Chattahoochee R

(25) IMDb 6.4/10
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Southern Florida, 1955. The quiet peace of a small town is shattered by the sudden outburst of gunfire. The man responsible is Emmett Foley (Gary Oldman), a decorated war hero and a simple, honest man. Unable to adjust to civilian life, Emmett realizes he is worth more money dead than alive, and goads the police to kill him, allowing a large insurance settlement for his wife (Frances McDormand). But when the police capture him alive, Emmett is declared insane and is thrown into the brutal confines of Chattahoochee, the state mental institution. His world is now a living hell, filled with sadistic practices, unsanitary conditions, and an uncaring head doctor (Ned Beatty). But through his friendship with a fellow patient (Dennis Hopper), Emmett's sense of honor and self-esteem re-emerge.

Starring:
Gary Oldman, Dennis Hopper
Runtime:
1 hour, 38 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Mick Jackson
Starring Gary Oldman, Dennis Hopper
Supporting actors Frances McDormand, Pamela Reed, Ned Beatty, M. Emmet Walsh, William De Acutis, Lee Wilkof, Matt Craven, Gary Howard Klar, Timothy Scott, Richard Portnow, William Newman, Whitey Hughes, Wilbur Fitzgerald, Yvonne Denise Mason, Ralph Pace, Wesley Mann, Tim Monich, Laurens Moore
Studio MGM
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By JR Peterman on March 1, 2004
Format: DVD
Truthfully, I know nothing of this movie's history, nothing of the actual events from which it was taken. However, considering the film for film's value alone, its strengths are easily indentifiable. Gary Oldman is absolutely brilliant. Any fan who simply loves to watch him work, loves to study each inflection of his ever changable features, will be in heaven just as I was. Though there are many movies of his I enjoy more - few display his breadth and depth so completely. He's nearly flawless here, and is present in almost every scene. Dennis Hopper is also uncomfortably believable, and the supporting cast was perfect (Frances McDormand, Ned Beatty, Pamela Reed).
For those whose attention won't be secured by Oldman alone, or who aren't generally intrigued by stories of mental illness or the usual "injustice within the system" scenarios, this film may hold little for you. I happen to like these kinds of films, and therefore didn't find it to be as bleak as critics nationwide promised it would be. There were some interesting visuals, some touching scenes, some disturbing scenes, etc. It had the rambling gait characteristic of "stories inspired by actual events," and moved at a steady pace, though I was annoyed when it ended upbruptly with an odd lack of closure. What I did find daunting could be perceived as a sign of the time it was made or perhaps low dvd quality - some of the editing and cinematography were poor, and there were warped voice-overs and dubbing.
Bottom line? It's a must for Gary Oldman fans or anyone who needs proof he can play someone other than a villain, a maybe for true story buffs who care more about studying human nature than facts, and probably a good one to overlook for anyone who's looking for a film that is, taken all-in-all, uplifting or cinematically impressive
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By cookieman108 on January 18, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Chattahoochee (1989) is a film inspired by true events of a man, after returning home from the Korean war, went crazy go nuts, got hisself locked up in a state loony bin, documented and reported all the abuses he saw and experienced, which eventually led to reforms of the system for public provided care of the mentally ill. Directed by Mick Jackson (L.A. Story, The Bodyguard), the film stars Gary Oldman (Sid and Nancy, Romeo Is Bleeding) as the Emmett Foley, a certified hero in the Korean conflict and a certified nut at home. Also appearing is Dennis Hopper (True Romance, Space Truckers), Frances McDormand (Fargo, Johnny Skidmarks), Pamela Reed (Cadillac Man, Kindergarten Cop), Ned `Squeal Like a Pig' Beatty (Rudy, Radioland Murders), and M. Emmet Walsh (Slap Shot, The Jerk, Blade Runner).

Emmett Foley ain't right in the head...or so it seemed that one, fine Sunday afternoon when he began randomly shooting up his neighborhood with a revolver. Strange thing is, he didn't seem to be trying to hurt anyone...but himself, and even that didn't work out too well, as the local police are terrible marksmen. Eventually Emmett turns his gun on himself, but the wound isn't fatal. While in custody, Emmet is deemed crazy, and transferred to Chattahoochee, a state mental asylum. His frustrated wife Mae (McDormand) can't even begin to understand what's going on, and neither can his family, including his sister Earlene (Reed). Upon arriving, Emmett finds the conditions at the state run facility deplorable, including overcrowded, filthy, roach infested barracks, no medical treatment readily available to the inmates, cruel and abusive guards, a neglectful and uncaring staff, harsh punishments, and food not fit for human consumption (I can honestly say I've never see a green pork chop until I saw this film).
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jordango on February 11, 2005
Format: DVD
This movie is very moving. I saw this because I saw that Gary Oldman was in it and I will watch any movie he is in. I am glad I did, because this is one of his best performances, even as a young as he was. Based on a true story, Chattahoochee mainly takes place in an insane asylum. Dennis Hopper is also very effective as another inmate. The breadth of emotional range and display is amazing out of both actors. This movie also makes me wish Gary Oldman got more lead roles; he can carry a film like no other and is a much better actor than any one else out there (respectively). Anyone looking for a very deep, involving, emotional story that is based on true events should be looking here.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. James Gardner VINE VOICE on April 17, 2011
Format: DVD
"Chattahoochee" is one of those rare films that chronicle the struggle to gain civil rights for the insane and the mentally retarded. There are a plethora of films about the civil rights struggle for blacks and a large number of films about conditions inside mental hospitals, but few films have told any part of the story to reform the mental hospital system.

Abuses in mental hospitals have been the subject of several serious films - "Snake Pit" (1949), Marat/Sade" (1967), "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975), "Quills" (2000), "Asylum" (2005) - as well as some not-so-serious films - "Sucker Punch" (2011), "Twelve Monkeys" (1995), "Batman Begins" (2005). When not the central focus of the film, they have been featured as part of the background - "Sling Blade" (1996), Girl Interrupted" (1999), "Shine" (1996).

Of the few films that actually dealt with the efforts to reform these conditions, Bedlam (1946) stands out, however, Bedlam tells the story of reforms in the late 18th Century in England. "Chattahoochee" brings us closer in time (late 1950s) and place (Florida) and tells the true story of Chris Calhoun, a decorated Korean War veteran involuntarily committed to Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee for a failed suicide attempt.

The film was produced in 1989 by Helmdale Film Corp, a small British owned LA based company behind films like "Platoon" (1986), "Hoosiers" (1986), "The Last Emperor" (1987), and "Salvador" (1986).

It stars Gary Oldman as the mental patient, Dennis Hopper ("Easy Rider", "Hoosiers") as a friend he meets inside, Frances McDormand ("Fargo", "Mississippi Burning") as Oldman's wife and Pam Reed ("Kindergarten Cop", "The Long Riders") as his sister.
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