MEDICINE MAN

Every now and again one man can make the difference. Sean Connery at his best in this inspirational Amazon adventure.

 

Planet Earth, conservation of species and the natural world

 

Sean Connery is the Medicine Man in search of the cure for cancer

Sean Connery is the Medicine Man in search of the cure for cancer

 

 

Medicine Man is a 1992 American film directed by John McTiernan. The film stars Sean Connery and Lorraine Bracco. It also features a noteworthy score by composer Jerry Goldsmith. Okay, so that's the nuts and bolts, but the truth is that this is a superb movie that strikes a chord with all environmentalists. It is one of my all time favorites. Sean Connery is John Campbell - brilliant, nicely supported by Lorraine Bracco. I didn't understand the Razzie bit - oh, a joke!

PLOT

A pharmaceutical company sends biochemist Dr. Rae Crane into the Amazonian rainforest to locate researcher Robert Campbell after his wife and research partner abandon him.

Crane is bringing equipment and supplies, but Campbell is nevertheless upset the research partner is not forthcoming. He tries to send Crane home, but she demurs, as she has been assigned to determine whether Campbell's research deserves continued funding.

Campbell has found a cure for cancer, but attempts to synthesize the compound have failed. With supplies of the successful serum running low, Campbell isolates a derivative of a species of flower from which the formula can be synthesized and with Crane's help is determined to find its source.

A logging company is building a road headed straight for the village, threatening to expose the native population to potentially lethal foreign antigens, as has happened before. In fact, Campbell's wife left him because he could not forgive himself for the tragedy.

A small boy appears with malignant neoplasms and Campell, Crane, the boy, and his father set out in search of Campbell's predecessor, a medicine man from whom Campbell once acquired his knowledge of flowers. Upon encountering Campbell's entourage, the medicine man flees in fear. Though he is reluctant to pursue the man further, Crane convinces him circumstances demand that he must.

 

 

Sean Connery v Lorraine Bracco

 


Campbell rescues Crane from a fall, then locates the medicine man, whom he is compelled to fight in order to heal the medicine man's wounded pride and gain further necessary information. Unfortunately, the medicine man reveals that the flowers have no "juju"--power to heal. Father and son agree to return another time.

Back at the village, Crane initially refuses to allow Campbell to inoculate the boy with the last of the serum until more can be synthesized. But when the boy's condition worsens, she gives in and the boy is inoculated.

The next morning, the boy is better but the village is in tumult. The logging road is nearly finished. Campbell appeals to the company's workers to halt construction until he can conclude his research, but it refuses.

In desperation and after new samples fail to contain the missing compound, Crane runs the chromatograph one more time and accidentally discovers that the source of the cure is not the flower but a species of rare ant indigenous to the rainforest. Campbell demands the construction stop. A fight results and a bulldozer catches fire, destroying the village and the research station along with many acres of rainforest.

The next day, Crane promises to send Campbell new equipment and the research assistant he'd originally requested. She is about to return home when she meets the medicine man. He symbolically passes on his mantle to Campbell, and Crane accepts an invitation to continue working with him in exchange for recognition for co-discovering the source of the compound.

Sean Connery in one of his very best film roles  Amazon women seek a cancer cure

 

Sean Connery as the Medicine Man (left) Lorraine Bracco is told a tribe member has cancer, and for Campbell to cure her.

 


CAST

Sean Connery as Dr. Robert Campbell
Lorraine Bracco as Dr. Rae Crane
José Wilker as Dr. Miguel Ornega


SOUND TRACK

 

The music for Medicine Man was composed and conducted by veteran Jerry Goldsmith. The score, a blend of orchestra, synthetic elements, and guitar solos, was praised by critics and is considered one of the film's few strengths. The soundtrack was released 4 February 1994 through Varèse Sarabande and features fourteen tracks. Truly, the sound track sums up the mood and sets the mood. Nice one Jerry.

"Rae's Arrival" (5:06)
"First Morning" (3:46)
"Campbell and the Children" (1:57)
"The Trees" (6:01)
"The Harvest" (3:11)
"Mocara" (3:36)
"Mountain High" (2:41)
"Without a Net" (4:19)
"Finger Painting" (2:30)
"What's Wrong" (1:52)
"The Injection" (2:09)
"The Sugar" (2:08)
"The Fire" (2:10)
"A Meal and a Bath" (8:03)

 

RECEPTION

The movie was panned by critics. Medicine Man maintains a 24% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 21 reviews. Lorraine Bracco's performance in the film earned her a Razzie Award nomination for Worst Actress.


BOX OFFICE

The movie debuted at No. 1. The following week it was knocked out of the top spot by Wayne's World. The film eventually grossed $45.5 million domestically, earning back its expenses. It didn't help that you can't buy the DVD on several countries. What were they thinking of?

 

 

 

 

Medicine Man film posters

 

 

REAL MEDICINE MEN

 

"Medicine man" or "medicine woman" are English terms used to describe traditional healers and spiritual leaders among Native American and other indigenous or aboriginal peoples.  Anthropologists tend to prefer the term "shaman," a specific term for a spiritual mediator from the Tungusic peoples of Siberia.

Role in native society

The primary function of these "medicine elders" is to secure the help of the spirit world, including the Great Spirit (Wakan Tanka in the language of the Lakota Sioux), for the benefit of the entire community.

Sometimes the help sought may be for the sake of healing disease, sometimes it may be for the sake of healing the psyche, sometimes the goal is to promote harmony between human groups or between humans & nature. So the term "medicine man/woman" is not entirely inappropriate, but it greatly oversimplifies and also skews the depiction of the people whose role in society complements that of the chief. These people are not the Native American equivalent of the Chinese "barefoot doctors", herbalists, nor of the emergency medical technicians who ride rescue vehicles.

To be recognized as the one who performs this function of bridging between the natural world and the spiritual world for the benefit of the community, an individual must be validated in his role by that community. Medicine men and women study through a medicine society or from a single teacher.

 

Patricio Jipa, a real life Shaman and his wife Mari Muench

 

Patricio Jipa (Shaman) and his wife Mari Muench - A Real life Medicine Man story

 


Cultural context

The term "medicine people" is commonly used in Native American communities, for example, when Arwen Nuttall (Cherokee) of the National Museum of the American Indian writes, "The knowledge possessed by medicine people is privileged, and it often remains in particular families."

Native Americans tend to be quite reluctant to discuss issues about medicine or medicine people with non-Indians. In some cultures, the people will not even discuss these matters with Indians from other tribes. In most tribes medicine elders are not expected to advertise or introduce themselves as such. As Nuttall writes, "An inquiry to a Native person about religious beliefs or ceremonies is often viewed with suspicion. One example of this was the Apache medicine cord or Izze-kloth, whose purpose and use by Apache medicine elders was a mystery to nineteenth century ethnologists because "the Apache look upon these cords as so sacred that strangers are not allowed to see them, much less handle them or talk about them."

The 1954 version of Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language, reflects the poorly grounded perceptions of the people whose use of the term effectively defined it for the people of that time: "a man supposed to have supernatural powers of curing disease and controlling spirits." In effect, such definitions were not explanations of what these "medicine people" were to their own communities, but instead reported on the consensus of socially and psychologically remote observers when they tried to categorize these individuals. The term "medicine man/woman," like the term "shaman", has been criticized by Native Americans, as well as other specialists in the fields of religion and anthropology.

The term "medicine man/woman" was also frequently used by Europeans to refer to African traditional healers, also known as "witch doctors" or "fetish men/women".

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfoGdgDSSz4

 

 

Oil painting of an American Indian medicine man

Howard Terpning oil painting, American Indian medicine man

 

 

 

A - Z FILMS INDEX

 

 

 

13 GOING ON 30

16 BLOCKS

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA

A PERFECT STORM

ALIEN

AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH

ATONEMENT

AUSTIN POWERS

BABE

BACK TO THE FUTURE

BATMAN

BIG MIRACLE

BRAVEHEART

BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S

BRIDGET JONES' DIARY

CASABLANCA

CASINO ROYALE

CAST AWAY

CATWOMAN

CHRISTINE

CON AIR

CROCODILE DUNDEE

DAREDEVIL

DEAD CALM

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER

DIE HARD

DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS

DISCLOSURE

DOLORES CLAIBORNE

DOLPHIN TALE

DR. NO

DUMB AND DUMBER

ERIN BROCKOVICH

FATAL ATTRACTION

FIRE ON THE AMAZON

FLIPPER

FLY AWAY HOME

FREE WILLY

FRENCH KISS

FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

GLADIATOR

GOLDFINGER

 

 

GONE WITH THE WIND

HARRY POTTER

HORNBLOWER

INDIANA JONES

JAMES BOND

JAWS

JURASSIC PARK

JUST LIKE HEAVEN

KING KONG

KUNG FU HUSTLE

LEON

MAN ON FIRE

MASTER and COMMANDER

MEAN GIRLS

MEDICINE MAN

MEN OF HONOUR

MISERY

MISS CONGENIALITY

MOBY DICK

MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY

NAKED GUN

NATIONAL TREASURE

OUT OF TIME

OVERBOARD

PARENT TRAP

PAYBACK

PEARL HARBOUR

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN

PLANET OF THE APES

PRETTY WOMAN

PROMETHEUS

PSYCHO

P2 DEAD MANS CHEST

QUANTUM OF SOLACE

RACE THE SUN

RAMBO

ROB ROY

ROBIN HOOD PRINCE OF THEIVES

ROBOCOP

ROXANNE

SCHOOL OF ROCK

SCOTT OF THE ANTARCTIC

 

 

SEABISCUIT

SHORT CIRCUIT

SKYFALL

SPEED

SPIDERMAN

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

STAR GATE

STAR TREK

STAR WARS

THE 39 STEPS

THE AVIATOR

THE COUNT OF MONTE CHRISTO

THE DA VINCI CODE

THE DAMBUSTERS

THE FLY

THE FOG

THE MASK

THE MATRIX

THE MUMMY

THE MUMMY RETURNS

THE PATRIOT

THE PERFECT STORM

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

THE SOUND OF MUSIC

THE TERMINATOR

THE THING

THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH

THE WORLDS FASTEST INDIAN

THUNDERBALL

TITANIC

TOMORROW NEVER DIES

TOP GUN

TRADING PLACES

TREASURE ISLAND

TROY

TRUE GRIT

UNFORGIVEN

YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE

WAR OF THE WORLDS  

WATERLOO BRIDGE

ZULU

 

 

 

 

 

 

A - Z ACTORS INDEX

 

 

 

Adam Sandler

Al Gore

Alec Baldwin

Angelina Jolie

Anthony Hopkins

Arnold Shwazenneger

Arnold Vosloo

Ashlea Kaye

Ben Affleck

Ben Stiller

Brad Pitt

Brendan Fraser

Bruce Willis

Burt Lancaster

Catherine Zeta Jones

Charlize Theron

Chris Cooper

Clark Gable

Clint Eastwood

Collin Farrell

Daniel Craig

Demi Moore

Dennis Hopper

Denzel Washington

Dermot Mulroney

Drew Barrymore

Dwayne Johnson

Eric Bana

Eva Green

George Clooney

Gerard Butler

Gerard Depardieu

Glen Close

Goldie Hawn

Gregory Peck

 

 

Gwyneth Paltrow

Halle Berry

Harrison Ford

Harvey Keitel

Hugh Jackman

Humphrey Bogart

Ian Holm

Ingrid Bergman

Jack Black

Jack Nicholson

James Caan

James Cromwell

James McAvoy

Jason Statham

Jean Reno

Jeff Bridges

Jeff Daniels

Jennifer Garner

Jim Carrey

Joaquin Phoenix

John Hurt

John Mcavoy

John Travolta

John Wayne

Johnny Depp

Judi Dench

Julia Roberts

Julie Andrews

Kate Hudson

Kate Winslett

Kathy Bates

Keanu Reeves

Keira Knightley

Kevin Spacey

Kim Basinger

 

Kirk Douglas

Kirsten Dunst

Kristen Bell

Kurt Russell

Leonardo di Caprio

Liam Neeson

Linda King

Linda Kozlowski

Lindsay Lohan

Liz Hurley

Mads Mikkelsen

Marilyn Monroe

Mark Wahlberg

Marlon Brando

Matt Damon

Matthew McConaughey

Megan Fox

Mel Gibson

Michael Cain

Michael Douglas

Michael Fassbender

Michael J Fox

Michael Keaton

Michelle Pfeiffer

Mike Myers

Morgan Freeman

Naomi Watts

Nicholas Cage

Nicole Kidman

Orlando Bloom

Owen Wilson

Paul Bettany

Paul Hogan

Penelope Cruz

Pierce Brosnan

 

 

Rachel Weisz

Rebecca De Mornay

Reese Witherspoon

Rennee Zellweger

Richard Gere

Robert de Niro

Roger Moore

Russell Crowe

Sally Edwards

Sam Neil

Sam Worthington

Samuel L Jackson

Sandra Bullock

Scarlett Johansson

Sean Connery

Sharon Stone

Shia LeBeouf

Shirley Temple

Sigourney Weaver

Stanley Baker

Stephen Chow

Steve Martin

Steve McQueen

Steven Segal

Slyvester Stalone

Ted Danson

Tim Roth

Tobey Maguire

Tom Cruise

Tom Hanks

Tommy Lee Jones

Uma Thurman

Willem Dafoe

Will Smith

Yul Brynner

 

 

 

 

 

Lurking beneath the Antarctic ice is a discovery that scientist will die for. This story is now the subject of a low budget film to be produced mostly in the UK. The promoters are looking for backers. The UK will contribute 20% toward production costs. Roughly 60% of a low budget film may be pre-sold as distribution rights. Angels recover 120% on their equity shares within 12 months of shooting, with an income stream thereafter from networks and merchandising for 20 years.

 

 

 

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