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K-PAX

Theatrical Release Poster
Directed by Iain Softley
Produced by Robert F. Colesberry
Lawrence Gordon
Lloyd Levin
Written by Gene Brewer
Charles Leavitt
Starring Kevin Spacey
Jeff Bridges
Mary McCormack
Alfre Woodard
Music by Edward Shearmur
Cinematography John Mathieson
Editing by Craig McKay
Studio IMF Internationale Medien und Film GmbH & Co. 2. Produktions KG
Distributed by Universal Pictures (USA)
Release date(s) October 26, 2001 (USA)
Running time 120 min
Language English
Budget $48,000,000

K-PAX is a 2001 science-fiction drama film about a mentally ill patient who claims to be an alien from the planet K-PAX. During his treatment, the patient/alien, "Prot", demonstrates an outlook on life that ultimately proves inspirational for his fellow patients and especially for his psychiatrist.

Directed by Iain Softley, the film stars Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges, Mary McCormack and Alfre Woodard.

Plot

When he claims he is an alien from a planet called 'K-PAX' and traveled to Earth via 'light rays', a man calling himself "Prot" (Kevin Spacey) is handed over to a New York hospital psychiatric ward. A Manhattan psychiatrist, Mark Powell (Jeff Bridges), is given the task of treating and "curing" Prot of his supposed delusions. Right from the first psychiatric session, Dr. Powell begins to discover Prot's uncanny abilities and immense knowledge. As the story develops, Dr. Powell becomes quite attached to Prot, and starts to believe his seemingly impossible claims. Prot even baffles some of the foremost astrophysicists with his knowledge of science and astronomy.

Once Prot displays seemingly violent behavior at Dr. Powell's house, Dr. Powell decides to regress him to find out more about Prot's past. Because Prot has promised he will leave Earth on July 27, it's a race against time for Dr. Powell to find out the real identity behind the enigmatic Prot. Prot also promises that he will take one of the ward's patients with him, and encourages an essay competition among them to determine his choice. Unfortunately, Dr. Powell is only able to find out about the human whose body Prot has been occupying who, according to Prot, was his childhood friend who witnessed the murder of his own family.

After Prot, while under hypnotic regression, reveals the emotionally painful incident which occurred at his home after coming home after working as a "cattle knocker," Powell conducts extensive research which points to a small town in New Mexico. His investigation leads him to the criminal case of Robert Porter, who suffered the exact circumstances Prot revealed in a remarkably similar location that Prot had described in detail.

Upon returning to the hospital, Powell confronts Prot with a photograph of himself labeled 'Robert Porter,' which Prot dismisses. However, he asks Powell to "take care of him" (Robert).

On July 27, Powell races to Prot's room and after initially believing he has vanished, he finds him under the bed. At the same moment, the patients of the mental facility realize that the patient they see in front of them is not Prot, and that Bess, arguably the quietest and least selfish of any of them, is missing, presumably never to be seen again.

Sometime later, Powell is seen caring for Porter who is now in a catatonic state. The film leaves the viewer wondering whether Prot really was an extraterrestrial from K-PAX who took over Porter's human host to save his life—or whether Porter really is an insane man whose catatonia is a result of being forced to confront reality.

Cast

External links

Preceded by
From Hell
Box office number-one films of 2001 (USA)
October 28
Succeeded by
Monsters, Inc.
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K-PAX
Directed by Iain Softley
Produced by Robert F. Colesberry
Lawrence Gordon
Lloyd Levin
Written by Gene Brewer
Charles Leavitt
Starring Kevin Spacey
Jeff Bridges
Mary McCormack
Alfre Woodard
Music by Edward Shearmur
Cinematography John Mathieson
Editing by Craig McKay
Studio IMF Internationale Medien und Film GmbH & Co. 2. Produktions KG
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) October 26, 2001 (2001-10-26)
Running time 120 minutes
Language English
Budget $48 million
Gross revenue $65,001,485

K-PAX is a 2001 American science fiction film directed by Iain Softley and starring Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges, Mary McCormack and Alfre Woodard. The screenplay, written by Gene Brewer and Charles Leavitt, is based on a novel of the same name by Brewer about a psychiatric patient who claims to be an alien from the planet K-PAX. During his treatment, the patient demonstrates an outlook on life that ultimately proves inspirational for his fellow patients and especially for his psychiatrist.

Contents

Plot

Claiming to be an extraterrestrial from a planet called 'K-PAX' about one thousand light years away, Prot (Kevin Spacey) is committed to the Psychiatric Institute of Manhattan where psychiatrist Mark Powell (Jeff Bridges) begins to evaluate him as a delusional. However, Prot's unwavering ability to provide cogent answers to questions about himself, K-PAX, and its civilization leads Dr. Powell to introduce him to a group of astrophysicists, where Prot claims to have journeyed to Earth by means of "light-travel" and goes on to display knowledge that puzzles them.

Prot also exhibits considerable influence over the other patients at the Institute, each of whom believes unquestioningly that he is indeed from K-PAX. Prot has explained that he can take one person with him when he returns; thereafter most of the patients at the institute ask to be taken to K-PAX.

Upon learning that many of his patients expect to leave Earth on July 27, Dr. Powell confronts Prot, who explains that it is a predetermined date. However, Powell believes this to be a significant date in Prot's life, a day on which he suffered a severe psychological trauma. Powell then decides to subject Prot to regression hypnosis, which works well. Using information gained from these sessions, Powell figures out that Prot is actually one Robert Porter, a man presumed dead since attempting suicide after his wife and daughter were murdered in 1996.

On July 27th, Prot is found lying catatonic under his bed, and one of the other patients is also missing. The missing patient is never found, and Prot does not return while the other patients don't recognize Robert as he is being wheeled out of the room.

Cast

Controversy

Complaints of plagiarism of the film Man Facing Southeast were made by its makers, and Gene Brewer and others connected with the K-PAX film were subsequently sued in November 2001, the complaint was later withdrawn and Gene Brewer went on to release a memoir exploring his inspiration for the books called 'Creating K-PAX - or Are You Sure You Want To Be A Writer?'.[1]

See Also

References

External links

Preceded by
From Hell
Box office number-one films of 2001 (USA)
October 28
Succeeded by
Monsters, Inc.


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