I'm doing something a little different with this feature, and that's to create one to help out an important charity, Macmillan Cancer Support to be exact. Let me tell you about the feature first and then we'll talk about why.
This feature is going to talk about films you remember or love that either take place in a hospital or feature a memorable hospital scene. Are there many you can think of? When I started to the floodgates opened and I was reeling off films, but I'm going to pick a few of my favourites, let's see what you come up with.
Now, to the reason why. Well recently my mother was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, there are two words you wish you'll never have to use in your lifetime about anyone you love, and believe me they are hard to type as well as say.
She was placed on an aggressive Chemotherapy that caused some side affects so she had to be removed from the treatment, then came a long period of nothing but painkillers and waiting, and recently we all felt much better when she returned to a different Chemotherapy treatment.
However after the first treatment, just a few weeks ago, she contracted Clostridium Difficile, or as it is also called, c-diff. This is a terrible so called "superbug" that can kill more people than MRSA, and had my Mum in terrible pain and extremely weak. I've never seen my mother so ill and it was frightening.
Thankfully she's on the mend, out of hospital finally, and looking forward to another round of Chemotherapy next week.
She's being incredibly strong and is getting some amazing support from her Macmillan team - they are an organisation who provide all kinds of support for cancer patients and their families in the UK, from medical to emotional, and they are being wonderful. They've given her so much strength and encouragement I could not thank them enough.
However they need funds, and so my brother is going to leap down a zip slide to raise money for them. He's powering off a football stadium roof onto the pitch below, all to raise money for the organisation who are providing such great care for my mum and many others like her.So if you feel inclined (and you don't have to in order to take part in the feature!) I would love it if you would donate to the cause, he has a target set, but frankly I think we should go for breaking it. The Just Giving site is secure and remember if you're a UK taxpayer give your Gift Aid too, no amount is too small. Macmillan, and my family, thank you all very much.
Now, after you've donated or taken a moment, here are the hospital films and scenes which have stuck themselves in my memory, there were loads, but I'm going to name just a few to leave it open for your lists:
The first thing I always remember when I think of hospitals in film is the scene from Bright Lights, Big City that stuck with me. Michael J. Fox plays Jamie Conway, and although it was a very long time since I last saw the film, I do think that he's sitting by a hospital bed as his mother, played by Frances Sternhagen, struggles with pain and is close to death. If I remember rightly it's a huge turning point for him in the film, and an extremely emotional moment, even now as I think about it.
Another scene that is rather significant and takes place in a hospital is the opening of Blade. Oh I love that film and the opening scene sets the tone of the film perfectly. A great film that really has nothing to do with hospitals, but I love the way that scene is shot.
Now, complete films. I'm hopefully not going to go for the ones you might expect. How about Coma to kick things off? Now I'm talking about the 1978 film starring Michael Douglas, Geneviève Bujold, Rip Torn, Richard Widmark and Elizabeth Ashley. People in comas are stored in this special hospital hanging by a single wire, and secretly they are being killed off deliberately and their organs harvested. A good thriller that came from a Michael Crichton screenplay and he directed it too, believe it or not.
This one reads awfully like Coma, except in Extreme Measures the bodies are being used for experimentation, but experimentation that is for a good cause, for something that might cure paralysis. Gene Hackman is, as always, fantastic in it, and actually Hugh Grant isn't that bad. Grant plays a doctor who is totally against Hackman's characters methods until he becomes paralysed in a an accident and faces an awful dilemma.
Okay, a predictable one then, Mash, a film that was made the year I was born. This is a little more light hearted, thank the lord. Mash looks at the staff of a Korean field hospital during the war and examines how they cope with the death, destruction, and mayhem of war all around them. It's a great film and spawned a television series too, and most of it takes place in hospitals, well makeshift at least, and the cast is superb - Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould and Robert Duvall to name but a few.
I'm going to go with one more, Million Dollar Baby. That has perhaps one of the most heart wrenching hospital scenes I have witnessed in my entire life. I shan't go too deeply into it in case you haven't seen the film, but suffice to say that it is wonderfully acted by Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank and filmed perfectly.
So what films can you think of that take place in hospitals, and what are the hospital scenes that you particularly remember from films? Are there scenes that have really struck you emotionally, or just stuck in your head? How many hospital films can you remember, and are there any happy ones - Do Carry On films count?!