Are you home sick with the flu or maybe you or someone you care about are suffering from something more serious? Then grab the remote, a DVD, and check out the top ten medical movies of all time. They will make you laugh, cry, inspire, and best of all: believe.
- The Song of Bernadette
Made in 1943, this medical movie was nominated for twelve Academy Awards. It tells the story of a young girl who stumbles across a miracle in her hometown of Lourdes, France. The site of this vision is still visited by people from all over the world to this day. With an opening line of “For those who believe, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not believe, no explanation is possible”, the film is a must for all those who believe in, or need, a miracle.
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
This is one of the few movies in history to take all five major Oscars including director, screenplay, actor, actress, and film. Made in 1975, a young Jack Nicholson stars as a mental patient who inspires the others to fight back against the totalitarian and now infamous “Nurse Ratched.” If you want to learn more, visit the website, which is used as a study guide.
- Erin Brockovich
Another Oscar contender, this movie centers around an underdog’s fight against a corporate giant. The true life story of Erin Brockovich and the law firm she worked for is especially compelling in the true life stories of the hundreds of victims. A must view medical movie for seeing what can happen when people stand as one against all odds. A visit to the website can also tell you more from Erin herself.
- A Beautiful Mind
This 2001 picture won four Academy Awards, including for best picture. Russell Crowe plays John Forbes Nash, Jr., a brilliant mathematician and economist. His life was forever changed when he developed schizophrenia. See what can be achieved despite illness in this moving film. The website also has more on Nash’s work and even brain teasers.
In the early days of AIDS, society knew little about the disease and less about how to treat those who do have it. Tom Hanks plays a lawyer in this award winning film whose disease and sexual preference are suspected of leading to his termination. He then hires a lawyer to fight for his rights, while simultaneously fighting for his life. An excellent medical movie for showing that the ill still have rights.
Before it was a ground breaking show, “MASH” was an award winning film. The war/comedy movie follows the doctors and nurses at a surgical hospital during the Korean War. Proving that war is indeed hell, this group of misfits do what they both can and have to survive and keep their sanity.
- Article 99
Although it didn’t perform well at the box office, this film is a medical movie must for its portrayal of doctors going above and beyond their already large call of duty. Ray Liotta and Kiefer Sutherland star in this 1992 medical thriller about a band of renegade doctors at a VA hospital who decide to help patients, even if the top brass says “no,” with harrowing results.
- The Doctor
Ever had a doctor who didn’t make eye contact and seemed to care little for his patients? Then you’ll recognize the main character in this medical movie. After contracting cancer, he switches roles from patient to doctor, with life changing results. A standout for any patient who wants to see an indifferent doctor get a taste of his own medicine.
- Florence Nightingale
One of the most famous nurses in history, she is also known as “The Lady of the Lamp.” During the Crimean War in Great Britain, she became famous for lobbying the government to better the horrible conditions of the hospitals on the battlefield. This 1985 film stars Jacyln Smith as Florence and shows how one nurse can achieve anything. Available to watch for free by clicking the link.
- Extraordinary Measures
Inspired by the true life story of John Crowley, this film is about a man who defied the odds and risked a lucrative career to work for a cure for his children’s life threatening disease. Together with a brilliant and unappreciated scientist, they form a biotech company. See the lengths they are willing to go to in order to accomplish their goals by checking out this film.
Whether a patient, doctor, or other health professional, there are tons of inspiration to be found in these top ten medical movies of all time. They are especially useful for getting a sense of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.
Bonus: If you’re too sick to go to the video store, try a site like Netflix. With a simple registration and monthly plans starting at $8, you can have your favorite medical movie delivered to your mailbox within two business days.