Movies about medicine may sound dry, but in the hands of the right filmmaker they can be thought-provoking, informative pieces that create a dialog about important health issues. Films such as And the Band Played On chronicled real-life medical and scientific discoveries, while Never Let Me Go presented a dystopian world where humans are treated as commodities.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest centers around R.P. Murphy, who feigns insanity to escape prison and is sent to a mental hospital. Once he realizes he may never get out, he leads a patient revolt against authoritative Nurse Ratched. The 1975 movie, which won five Academy Awards, opened people’s eyes to the treatment of the mentally ill in state facilities, especially the use of electroconvulsive therapy. Interestingly, that type of therapy has made a resurgence in treating illnesses such as acute depression, but with improvements, the treatment is now done in a much more controlled environment, and with anesthesia. The film serves as a reminder of medicine's evolution.
Click through the gallery to see what movies you should put on your must-watch—or must-watch-again—list.
(Photo: Michael Ochs/Getty Images)