Article 99 (1992)

R | 100 mins | Comedy-drama | 13 March 1992

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HISTORY

The 13 Mar 1992 LAT review noted the title of the film, Article 99, refers to a “fictional but reality-based regulation” that denies veterans full medical benefits if they cannot prove their ailments are specifically related to military service.
       An item in the 16 Nov 1990 DV noted the filmmakers had been discreetly doing research at a Kansas City, MO, Veterans’ Hospital. According to producer Michael I. Levy, when the hospital administration learned what the film’s story was about, their cooperation ceased. Levy noted, however, that Kansas City Mayor Richard Berkley was “very supportive” of the production, which was budgeted at $20 million. To create the fictional Memorial Heights Veterans’ Hospital, the production leased three floors in an older wing of the Trinity Lutheran Hospital, and the 12 Oct 1990 DV reported that principal photography began 8 Oct 1990 in Kansas City.
       The 23 Mar 1992 People noted that the characters portrayed by actors Kiefer Sutherland and Lea Thompson continually flirt, but never kiss. Thompson acknowledged there were love scenes between the two characters in the original script, but they were cut because she and director, Howard Deutch, were expecting a child and she was seven months pregnant by the time the film was shot.
       Article 99 marked the final film of actress Julie Bovasso, who died on 14 Sep 1991.
       The 13 Jan 1992 Var reported that Orion Pictures was in the middle of “bankruptcy restructuring steps,” which caused a delay in the release dates of two films, Article 99 and Shadows and Fog (1992, see ... More Less

The 13 Mar 1992 LAT review noted the title of the film, Article 99, refers to a “fictional but reality-based regulation” that denies veterans full medical benefits if they cannot prove their ailments are specifically related to military service.
       An item in the 16 Nov 1990 DV noted the filmmakers had been discreetly doing research at a Kansas City, MO, Veterans’ Hospital. According to producer Michael I. Levy, when the hospital administration learned what the film’s story was about, their cooperation ceased. Levy noted, however, that Kansas City Mayor Richard Berkley was “very supportive” of the production, which was budgeted at $20 million. To create the fictional Memorial Heights Veterans’ Hospital, the production leased three floors in an older wing of the Trinity Lutheran Hospital, and the 12 Oct 1990 DV reported that principal photography began 8 Oct 1990 in Kansas City.
       The 23 Mar 1992 People noted that the characters portrayed by actors Kiefer Sutherland and Lea Thompson continually flirt, but never kiss. Thompson acknowledged there were love scenes between the two characters in the original script, but they were cut because she and director, Howard Deutch, were expecting a child and she was seven months pregnant by the time the film was shot.
       Article 99 marked the final film of actress Julie Bovasso, who died on 14 Sep 1991.
       The 13 Jan 1992 Var reported that Orion Pictures was in the middle of “bankruptcy restructuring steps,” which caused a delay in the release dates of two films, Article 99 and Shadows and Fog (1992, see entry). The 1 Feb 1992 LAT reported that the federal bankruptcy court handling Orion’s Chapter 11 proceedings gave the studio permission to distribute both films. The 12 Feb 1992 HR noted that Article 99 performed strongly in test screenings. Michael Kaiser, Orion’s marketing president, stated that the company felt they had a “strong commercial movie,” and convinced their new “partners,” including the banks and the creditors’ committee, to fund the film’s 13 Mar 1992 release on 1,200 to 1,400 screens. A world premiere was scheduled for 26 Feb 1992 in Washington, D.C., hosted by Congressman Lane Evans, chair of the House Subcommittee on Veterans’ Affairs, with additional premieres in New York, Los Angeles, CA, and Kansas City, MO.
       End credits include the following statements: “The producers wish to thank Mayor Richard Berkley, The Missouri Film Commission and the Citizens of Kansas City, Missouri for their participation and cooperation in the making of this motion picture”; and, “Special thanks to: Arun Chervu, M.D.; Edward Passaro, M.D.; Captain Lloyd A. DeGraffenreid and the Kansas City SWAT Team; Health Resource Corporation; Earl Herbert; Mark McPhee, M.D.; the operating staff of Trinity Lutheran Hospital; James Russell, M.D.; Luke Sammons; Rick Vogel; Xenotech Lighting, Inc."
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
12 Oct 1990.
---
Daily Variety
16 Nov 1990
p. 2.
Daily Variety
9 Mar 1992
p. 2, 12.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Feb 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
1 Feb 1992.
---
Los Angeles Times
13 Mar 1992
p. 16.
New York Times
13 Mar 1992
p. 10.
People
23 Mar 1992.
---
Variety
13 Jan 1992.
---
Variety
9 Mar 1992
p. 54.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
a Gruskoff/Levy Company production
a film by Howard Deutch
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
1st asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Steadicam op
Rigging gaffer
Best boy elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Grip
Elec
Still photog
Dir of photog, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
Cam systems by
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dept coord
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set des
Set dec
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Asst to const coord
Const foreman
Lead carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Carpenter
Paint foreman
Painter
Mold maker
Laborer
Lead scenic painter
Head scenic artist
COSTUMES
Cost des
Key costumer
Cost supv
Ward asst
Ward asst
MUSIC
Mus ed
Asst mus ed
Mus scoring mixer
Music cond
Music contractor
Mus preparation
Mus scoring rec
Asst mixdown engineer
Mus scoring facility
Mus supv
Mus supv
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Sd eff
Supv sd ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
ADR ed
Sd eff ed
Foley ed
Asst sd ed
Sd des
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley rec
ADR rec
Voice casting
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec rec
Re-rec machine op
Re-rec facilities
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Spec eff asst
Opticals
Title des
DANCE
MAKEUP
Key hair stylist & key makeup asst
Key makeup artist
1st asst makeup and hair
Eff makeup artist
Makeup eff created and des by
Makeup eff created and des by, Kevin Yagher Produc
Makeup eff created and des by, Kevin Yagher Produc
Makeup eff created and des by, Kevin Yagher Produc
Makeup eff created and des by, Kevin Yagher Produc
Makeup eff created and des by, Kevin Yagher Produc
Makeup eff created and des by, Kevin Yagher Produc
Makeup eff created and des by, Kevin Yagher Produc
Makeup eft created and des by, Kevin Yagher Produc
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Cableman
Scr supv
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Prod accountant
Post prod supv
Post prod supv
Asst to the prods
Asst to Howard Deutch
Asst to Howard Deutch
Prod secy
Unit pub
Loc mgr
Casting assoc
Missouri extras and loc casting
Extras casting asst
Asst prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Disbursing agent
Post prod accountant
Key medical tech adv
Addl med tech adv
Surgical adv
First aid
First aid
Sign maker
Storyboard artist
Video asst op
Asst to Kiefer Sutherland
Transportation coord
Driver captain
Prod van driver
Chapman crane driver
Driver
Driver
Key set prod asst
Addl key prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod and post prod asst
Landscape des
Craft services
Dolby stereo consultant
Completion guarantee
Payroll services and accounting systems
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
DETAILS
Release Date:
13 March 1992
Premiere Information:
Washington, D.C., premiere: 26 February 1992
Los Angeles and New York openings: 13 March 1992
Production Date:
began 8 October 1990
Physical Properties:
Sound
Spectral recording Dolby Stereo® in selected theatres
Color
Prints
Prints by De Luxe®
Duration(in mins):
100
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Pat Travis, a veteran in need of heart surgery, arrives at the Veterans Administration (V.A.) Hospital, expecting medical treatment. However, the hospital is managed by Dr. Henry Dreyfoos, a bureaucrat more concerned with cost-cutting than patients. He vehemently enforces the recent “Article 99” directive that declares unless a veteran’s condition is something directly related to military service, it cannot be treated at a V.A. hospital. However, Dr. Richard Sturgess leads a team of surgeons, including Dr. Sid Handleman, Dr. Rudy Bobrick, and Dr. Robin Van Dorn, who are determined to help veterans, even if it requires subterfuge or theft of hospital supplies. As Pat Travis maneuvers through the crowded lobby, he meets Luther Jerome, a wheelchair-bound-veteran, who guides him to the proper line, but warns of the Article 99 directive. Travis is quickly told to go home while they review his case. Outside, Travis meets “Shooter” Polaski, a veteran diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder who was issued an Article 99 denial of benefits. Shooter drives his truck into the building, whips out an automatic weapon, and starts shooting. As people panic, Luther Jerome telephones his media contacts, and Dr. Sturgess and his team race to the scene. Dr. Diana Walton, a psychiatrist who recently joined the hospital, also joins them, but Sturgess asks her to step back because she has little experience dealing with this type of situation. As Sturgess distracts Shooter Polaski, his team sneaks behind the man and shocks him. They tranquilize Shooter as Luther Jerome takes his weapon to save him from facing gun charges. Meanwhile, it is Dr. Peter Morgan’s first ... +


Pat Travis, a veteran in need of heart surgery, arrives at the Veterans Administration (V.A.) Hospital, expecting medical treatment. However, the hospital is managed by Dr. Henry Dreyfoos, a bureaucrat more concerned with cost-cutting than patients. He vehemently enforces the recent “Article 99” directive that declares unless a veteran’s condition is something directly related to military service, it cannot be treated at a V.A. hospital. However, Dr. Richard Sturgess leads a team of surgeons, including Dr. Sid Handleman, Dr. Rudy Bobrick, and Dr. Robin Van Dorn, who are determined to help veterans, even if it requires subterfuge or theft of hospital supplies. As Pat Travis maneuvers through the crowded lobby, he meets Luther Jerome, a wheelchair-bound-veteran, who guides him to the proper line, but warns of the Article 99 directive. Travis is quickly told to go home while they review his case. Outside, Travis meets “Shooter” Polaski, a veteran diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder who was issued an Article 99 denial of benefits. Shooter drives his truck into the building, whips out an automatic weapon, and starts shooting. As people panic, Luther Jerome telephones his media contacts, and Dr. Sturgess and his team race to the scene. Dr. Diana Walton, a psychiatrist who recently joined the hospital, also joins them, but Sturgess asks her to step back because she has little experience dealing with this type of situation. As Sturgess distracts Shooter Polaski, his team sneaks behind the man and shocks him. They tranquilize Shooter as Luther Jerome takes his weapon to save him from facing gun charges. Meanwhile, it is Dr. Peter Morgan’s first day on staff, and he enters the lobby as Travis returns and collapses from a heart attack. Morgan tries to help Travis, but he panics and Sturgess rushes to save Travis. As Sturgess wheels Travis inside, he tells a reporter that the administration is only concerned with saving money and it is difficult to admit patients for treatment. Later, as Sturgess, his team, and Dr. Morgan take a break, Sturgess suggests they institute a “midnight special” requisition run to get supplies for their patients. Morgan refuses to join them, insisting he wants to keep his record clean. Dr. Robin Van Dorn is contemptuous of Morgan, insisting that he will accelerate his internship at the V.A. hospital so he can move quickly into a lucrative private practice. Morgan defends his plan, and sees nothing wrong with wanting to be in a better situation. Wearing surgical masks to disguise themselves, Sturgess, Handleman, and Bobrick steal supplies from the well-equipped animal laboratory. When Dreyfoos learns of the theft, he is furious, and insists he will catch Sturgess someday. Dr. Morgan is assigned to patient Sam Abrams, and learns about “Gomers,” which is short for “get out of my exam room,” and refers to discharged patients who are “turfed” by Sturgess’s team to various departments. The doctors try to keep the “gomers” hidden in the hospital until surgery can be approved. Dr. Diana Walton is upset to learn that her patients are being discharged without her knowledge, and Sturgess helps her learn how to “turf” them. She is grateful to him, and later, they make love. Meanwhile, as Dr. Morgan helps Sam Abrams, he learns the widower is a World War II hero, and was awarded a Silver Star. Dreyfoos calls Morgan to his office, and makes certain that Morgan overhears a conversation regarding a shipment of equipment. Dreyfoos offends Morgan by promising a successful career if the young doctor will spy on Sturgess. When Morgan passes along the shipment information, Dreyfoos records Sturgess, Handleman, and Bobrick stealing equipment for their patients. He orders Sturgess to place himself under voluntary suspension, and to plead guilty to all charges Dreyfoos brings against him. Sturgess agrees, in exchange for the tape and a written statement exempting his friends. Before leaving, Sturgess advises his colleagues to let the situation calm down so Dreyfoos will feel victorious. Morgan is distraught when Sam Abrams dies, and is the sole attendant at Sam’s burial. Later, Morgan sees the camera in Pathology, realizes it was a set-up, and steals the tape from Dreyfoos’s office. He gives the tape to Sturgess and they devise a plan. That night, they return to the hospital, where Luther Jerome is armed and ready for action. Luther declares that there is enough food to last a week, the backup generators are full, he has alerted the media, and his friends have arrived to guard the front entrance. An intercom announcement orders security guards to assemble outside, and Luther’s men lock the doors. Sturgess and Morgan assemble the doctors and nurses, gather supplies, and start performing surgeries. Luther and his fellow wheelchair-bound veterans chain themselves together as Dreyfoos arrives. He orders security guards to break through the protestors, but the guards refuse. Police insist the hospital is under federal jurisdiction and they have no authority. Twenty-fours hours into the siege, the Inspector General arrives. Luther declares they will not surrender, and Dreyfoos wants federal officers to “plow through” Luther and his men. However, the Inspector General disagrees. The doctors are given two hours to evacuate before federal marshals breach the building. Evacuating nurses and doctors join the protest outside. Inside, Travis almost dies and is rushed into surgery. Morgan operates on Travis while Sturgess goes downstairs where Luther is ready for a gunfight. Sturgess insists violence is not the answer, and promises Luther their protest will make a difference. They let the Inspector General inside. Dreyfoos tries to stop Travis’s surgery, not caring if the veteran dies. The Inspector General is disgusted by the bureaucrat’s behavior and advises Dreyfoos to get a lawyer for the Congressional hearing he will soon face. Travis survives the operation. Morgan chooses to stay at the hospital, joining Sturgess’s team as they welcome a new hospital administrator. +

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

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