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Medicine and the Movies

by Suzanne Daniluk, RN on March 18th, 2015

Recently, we wrote about a USC-affiliated program that gives out free, factual medical information to Hollywood scriptwriters. Still, there appears to be some who may have failed to consult the experts. Test your knowledge of medical facts and fiction in the movies.

Fact or fiction?
1. In the classic James Bond film Goldfinger, a character dies from “skin suffocation” after being completely covered in gold paint. Mr. Bond explains in the film that if a square at the spine have been left unpainted, the character would have lived. Pulp Fiction

2. In a memorable scene from Pulp Fiction, Vincent Vega (played by John Travolta) rescues Mrs. Wallace (Uma Thurman) from an impending drug overdose with an injection of adrenalin directly into her heart – a standard procedure in emergency rooms.

3. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), or “shock treatment”, as depicted in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, is a procedure still used today.

4. In the movie The Firm, starring Tom Cruise, the Gene Hackman character states he can’t fly within 24 hours of scuba diving during a trip to the Cayman Islands. A medical basis for this statement exists; it wasn’t just made up by the screenwriters as a plot device.

5. In the Godfather, a nurse caring for the Don, who is recovering from an assassination attempt, helps Michael Corleone wheel the Don’s bed into another hospital room for security reasons. This is something that a nurse would readily do when requested.

Check back next week for answers.

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