roll around on the floor and kiss, as David studies nearby. When he becomes annoyed and leaves, Joe follows his friend to the hallway and apologizes. David is upset because he did poorly on his final, and Joe questions him about the amphetamines he found in their room. David tells him to mind his own business. In time, the students begin their second semester, and Laurie tells Joe that she broke up with Jerry, but needs time to focus on her studies. Joe is hurt, and distances himself from her. As their classes become more difficult, David and Joe both fail an exam. Joe takes Dr. Woodruff up on her offer to complete an extra-credit research project, diagnosing a patient’s case. He surmises that the patient has Lupus, and that the prognosis is grim. Meanwhile, David’s drug use increases, and he collapses in class. When David is expelled from school, Joe chastises Dean Torrence for his harsh punishment, and threatens to quit himself. Dr. Woodruff pleads with Joe to reconsider, but he leaves school and returns home, where his parents wait patiently for an explanation. When two-weeks pass and Joe has not returned to class, Laurie visits him and begs him to come back. However, an argument ensues, and she accuses him of being a quitter. Joe insists he does not really care about becoming a doctor. He embraces Laurie, and thanks her for her concern. She promises to return after her final exams, and before leaving, tells him that Dr. Woodruff is in the hospital with kidney failure, and may have Lupus. Joe is stunned, and realizes that the case file Dr. Woodruff assigned him was her own. Soon after, Joe visits Dr. Woodruff at her home, and yells at her for hiding the truth. She tells him that she struggles trying to turn good students into good doctors, and insists that the world needs more “healers” than doctors. Dr. Woodruff reveals that the Dean has agreed to let Joe return to school, but he refuses. Joe demands to know what she expects of him, and Dr. Woodruff expresses her desire that he strive to be greater than he thinks possible. Afterward, Joe returns to class. Laurie, Miles Reed, and Kim McCauley welcome him back to their group, and they begin studying for their final exams. They return to the motel in the country for a weekend cram session, where the heavily pregnant Kim goes into labor. On the way to the hospital, her contractions intensify, and they are forced to stop at a roadside café, where Joe and Laurie deliver her baby girl. They return to class just in time for their Gross Anatomy final, and Joe asks Dr. Banumbra to give a letter to Dr. Woodruff for him, in which he shares his renewed enthusiasm for medicine after helping Kim deliver her baby. However, after the exam, Dr. Banumbra delivers the sad news that Dr. Woodruff has died. Before summer break, Joe asks to continue working at the hospital. Later, Laurie gives Joe his impressive final results, and flirts with him. However, Joe teases her, and bids her farewell for the summer. Moments later, he chases Laurie outside, and they share a passionate kiss. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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