Extreme Measures

For the DS9 episode, see Extreme Measures (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine). For the novel by Vince Flynn, see Extreme Measures (novel).
Extreme Measures

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Michael Apted
Produced by Elizabeth Hurley
Screenplay by Tony Gilroy
Based on Extreme Measures by Michael Palmer
Music by Danny Elfman
Cinematography John Bailey
Edited by Rick Shaine
Distributed by Columbia Pictures (US)
Rank (UK)[2]
Release dates
  • September 27, 1996 (1996-09-27) (US & CAN)
  • January 31, 1997 (1997-01-31) (UK & IRL)
Running time
118 minutes
Country United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Budget $38 million
Box office $17,380,126

Extreme Measures is a 1996 American crime thriller film based on Michael Palmer's 1991 novel of the same name, dealing with the ethics of medical sacrifices.


Dr. Guy Luthan (Hugh Grant) is a New York emergency room doctor who one night comes across a strange patient: a homeless man who has a wristband from a hospital he's not familiar with, mentioning a drug he's never heard of, and with strange symptoms, including a wildly fluctuating heart rate. When the man dies, Guy attempts to follow up and find out more about the patient - only to find that the body and all records have disappeared, and he's told by his superiors to drop the case.

As he continues trying to find out what happened, Guy's personal and professional life get suddenly sidetracked. His home is ransacked and cocaine is planted near his bedside. The police arrest him and he is convicted and in the process he loses his job, the ability to ever practice medicine anywhere in the world and virtually all of his friends. In desperation, he manages to get the help of some homeless men who lead him to their underground home. His ER patient who died also had lived there. Through them he's led to an organization, led by neurosurgeon Dr. Lawrence Myrick (Gene Hackman), that performs spinal experiments on the homeless people, all of whom have died thus far, in an attempt to find a cure for paralysis.

Dr. Myrick attempts to sway Guy to join his team telling him that these people are heroes and losing one to save millions is worth the sacrifice. Guy admits that while there is some truth in what Myrick says, he states they have not chosen to be heroes, which makes Myrick a murderer. Dr. Myrick is shot and accidentally killed by rogue FBI Agent Frank Hare (David Morse). Later, Mrs. Myrick hands the discs and documentation regarding the research to Guy telling him "my husband was trying to do a good thing, but in the wrong way". He opens the package, views the materials and proceeds towards the neurology building where he is now working.

Main cast


The film had a mixed reception from critics.[3][4][5][6][7] It currently holds a 55% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel both gave the film 3 out of 4 stars.

Box office

Despite debuting in second place, the film was not a box office success.[8]


  1. "Hugh Grant is feeling Blue". CNN. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
  2. BBFC: Extreme Measures, distributor Retrieved 2013-03-05
  3. Turan, Kenneth (1996-09-27). "Movie Review; Extreme Measures' Finds Case of Trauma in the E.R.". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
  4. "Extreme Measures". Entertainment Weekly. 1996-10-04. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
  5. Klady, Leonard (1996-09-15). "Extreme Measures". Variety. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
  6. "Extreme Measures". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
  7. Siskel, Gene (1996-09-27). "Extreme Measures". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
  8. Brennan, Judy (1996-09-30). "'First Wives' Are Really Enjoying the Last Laugh". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-13.

External links

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