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John Q. is a 2002 crime film about a father who takes a hospital emergency room hostage when his insurance won't cover his son's heart transplant.
- Directed by Nick Cassavetes. Written by James Kearns.
Give a father no options and you leave him no choice.(taglines)
John Q. Archibald
- My son is dying, and I'm broke. If I don't qualify for Medicare, who the hell does?
- Your hospital's under new management now! Yeah! Yeah from now on, free health care for everyone!
- I am not going to bury my son! My son is going to bury me!
- [to Rebecca; angrily] I would tell you what I think of you...but I'm a Christian woman.
Dr. Raymond Turner
- [in a debate on healthcare] Shut up. Enough already. I've heard all the bitching and moaning I can stand for one day, alright? Look, if you want to regard me as some kind of blood-sucking vampire, then fine, great, I'll be the bad guy. [points at John] But who's holding the fucking gun?
- Jimmy Palumbo: [Interviewed by Tuck Lampley] I've got to be honest this whole thing sucks, it could've all been avoided incredibly easy, none of this had to happen if John could've been a millionaire or if his last name was Rockefeller, sometimes he doesn't understand what we hold sacred in this country isn't values, its "value" that's important, we've got haves and we've got have not we've got white collar, blue collar and then we've got no collar, inside the hospital we've got "luck surgery" and "out of luck surgery", there's a lot of people out there who don't have two hundred fifty grand in their bill fold, seeing a man like that backing into a corner it seems to me "something" is out of whack, not "someone."
- Employee Manager: Your policy has changed, Mr. Archibald.
- John Q. Archibald: Changed to what?
- Employee Manager: Yeah, we recently switched carriers from a PPO to a HMO. It's a less expensive policy, but unfortunately, there are some restrictions.
- John Q. Archibald: What kind of restrictions?
- Employee Manager: Here's how it works: Non-management part-time employees, such as yourself, only qualify for second tier catastrophic coverage.
- John Q. Archibald: No, no. I'm not part-time. I'm full-time. It's just slow right now.
- Employee Manager: Sure, but your coverage is based on hours worked and like I said, you only qualify for second tier. And that has a maximum payout limit of $20,000.
- John Q. Archibald: [shocked] What? Wha- I-I mean-I mean, you guys have been taking money out of my paycheck every week. I've been paying into this policy for years.
- Employee Manager: Right. And that's why we're gonna cover you for the full twenty.
- John Q. Archibald: You can't be right. I mean, come on. Alright, let me get this straight: You're telling me that you have dropped me from full-time to part-time. You switched carriers. Now you're telling me I'm not fully covered? Even though I got a policy that says I am?
- Employee Manager: It doesn't seem right, does it?
- John Q. Archibald: No, it doesn't seem right. I mean, my son is sick. If I'm not covered, I've got a serious problem.
- Employee Manager: I understand that, uh, but there's nothing I can do. Look, you can file for an appeal.
- John Q. Archibald: Yeah?
- Employee Manager: [hands John an appeal application] Here you go. That takes about seven working days.
- [John presents Rebecca with a paper of an appeal approval.]
- Rebecca Payne: No, no, no. This is an appeal. An appeal is for an already existing claim. What you needed to file was a grievance. You filed the wrong paperwork.
- John Q. Archibald: Wait a minute...
- Rebecca Payne: You're gonna have to resubmit. It could take up to 30 days.
- John Q. Archibald: [frustrated] Look, I don't have 30 days.
- Rebecca Payne: I know you don't.
- John Q. Archibald: And quite frankly, I'm getting sick of the runaround. Now what I need is my son's name...
- Rebecca Payne: Mr. Archibald, your account is in access of $30,000. The hospital has bent over backwards to help you out.
- John Q. Archibald: Is that right?
- Rebecca Payne: Yes! It is right. But there's a limit to our generosity. Once and for all, your insurance does not cover this.
- John Q. Archibald: Who was driving?
- Mitch Quigley: Huh?
- John Q. Archibald: The car. Who was driving?
- Mitch Quigley: I was. What's that got to do with anything?
- John Q. Archibald: Why's your girl all banged up and you're not?
- Mitch Quigley: [shows light scratches on arm] What do you call this?
- [Lester laughs.]
- Mitch Quigley: What are you laughing at?
- Lester Matthews: Somebody get this fool a band-aid. I don't want you to bleed to death.
- Mitch Quigley: Screw you man. This shit hurts.
- Julie Byrd: His airbag went off and mine didn't.
- John Q. Archibald: What kind of car do you drive?
- Mitch Quigley: Mercedes 500.
- John Q. Archibald: You drive a Mercedes 500? Oh. What year?
- Mitch Quigley: 1986. It's a classic.
- John Q. Archibald: Mercedes didn't make passenger side air-bags til 1988.
- Lester Matthews: [laughs] Busted!
- John Q. Archibald: You know, what I don't understand is why they never found it, the doctors. My son has had clean checkups every year since the day he was born. How could the doctors not pick it up?
- Dr. Turner: He might not have been tested thoroughly enough.
- John Q. Archibald: Why not?
- [Dr. Turner doesn't answer; Steve butts in.]
- Steve Maguire: You got an HMO, right?
- John Q. Archibald: Yeah.
- Steve Maguire: Well, there's your answer. I mean, HMO's pay their doctors not to test. It's their way of keeping costs down. Now, let's say Michael did need additional testing and insurance says they won't cover them. The doctor keeps his mouth shut, and come Christmas, [points to Dr. Turner] The HMO sends the doctor a fat-ass bonus cheque.
- John Q. Archibald: [to Dr. Turner] Is that true?
- Dr. Turner: Possible. Not likely, but possible.
- John Q. Archibald: You telling me that these doctors may have known what was wrong with my son and they could have treated him all along?
- Dr. Turner: Who knows? I don't know.
- Lester Matthews: Don't take this personal, Doc. But, y'all bunch a goddamn crooks.
- Dr. Turner: You don't know what you're talking about.
- Julie Byrd: What about that thing that you guys take?
- Dr. Turner: 'The thing?'
- Julie Byrd: Yeah, that promise. What do they call it?
- Steve Smith: It's called the Hippocratic Oath.
- Lester Matthews: More like the 'hypocritical oath'. How's it go, Doc? "I solemnly swear to take care of the sick and damn-near-dying, unless they ain't got major medical." Something like that?
- Dr. Turner: You've got it perfectly, that's it.
- Steve Maguire: It's funny, but it's not that far from the truth, okay?! This shit happens all the time! Paramedics bring in some accident victim and when the big boys in Accounting find out they can't pay, they send them packing.
- Julie Byrd: Hospitals can't turn people away!
- Steve Smith: Isn't there laws against that?
- Steve Maguire: Yeah, there's laws! But there's also ways around those laws. The only thing we have to do is stabilise them. [to Dr. Turner] And after that, we're off the hook and you know it.
- Dr. Turner: That's not how it works.
- Steve Maguire: That's exactly how it works! Maybe, not up there on the fifth floor. But in here, if you don't have any money, you get a Band-Aid, a foot in the ass and you're out the door!
- Dr. Turner: Shut up. Enough already! I've heard all the bitching and moaning I can stand for one day, alright? Look, if you want to regard me as some kind of blood-sucking vampire, then fine, great, I'll be the bad guy. [points at John] But who's holding the fucking gun?
- Mitch Quigley: This country man, can't go anywhere without getting' mugged, or murdered or stabbed. Kids killin' their classmates, drivebys, ya know, I won't even go into a post office any more.
- Steve Maguire: Shut up, Mitch.
- Dr. Turner: No, you shut up. I hate the little bastard, but he's right. You know how easy it is to get a gun in the country? In five minutes, boom, gun show.
- Rebecca Payne: If you give in to this guy, there's gonna be guns in every hospital in the country. What, you think Mr. Archibald's the only one who has a sick child? Have you checked out the HIV ward? There's a whole floor full. People get sick, they die. That's the way it goes. I'm faced with decisions like this every single day.
- Chief Gus Monroe: The fact remains, though, that there's a man threatening to kill innocent people because you refuse to help a son.
- Rebecca Payne: The fact is that there are 50 million people in this country without medical insurance. If you like to change it, you should call your congressman.
- John Q. Archibald: Just try to stay awake for a minute, son, I need to tell you a few things.
- Mike Archibald: Okay, Dad.
- John Q. Archibald: You always listen to your mother, understand? Do what she tells you to do. She's your best friend. Tell her you love her every day. You're too young for girls right now but there's gonna come a time, and when it does, you treat them like princesses, because that's what they are. When you say you're gonna do something, you do it. Because your word is your bond, son, that's all you have. And money, you make money if you get a chance. Even if you gotta sell out every once in a while, you make as much money as you can. Don't be stupid like your father - everything is so much easier with money, son. Don't smoke. Be kind to people. If somebody chooses you, you stand up, you be a man. And you stay away from the bad things, son. Please, don't be caught up in the bad things - there are so many great things out there for you. I'll never leave you. I'm always with you, right there. [points to his heart] I love you son.
- Give a father no options and you leave him no choice.
- Desperate times call for desperate measures.
- Denzel Washington - John Quincy Archibald
- Kimberly Elise - Denise Archibald
- Daniel E. Smith - Michael "Mike" Archibald
- James Woods - Dr. Raymond Turner
- Anne Heche - Rebecca Payne
- Robert Duvall - Lt. Frank Grimes
- Ray Liotta - Chief Gus Monroe
- Shawn Hatosy - Mitch Quigley
- Heather Wahlquist - Julie Byrd
- David Thornton - Jimmy Palumbo
- Laura Harring - Gina Palumbo
- Troy Beyer - Miriam Smith
- Kevin Connolly - Steve Maguire
- Troy Winbush - Steve Smith
- Vanessa Branch - Nurse
- Eddie Griffin - Lester Matthews
- Martha Chaves - Rosa Gonzales
- Larissa Laskin - Dr. Ellen Klein
- Ethan Suplee - Guard Max Conlin
- Obba Babatundé - Sgt. Moody
- Paul Johansson - Tuck Lampley
- Dina Waters - Debby Utley
- Keram Malicki-Sánchez - Freddy B.
- John Q. quotes at the Internet Movie Database
- John Q. at Rotten Tomatoes