Playing God (1997 film)
Playing God is a 1997 American thriller crime drama film directed by Andy Wilson and written by Mark Haskell Smith. It stars David Duchovny (in his first starring role after achieving success with The X-Files), Timothy Hutton, and Angelina Jolie.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Andy Wilson|
|Produced by||Marc Abraham|
|Written by||Mark Haskell Smith|
|Music by||Richard Hartley|
|Cinematography||Anthony B. Richmond|
|Edited by||Louise Rubacky|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
Duchovny plays Eugene Sands, a surgeon who has his medical license revoked after operating under the influence of amphetamines and opiates. Hutton's character, a crime lord named Raymond Blossom, happens upon him in a bar where Sands saves someone's life with an emergency procedure to inflate a collapsed lung. Blossom hires Sands as his personal physician, patching up his accomplices when they cannot go to a hospital, and tending to the crime boss and his girlfriend, Claire (Jolie). In the final act of the film, Claire and Sands become involved, and he must face up to conflicting loyalties to Blossom, Claire, and the FBI agent who has blackmailed him into being an informant.
- David Duchovny as Dr. Eugene Sands
- Timothy Hutton as Raymond Blossom
- Angelina Jolie as Claire
- Michael Massee as Gage
- Peter Stormare as Vladimir
- Andrew Tiernan as Cyril
- Gary Dourdan as Yates
- John Hawkes as Flick
- Will Stewart as Perry
- Philip Moon as Casey
- Pavel D. Lynchnikoff as Andrei
- Tracey Walter as Jim
- Sandra Kinder as Sue
- Bill Rosier as Jerry
- Keone Young as Mr Ksi
- Stella Garcia as South African Businesswoman
The film was finished in 1995 but not released until 1997 due to initial negative reactions from test audiences. The film's trailer contained a brief glimpse of a sex scene between Duchovny and Jolie. The actress later confirmed that she had filmed two sex scenes for the movie, but that both of them were edited out of the final cut.
The film did not fare well financially or with critics, scoring just a 13% at the review site Rotten Tomatoes and making only $4,166,918 at the US theater box office. Popular film critic Roger Ebert however, gave the film three stars, saying "This may not be a great movie, but for both Duchovny and Hutton, it's a turning point", citing Duchovny's ability to "stand above the action" like Clint Eastwood; and Hutton's ability to create a real character as the villain, instead of merely filling a space.
In an interview with the New York Times dated 9th April 2000 David Duchovny himself, while talking about production difficulties, stated that “‘Playing God' was a mistake only because we didn't have a script ready... I should have just bailed out, but I didn't know."
The song "Spybreak!" by Propellerheads was used in this film two years before its Stardom debut as the Main Song of the cult movie The Matrix (1999)
- Playing God at Box Office Mojo
- "Playing God - Movie Reviews, Trailers, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 28, 2018.
- "Playing God - Box Office Data, Movie News, Cast Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
- "rogerebert.com - Reviews: Playing God (xhtml)". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. 1997-10-17. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
- "NYTimes". NYTimes.
- Playing God, retrieved 2018-10-21