Broken Vessels (1998)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Medical Drama, Urban Drama  |   Release Date - Jul 2, 1999 (USA)  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Scott Ziehl made his directorial debut with this high-energy ambulance ride with a pair of paramedics careening through the Los Angeles night, with Antonio Calvache's camerawork capturing the social drama in a documentary-style depiction. In the vein of Leaving Las Vegas, the film was the top 1998 winner (best feature) at the fourth Los Angeles Independent Film Festival. Pennsylvanian Tom (Jason London) arrives in L.A., encounters his eccentric neighbor Susy (Susan Traylor), and gets work with an ambulance company. Tom is initially impressed by his cool, hard-driving partner, veteran paramedic Jimmy (Todd Field, who also co-produced), especially after Tom screws up by almost sending a crash victim off to the morgue and Jimmy straightens out the potentially embarrassing episode. Daily collisions with violence and danger soon become routine. During one trip to the hospital, a possibly violent attack from an injured man in the ambulance is quelled when Jimmy simply knocks him out with fibulator pads to the head. Steering the streets with adrenaline action and high-octane intensity, Jimmy cools down with an intake of sex and drugs. Tom soon seeks similar solutions to this frenetic life on the edge.



ambulance, career, danger, drugs, life-in-the-fast-lane, neighbor, paramedic, violence


High Production Values