John Q

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John Q is a 2002 film by Nick Cassavetes; starring Denzel Washington as John Quincy Archibald, a father and husband whose son is diagnosed with an enlarged heart and then finds out he cannot receive a transplant because HMO insurance will not cover it. Therefore, he decides to take a hospital full of patients hostage until the hospital puts his son's name on the recipient's list.

The film also stars Anne Heche, James Woods, Ray Liotta, Eddie Griffin and Robert Duvall, among others. The film was shot in Toronto[1], Hampton, Ontario (ballpark scenes), and Canmore, Alberta,[2] although the story takes place in Chicago.

Contents

Plot

As the film opens a young woman is recklessly driving a white BMW down a mountain highway. A slow-moving truck impedes her progress, and as she attempts to pass it on a blind curve a second truck looms in the oncoming lane and clips the woman's rear fender. The woman spins and comes to a stop in front of the first truck which broadsides her car and she dies en route to the hospital (this whole ordeal is interspersed throughout the movie).

John Quincy Archibald (Denzel Washington) is with his wife Denise (Kimberly Elise) at his son's baseball game. As his son, Michael (Daniel E. Smith) runs around the bases and heads to second he grabs his chest and collapses. After a series of tests at the hospital John is informed that Michael has an enlarged heart and will need a transplant. However his health insurance has been changed by the company he works for and the new policy does not cover the surgery, leaving them to raise $75,000 in order to get their son's name on the list of likely recipients of an available heart. The family tries to raise the money by selling some of their possessions and helping out their neighbors, but are only able to raise about a third of the necessary payment. Eventually the hospital gets tired of waiting for payment and decides to release Michael. John's wife Denise tells him to do something about the situation after the hospital tells her about Michael's release, thus unwilling to let his only child die, John decides it's time to take drastic measures. John walks into the hospital emergency room with a handgun and begins a hostage situation. He gathers the hostages and sets his demands: his son's name on the recipient list as soon as possible. The hostage negotiator, Lt. Frank Grimes (Robert Duvall), stands down to let John cool off.

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