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Extraordinary Measures

Theatrical poster
Directed by Tom Vaughan
Produced by Michael Shamberg
Stacey Sher
Carla Santos Shamberg
Harrison Ford (executive producer
Written by Robert Nelson Jacobs (screenplay)
Geeta Anand (book)
Starring Brendan Fraser
Harrison Ford
Keri Russell
Music by Andrea Guerra
Cinematography Andrew Dunn
Editing by Anne V. Coates
Distributed by CBS Films
Release date(s) January 22, 2010 (2010-01-22)
Running time 88 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $31 million[1]
Gross revenue $12,068,313[2]

Extraordinary Measures is a 2010 drama film starring Brendan Fraser, Harrison Ford, and Keri Russell. It is distributed by CBS Films and was released on January 22, 2010. The film was shot in Portland and Beaverton, Oregon as well as Vancouver, Washington. It is the first film to go into production for CBS Films, the film division of CBS Corporation.



Brendan Fraser plays John Crowley, a biotechnology executive whose two youngest children were afflicted with Pompe disease or acid maltase deficiency. Along with his wife Aileen (Keri Russell), he raises money for research scientist Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford), forming a company to develop a drug to save his children's lives. Dr. Stonehill is a composite of the many great scientists and researchers that researched for a cure over the years, among them Drs Arnold Reuser, Ans van der Ploeg, William Canfield and Dr. Yuan-Tsong Chen.[3]

The film centers on the Crowleys' two dying children, aged 9 and 7. In real life, most children with Pompe disease would die before age 2. There is also a juvenile and adult form which can present at almost any age. Those in the real story were 15 months and 7 days old when they got sick. They were 5 and 4 years old when treatment began.

Adapted by Robert Nelson Jacobs from a nonfiction book by the journalist Geeta Anand, the film is also an examination of how medical research is conducted and financed.


John Crowley makes a cameo appearance as a venture capitalist.


Filming in May 2009 at Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon

Filming took place at several spots in and around Portland, OR, mostly at the OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital, Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Nike campus in Beaverton, OR. This was the first time Nike allowed filming on their campus and they donated the location payment to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.[4] During filming, the working title was The Untitled Crowley Project.[5]


The screenplay by Robert Nelson Jacobs is based on Geeta Anand's book The Cure (ISBN 9780060734398).[6] The small start up company Priozyme was based on John Crowley's Oklahoma City-based Novazyme. The larger company, called Zymagen in the film, was based on Genzyme in Cambridge, MA[7]



Box office

The film was released on January 22, 2010 in 2,549 theaters. It took in $2,037,966 its opening day, with an average of $800 per theater.[8] On its opening weekend it grossed $6,012,594 with an average of $2,359 per theater.[9] After three days of being released the film has come to gross an estimated $6,012,594 in the United States and Canada.[2]. It currently has made $12,000,000 at the box office

Critical reviews

Richard Corliss of Time Magazine wrote: "Fraser keeps the story anchored in reality. Meredith Droeger does too: as the Crowleys' afflicted daughter, she's a smart little bundle of fighting spirit. So is the movie, which keeps its head while digging into your heart. You have this critic's permission to cry in public."[10] The New York Times' A.O. Scott said in his review: "The startling thing about “Extraordinary Measures” is not that it moves you. It’s that you feel, at the end, that you have learned something about the way the world works."[11] Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 30% of 102 critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 4.9 out of 10.[12] Among Rotten Tomatoes' "Top Critics", which consists of popular and notable critics from the top newspapers, websites, television and radio programs, the film holds an overall approval rating of 20%, based on a sample of 25 reviews. The site's general consensus is that "Despite a timely topic and a pair of heavyweight leads, Extraordinary Measures never feels like much more than a made-for-TV tearjerker."[13] Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 0–100 reviews from film critics, has a rating score of 46 based on 30 reviews.[14]

Ramona Bates MD, writing for the health news organisation, EmaxHealth, stated that the film brings attention to Pompe Disease.[15] Peter Rainer from the Christian Science Monitor mentions that Big Pharma got a surprisingly free pass in the film and that it will come as a surprise to all those sufferers struggling to get orphan drugs developed.[16]


  1. ^ "Movie projector: 'Legion,' 'Tooth Fairy,' 'Extraordinary Measures' won't touch 'Avatar'". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. January 21, 2010. Retrieved January 22, 2010. "That's a very soft start even given the adult drama's modest production budget of $31 million." 
  2. ^ a b "Extraordinary Measures (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  3. ^ Ebert, Roger (January 20, 2010). "Extraordinary Measures Review". Chicago Sun-Times. Sun-Times Media Group. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  4. ^ "'Extraordinary Measures,' filmed in Portland and starring Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford, opens Friday". The Oregonian. Advance Publications. January 21, 2010. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  5. ^ "On the 'Crowley' set: Boredom, action and a bit of politics". The Oregonian. Advance Publications. June 2, 2009. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  6. ^ A. O. Scott (January 22, 2010). "Desperate Father’s Plea to a Detached Scientist". NY Times. 
  7. ^ Jef Akst (January 22, 2010). "A review of Extraordinary Measures". The Scientist NewsBlog. 
  8. ^ "Daily Box Office for Friday, January 22, 2010". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. January 22, 2010. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for January 22–24, 2010". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. January 24, 2010. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  10. ^,9171,1955595,00.html
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Extraordinary Measures (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Extraordinary Measures (Top Critics)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Extraordinary Measures: Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved January 25, 2010. 
  15. ^ EmaxHealth. ""Extraordinary Measures" Brings Attention Pompe Disease". 
  16. ^ Peter Rainer (January 22, 2010). "Extraordinary Measures Movie Review". 

External links

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

Extraordinary Measures by Barack Obama
Barack Obama's presidential speeches
Delivered on 4 February 2009.

Thank you, Tim, for your hard work on this issue and on our economic recovery.

The economic crisis we face is unlike any we’ve seen in our lifetime. It’s a crisis of falling confidence and rising debt. Of widely distributed risk and narrowly concentrated reward. A crisis written in the fine print of sub-prime mortgages, on the ledger lines of once-mighty financial institutions, and on the pink slips that have upended lives and cost the economy 2.6 million jobs last year alone.

We know that even if we do everything we should, this crisis was years in the making, and it will take more than weeks or months to turn things around.

But make no mistake:

A failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into a catastrophe and guarantee a longer recession, a less robust recovery, and a more uncertain future. Millions more jobs will be lost. More businesses will be shuttered. More dreams will be deferred.

That’s why I feel such a sense of urgency about the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that is before Congress today. With it, we can save or create more than three million jobs, doing things that will strengthen our country for generations to come. It is not merely a prescription for short-term spending – it’s a strategy for long-term economic growth in areas like renewable energy, health care, and education.

Now, in the past few days I’ve heard criticisms of this plan that echo the very same failed theories that helped lead us into this crisis – the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems; that we can ignore fundamental challenges like energy independence and the high cost of health care and still expect our economy and our country to thrive.

I reject that theory, and so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change. So I urge members of Congress to act without delay. No plan is perfect, and we should work to make it stronger. But let’s not make the perfect the enemy of the essential. Let’s show people all over our country who are looking for leadership in this difficult time that we are equal to the task.

At the same time, we know that this Recovery and Reinvestment plan is only the first part of what we need to do to restore prosperity and secure our future. We also need a strong and viable financial system to keep credit flowing to businesses and families alike. My administration will do what it takes to restore our financial system; our recovery depends upon it. And so next week, Secretary Geithner will release a new strategy to get credit moving again – a strategy that will reflect the lessons of past mistakes while laying a foundation for the future.

But in order to restore our financial system, we’ve got to restore trust. And in order to restore trust, we’ve got to make certain that taxpayer funds are not subsidizing excessive compensation packages on Wall Street.

We all need to take responsibility. And this includes executives at major financial firms who turned to the American people, hat in hand, when they were in trouble, even as they paid themselves their customary lavish bonuses. As I said last week, that’s the height of irresponsibility. That’s shameful. And that’s exactly the kind of disregard for the costs and consequences of their actions that brought about this crisis: a culture of narrow self-interest and short-term gain at the expense of everything else.

This is America. We don’t disparage wealth. We don’t begrudge anybody for achieving success. And we believe that success should be rewarded. But what gets people upset – and rightfully so – are executives being rewarded for failure. Especially when those rewards are subsidized by U.S. taxpayers.

For top executives to award themselves these kinds of compensation packages in the midst of this economic crisis is not only in bad taste – it’s a bad strategy – and I will not tolerate it as President. We’re going to be demanding some restraint in exchange for federal aid – so that when firms seek new federal dollars, we won’t find them up to the same old tricks.

As part of the reforms we are announcing today, top executives at firms receiving extraordinary help from U.S. taxpayers will have their compensation capped at $500,000 – a fraction of the salaries that have been reported recently. And if these executives receive any additional compensation, it will come in the form of stock that can’t be paid up until taxpayers are paid back for their assistance.

Companies receiving federal aid are going to have to disclose publicly all the perks and luxuries bestowed upon senior executives and provide an explanation to the taxpayers and to shareholders as to why these expenses are justified. And we’re putting a stop to these kinds of massive severance packages we’ve all read about with disgust; we’re taking the air out of the golden parachute.

We’re asking these firms to take responsibility, to recognize the nature of this crisis and their role in it. We believe that what we’ve laid out should be viewed as fair and embraced as basic common sense.

Finally, these guidelines we’re putting in place are only the beginning of a long-term effort. We’re going to examine the ways in which the means and manner of executive compensation have contributed to a reckless culture and quarter-by-quarter mentality that in turn have wrought havoc in our financial system. We’re going to be taking a look at broader reforms so that executives are compensated for sound risk management and rewarded for growth measured over years, not just days or weeks.

We’ve all got to pull together and take our share of responsibility. That’s true here in Washington. That’s true on Wall Street. The American people are carrying a huge burden as a result of this economic crisis: bearing the brunt of its effects as well as the costs of extraordinary measures we’re taking to address it. The American people expect and demand that we pursue policies that reflect the reality of this crisis – and that will prevent these kinds of crises in the future.

Thank you.

PD-icon.svg This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).


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