Bad Medicine (1985)

PG-13 | 96-97 mins | Comedy | 22 November 1985

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HISTORY

End credits list Samuelson's London (camera equipment), and Fotofilm Madrid S.A (film lab), as contributors. End credits also contain the statement: "Filmed entirely on location in Spain."
       According to a 23 Nov 1985 Screen International article, writer-director Harvey Miller, a former “humor” writer for President Jimmy Carter, spent seven years writing the script for his directorial debut, Bad Medicine. He initiated the project after reading Steve Horowitz and Neil Offen’s 1977 book, Calling Dr. Horowitz, which included a chapter about Horowitz’s experience at a foreign medical school. A 27 Nov 1985 HR article stated that the property was first acquired by Lorimar, but the studio rejected Miller’s first draft and fired him from the company. Just one year after the book’s publication, a 2 Feb 1978 HR article announced that the film, then titled Calling Dr. Horowitz, was set to be produced by the television company, Henry Jaffe Entertainment. Jaffe had recently negotiated a development deal with Columbia Pictures, but planned to produce Calling Dr. Horowitz independently with a $4 million budget, financed by private investors. Henry Jaffe’s son, Michael Jaffe, and Tim Zinnemann were listed as producers, but Zinnemann did not remain with the project and Michael Jaffe is credited onscreen as co-executive producer, with Myles Osterneck.
       As stated in Screen International, Miller took time away from the project after writing the first draft to co-write and co-produce Private Benjamin (1980, see entry). The picture earned him an Academy Award in the category Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen).
       The 2 ... More Less

End credits list Samuelson's London (camera equipment), and Fotofilm Madrid S.A (film lab), as contributors. End credits also contain the statement: "Filmed entirely on location in Spain."
       According to a 23 Nov 1985 Screen International article, writer-director Harvey Miller, a former “humor” writer for President Jimmy Carter, spent seven years writing the script for his directorial debut, Bad Medicine. He initiated the project after reading Steve Horowitz and Neil Offen’s 1977 book, Calling Dr. Horowitz, which included a chapter about Horowitz’s experience at a foreign medical school. A 27 Nov 1985 HR article stated that the property was first acquired by Lorimar, but the studio rejected Miller’s first draft and fired him from the company. Just one year after the book’s publication, a 2 Feb 1978 HR article announced that the film, then titled Calling Dr. Horowitz, was set to be produced by the television company, Henry Jaffe Entertainment. Jaffe had recently negotiated a development deal with Columbia Pictures, but planned to produce Calling Dr. Horowitz independently with a $4 million budget, financed by private investors. Henry Jaffe’s son, Michael Jaffe, and Tim Zinnemann were listed as producers, but Zinnemann did not remain with the project and Michael Jaffe is credited onscreen as co-executive producer, with Myles Osterneck.
       As stated in Screen International, Miller took time away from the project after writing the first draft to co-write and co-produce Private Benjamin (1980, see entry). The picture earned him an Academy Award in the category Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen).
       The 2 Feb 1978 HR noted that Miller eventually completed the Bad Medicine script with the financial support of Osterneck and Jaffe, who then convinced producers Alex Winitsky and Arlene Sellers of Lantana Productions to option the property. In turn, Lantana secured the casting of actor Steve Guttenberg and enlisted the backing of Twentienth Century-Fox Film Corp.
       The 27 Nov 1985 HR claimed preproduction was almost immobilized when the filmmakers were unable to find suitable locations in Mexico, but they eventually settled on a remote Mexican village. However, studio production notes in AMPAS library files and HR production charts on 5 Mar 1985 stated that principal photography was centered entirely in Spain, beginning 4 Feb 1985. A 31 Mar 1985 LAT article explained the production shifted from Mexico to Spain due to “exorbitant union demands,” although there was a favorable currency exchange rate. While production charts listed the Spanish locations of Lorca, Murcia, and Madrid, the 31 Mar 1985 LAT reported that the $8 million picture was currently filming in Iberia. Screen International, which listed the budget as $6.5 million, added that the filmmakers hired a predominantly English crew due to language barriers, but also used Spanish workers because they did not report to unions. A 23 Mar 1985 Screen International news item noted that filming ended 3 Apr 1985.
       One week into production, Miller told the 11 Feb 1985 DV that the picture was written without profanities or nudity to receive a Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) G-rating, but Bad Medicine was released on 22 Nov 1985 rated PG-13. A 16 Jul 1985 HR column stated that the film was initially designated as a summer release, with an opening date of 9 Aug 1985, but Twentieth Century-Fox’s Key Exchange (1985, see entry) was released in its place. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
11 Feb 1985.
---
Daily Variety
8 Mar 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Feb 1978
p. 1, 4.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Mar 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jul 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 Nov 1985
p. 3, 12.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Nov 1985.
---
Los Angeles Times
31 Mar 1985.
---
Los Angeles Times
22 Nov 1985
Calendar, p. 17.
New York Times
22 Nov 1985
p. 15.
Screen International
23 Mar 1985.
---
Screen International
23 Nov 1985
p. 159.
Variety
13 Nov 1985
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Lantana Production
Filmed entirely on location in Spain
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr/1st asst dir
Prod mgr, Spanish crew
Asst dir, Spanish crew
2d asst dir, Spanish crew
2d asst dir, Spanish crew
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Exec prod
Co-exec prod
Co-exec prod
WRITER
Scr story and scr by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Sketch artist
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Sketch artist
Const coord
Prop master
Leadman
Asst set dresser
Painter
Props man
Set dressing asst
Set dressing asst
COSTUMES
Cost des
Men's costumer
Women's costumer
Seamstress/dresser
MUSIC
Mus ed
Scoring mixer
SOUND
Sd mixer
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Sd ed
Sd ed
ADR ed
Boom man
Sd transfer
VISUAL EFFECTS
MAKEUP
Spec makeup created by
Spec makeup created by
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting, New York, Feuer & Ritzer, Inc.
Casting, Los Angeles
Casting, London
Casting, London
Scr supv
Transportation coord
Loc consultant
Extra casting
Prod coord
Unit pub
Auditor
Asst to the prods
Asst to the prods
Prod coord
Prod secy
Auditor
Harvey Miller's secy
Casting asst, United Kingdom
Transportation
Driver
Cook
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the book Calling Dr. Horowitz by Steve Horowitz and Neil Offen (New York, 1977).
SONGS
"Madera, Madera," music and lyrics by Harvey Miller
"La Bonita Noche," music and lyrics by Harvey Miller
"Proud Mary," performed by Ike and Tina Turner, courtesy of EMI America Records, a division of Capitol Records, Inc.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Calling Dr. Horowitz
Release Date:
22 November 1985
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 22 November 1985
Production Date:
4 February--3 April 1985 in Spain
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Copyright Date:
19 December 1985
Copyright Number:
PA276000
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® Cameras by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
96-97
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Countries:
Spain, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
27765
SYNOPSIS

Medical school applicant, Jeff Marx, has been repeatedly rejected much to the dismay of his father, Dr. Gerald Marx. However, Jeff is unsure if he really wants to be a doctor. Still, Jeff’s father secures his enrollment at the Madera Universidad De Medicina, in Central America. Sometime later, Jeff arrives at his cockroach-infested dormitory and learns from his fellow American student, Cookie Katz, that the school has poor facilities. Jeff and another foreign student, Dennis Gladstone, attend orientation and learn school policies. In the cafeteria, the friends meet Carlos, a student from the Bronx, New York, who poses as a local to avoid the foreign student fees. Jeff then realizes that the school is a sham. When the school director, a lonely widower with a cold exterior, Dr. Ramon Madera, arrives, he is mesmerized by American student Liz Parker, who causes him to faint with longing. Jeff invites Liz for coffee, but she declines. Jeff struggles to follow his courses because they are taught in Spanish. When Dr. Madera learns from his assistant, Gomez, that the American students do not take the institution seriously, he announces an early examination. Dennis offers Jeff amphetamines to get through a night of studying, but when the drugs keep him awake all night, he sleepily sits in the wrong seat in class. Jeff is marked absent even though he finishes the exam. Dr. Madera refuses to overlook the error, and throws Jeff’s exam in the trash. Later, Dr. Madera sends the students to the countryside to tend to rural patients. Jeff voices concern that they are not yet ... +


Medical school applicant, Jeff Marx, has been repeatedly rejected much to the dismay of his father, Dr. Gerald Marx. However, Jeff is unsure if he really wants to be a doctor. Still, Jeff’s father secures his enrollment at the Madera Universidad De Medicina, in Central America. Sometime later, Jeff arrives at his cockroach-infested dormitory and learns from his fellow American student, Cookie Katz, that the school has poor facilities. Jeff and another foreign student, Dennis Gladstone, attend orientation and learn school policies. In the cafeteria, the friends meet Carlos, a student from the Bronx, New York, who poses as a local to avoid the foreign student fees. Jeff then realizes that the school is a sham. When the school director, a lonely widower with a cold exterior, Dr. Ramon Madera, arrives, he is mesmerized by American student Liz Parker, who causes him to faint with longing. Jeff invites Liz for coffee, but she declines. Jeff struggles to follow his courses because they are taught in Spanish. When Dr. Madera learns from his assistant, Gomez, that the American students do not take the institution seriously, he announces an early examination. Dennis offers Jeff amphetamines to get through a night of studying, but when the drugs keep him awake all night, he sleepily sits in the wrong seat in class. Jeff is marked absent even though he finishes the exam. Dr. Madera refuses to overlook the error, and throws Jeff’s exam in the trash. Later, Dr. Madera sends the students to the countryside to tend to rural patients. Jeff voices concern that they are not yet qualified doctors, and realizes the outing is a publicity stunt. A local man escorts Dennis and Jeff to his sick father, and the old man dies in their presence, prompting the son to shoot Jeff in the leg. The other students do their best to treat the locals, but are told by Dr. Madera’s assistant, Gomez, that they have no medication or bandages. Liz, with her previous nurse’s training, treats Jeff's gunshot wound. Later, the students conspire to protest the school’s lack of proper medical supplies, and Liz approaches Dr. Madera with their concerns, but he refuses to help. Back at the dormitory, Jeff packs his suitcase to return home, but Liz chides him for not caring about the poor and needy. She then explains her plan to steal the medication and return to the countryside. Moved by her efforts, Jeff decides to stay and help. Sometime later, the students successfully procure the medication, return to the pueblo, and begin treating patients. Meanwhile, Gomez reports to Dr. Madera that the American students are missing. Though they return to class the next day, Dr. Madera is jealous that Liz is fraternizing with male students, and orders the students to take additional exams. Jeff and friends continue studying and treating the poor. He and Liz become lovers. Dr. Madera still harbors feelings for the girl and forces her to go on a date. Elsewhere, in the countryside, a woman in labor comes to Jeff, and he sends for Liz to help deliver the baby. Moments before Dr. Madera announces his marriage proposal, Liz flees the restaurant to assist Jeff. She arrives to discover Jeff has successfully delivered the baby on his own and the couple kiss in celebration. Later, Dr. Madera learns that the students have been stealing medical supplies and calls Liz to his office. He confronts her for the theft, then proposes. Although he threatens to expel Liz and her friends unless she agrees to the marriage, she refuses. Later, Jeff confronts Dr. Madera with a gun, ordering him to let the American students stay in school. Jeff's father, Dr. Gerald Marx, makes an unexpected visit during the confrontation and tries to bribe Dr. Madera with money. Dr. Madera is offended and orders Jeff and Dr. Marx to be taken away by the police. On the way to the police station, Jeff's father suffers abdominal pains and Jeff directs the policeman to the makeshift hospital in the countryside where his friends await. Jeff and his fellow students treat Dr. Marx and diagnose him with food poisoning. Dr. Madera arrives and oversees the students. He is impressed by their expertise and, as he leaves, the poor residents beg him to keep the student-run clinic open. Gomez appeals to Dr. Madera to use the opportunity for publicity and to give his name credibility. As Jeff is returned to the police car, Dr. Marx tells his son he is proud. Dr. Madera announces that the students may return to school, and the locals and students celebrate their victory. +

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

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