Outbreak is a 1995 American medical disaster drama film directed by Wolfgang Peterson and produced by Gail Katz, Arnold Kopelson, Anne Kopelson and Wolfgang Peterson. The screenplay was written by Lawrence Dworet and Robert Roy Pool and is based on the novel ‘The Hot Zone‘ by Richard Preston.
Rated: R (movie contains language and disturbing subject matter)
Run Time: 2h 7min
Release Date: March 10, 1995 (USA)
Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller
Director: Wolfgang Peterson
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Budget: $50 Million
Box Office: $189.8 Million
Outbreak is the story of Colonel Sam Daniels (Dustin Hoffman), a virologist and contagious disease expert with the United States Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Disease, who is sent to investigate an outbreak in Zaire of a lethal and unidentified virus similar to Ebola and Lassa. When he returns he warns his superior officer Brigadier General William Ford (Morgan Freeman) of the lethal nature of the virus and wants to put out an alert. Ford, who had been one of the men who first dealt with the virus twenty-five years earlier in Africa, insists the virus is contained and is unlikely to show up in the U.S.
Meanwhile, what neither man knows is that the host, a Capuchin monkey, has been brought into the U.S. by freighter from Africa and landed in California. Through an under the table bribe, a young man named Jimbo Scott (Patrick Dempsey) arranges to get the monkey, bound for an animal testing lab, out of quarantine in order to sell it. However, his potential buyer rejects the monkey because it is a female and not what he had agreed to purchase. With no buyer and not wanting to get caught, Jimbo released the monkey into the forest and flies back to Boston to meet up with his girlfriend.
Soon after boarding the flight to Boston, Jimbo starts getting sick. After he lands in Boston, he collapses and gets rushed to a Boston hospital in critical condition. The doctors on hand are confounded by how aggressively and fast he got sick and died and report the symptoms and quick mortality to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and news makes it to Colonel Daniels. Daniels wants to look into it further but General Ford denies his request.
In the meantime, so he turns to his ex-wife, Dr. Dr. Robby Keough (Rene Russo), who works for the CDC and also Daniels ex-wife is called in to investigate. Dr. Keough discovers the virus matches up with the disease from Africa. With an extremely aggressive nature, the virus kills very quickly and Colonel Daniels surmises that it has been contained until another outbreak occurs in Cedar Creek, a small town in California. Daniels defies his orders and flies to Cedar Creek and meets up with a team of doctors including his ex-wife Robby, Major Casey Schuler (Kevin Spacey) and Major Salt (Cuba Gooding Jr.).
A quarantine zone is established to stop the virus from spreading and fearing the virus spreading outside of the small town, the Army is called in to manage the situation. The operation is headed up by Ford’s boss, Major General McClintock (Donald Sutherland) who has his own agenda in mind in order to protect the lethal bug in order to still be able to use it as a bio-weapon. McClintock and Ford were stationed together in Africa in 1969 and first encountered the Mutaba virus in a rural village and developed an antidote, making it the perfect weapon. However, the virus in Cedar Creek mutated and is now airborne making the original antidote useless.
Meanwhile, the doctors must fight against the clock to concoct a new antidote to save the town and its residents before the Army attempts to destroy the town with a fuel-air bomb to try and kill the mutated virus before it spreads further and keeping the original Mutaba virus as a viable bio-weapon. Can Colonel Daniel’s and his team save the day?
“I hate this bug” – Major Casey Schuler
“Come on, Casey. You have to love its simplicity. It’s one-billionth our size and it’s beating us.” – Colonel Sam Daniels
“Donny… these people are Americans.” – General Billy Ford
“2,600 dead or dying Americans. If that bug gets out of there, Billy, 260 million Americans’ll be dead or dying. Those people are casualties of war, Billy. I would give’em all a medal if I could, but they are casualties of war.” – General Donald McClintock
“You know, fear gets a bad rap, Salt. I don’t want anybody working with me who isn’t scared. Okay?” – Colonel Sam Daniels
“Well then I’m you’re man, sir.” – Major Salt
“Sir, my pilot’s… taking a leak” – Sergeant Meyer
“A leak? No Shit!” – Colonel Sam Daniels
Official Movie Trailer
Dustin Hoffman as Colonel Sam Daniels
Rene Russo as Robby Keough
Kevin Spacey as Major Casey Schuler
Morgan Freeman as Brigadier General Billy Ford
Patrick Dempsey as Jimbo Scott
Cuba Gooding Jr. as Major Salt
Donald Sutherland as Major General Donald McClintock
Zakes Mokae as Dr. Benjamin Iwabi
Dale Dye as Lieutenant Colonel Briggs
Bruce Jarchow as Dr. Mascelli
Maury Sterling as Sandman One
J.T. Walsh as Chief of Staff