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First Do No Harm [DVD] [1997]

Meryl Streep , Fred Ward , Jim Abrahams    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
Price: £1.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

First Do No Harm [DVD] [1997] + Music of the Heart [DVD] + Falling In Love [1984] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Meryl Streep, Fred Ward, Seth Adkins, Allison Janney, Margo Martindale
  • Directors: Jim Abrahams
  • Producers: Jim Abrahams
  • Format: PAL, Full Screen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Infinity Media
  • DVD Release Date: 13 Mar 2006
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EGCD28
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,776 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Meryl Streep stars as Laura Reimuller, whose son Robbie begins suffering from epileptic fits. As the fits worsen, doctors test various dangerous drugs on Robbie, who becomes disruptive and mentally retarded. Laura conducts her own research, and discovers a special diet which may cure her son. She has to take on the medical establishment and battle for Robbie's right to try out the miracle cure.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film that will touch your heart! 19 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This film captured me. A true story of a little boy's fight for life (when he develops epilesy), and his mother's refusal to give up when even the doctors seem to. This film highlights the dependency of western medicine on "drug therapies" and a blindness to other treatments which are dismissed as unscientific.An amazing story which is wonderfully acted out. Watch it and it will make your heart glow but more importantly it will make you think and give many people out there hope. No special effects, no super heros that save the world just an amazing story about some real life heros that take control of their world when it is crumbling around them and hope wins true.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and thought provoking 21 Feb 2010
My oldest brother became epileptic after receiving a Whooping Cough vaccine and spent his childhood in and out of hospital before dieing in his forties. As a young child I was used to helping my mother when he had fits and accepted that he was damaged by his drugs. I wasn't sure whether I could watch this film but enjoyed it despite finding it very moving. The film tells the story of a young boy (how do they get children to act like this?) who develops Idiopathic (meaning the doctors have no idea why!)Epilepsy and how gradually his Mum's (Meryl Streep) belief that the doctors have his best interests at heart and can cure him is eroded until she has to find a cure herself. The acting is excellent and nothing is over stated. The scenes are realistic without being melodramatic, clearly showing the pressure on the whole family and the behaviour of people who do not understand epilepsy. It is a thoroughly entertaining film but also thought provoking. Thank goodness some people are brave enough to reveal the inadequacies and dangers of drug therapy along with the dreadful behaviour of doctors who seem to believe they are god and should not be questioned, in the manner of "I'm the doctor, trust me". I cheered when 'Doc' the 'resigned' MD made it clear that there is no science behind giving a cocktail of drugs (no research/double blind trials have been carried out) or many other treatments that are pushed as being the 'scientific' option. Watch this film, enjoy its pathos and great acting and hopefully be encouraged to do a little research and ask questions before accepting drug therapy for yourself or your family.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Having got epilepsy myself I could liken it to many experiences I have gone through. The same things happen in the UK just as in the US only you are lucky if you get to see a neurologist in the UK. I liked the way they used statistics in the film showing that it not something that works for everyone. The acting was superb, not overdone but precise. It thoroughly deserves any accolades it's given. It's quite a thought provoking film well worth watching. Omr I would thoroughly recommend.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intersting title 11 Jan 2010
By Lindy
The title comes form the Hyppocratic oath, which becomes clear during the film. The story is rated a 12, but some of the scenes of the little boy having epileptic fits are a bit disturbing. I wouldn't like my 12 year old and his friends to watch it unaccompanied. It's a very moving story, very well acted, but does not show the American medical profession in a particularly good light. It becomes almost evangelical towards the end, more of an advert than a piece of entertainment.
Having said that, it is a very good film. Meryl Streep makes a very convincing mum struggling against the professionals. A good, girlie film and one that many mums could relate to.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most amazing performance from Seth Adkins 11 Mar 2011
A friend of mine has a son with epilepcy and she recently started him on the Ketogenic diet. I asked about it and she suggested I watch this film. The diet is very labour intensive for the parents/carer but has yielded some extraordinary results in very sick children. The film tells the story of Lori, a busy mother whose young son, Robbie suddenly collapses at Kindergarten one day. Initially Lori is reluctant to accept the epilepsy diagnosis however it soon becomes clear that there is no other explanation for Robbie's increasingly distressing episodes. Seth Adkins,the young actor playing Robbie gives a breathtaking performance. His fluttering eyelids and fitting is so realistic. Robbie's doctors answer to everything seems to be to increase his medication or even attempt brain surgery. Lori reads about the Ketogenic diet and discovers that a third of the children on it never have another seizure. She then has to battle the medical authorities to try it for her own son. One of the nice touches about this film is that some of the parts were played by people who had sucessfully tried the diet. Any film with Meryl Streep has to be worth watching. A heartwarming but not sickly story.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The wonder of the ketogenic diet!! 17 Nov 2008
This wonderful film shows the truly fanastic results that the ketogenic diet can give to a child with drug-resistant epilepsy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars true stories, always better than fiction! 31 Aug 2010
So glad I bought this dvd. "A must see" for anyone with epilepsy or who knows somebody with this problem. I do not know anybody as such, but I think this film is an eye opener to this kind of difficuly and gives you better understanding and compassion, as well as admiration for the work parents, doctors, nurses and relatives do to help.

Meryl Streep is excellent in her performance as the mother of the sick child. Fred Ward, as the father of the child, is also very convincing in his role. Seth Adkins, the boy with the epilepsy, is such a good actor at his young age, that it was difficult to believe he did not have this disease.

The only complaint I have: " There are no other languages available than English as far as subtitles are concerned."

I still give this film 5 stars. Like I mentioned in my title, true stories always seem to outdo fiction.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by Rita
5.0 out of 5 stars THE AMERICAN DREAM GONE WRONG !!!!!!
A wonderful film portrayed by a equally wonderful actors. It is a very emotional film & a true story so beware some of you mums, because I am sure you will shed a few tears. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Johncrouch
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, other than one song...
This is a wonderful film based on a true-life story. It stars Meryl Streep as Lori, a contented, if slightly harassed mother with three children. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sue
5.0 out of 5 stars A MOVING AND BRILLIANT FILM
I had never heard of this movie, but generally think Meryl Streep does good movies. It far surpassed what I expected, a moving and inspiring story, most of which was true. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mrs. J. Stark
5.0 out of 5 stars very happy
arrived promptly not yet watched this dvd but will look forward to yet another good film from Meryl Streep one to watch over and over
Published 7 months ago by sue
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful for anyone concerned about false accusation of child abuse
Demonstrates very clearly how the medical profession band together to protect their own reputations by blaming the parent who is trying to obtain information to help her child. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jan LB
1.0 out of 5 stars Meryl Streep playing Meryl STREEP - AGAIN
Something for a very bored wet Monday afternoon. A worthy film but not very exciting. dIDN'T WATCH ALL OF IT BECAUSE i LOST INTEREST.Y
Published 9 months ago by Ms. J. C. Gilbert
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD
What a tear jerker, meryl streep plays such a wonderful part in this film. Very moving but inspirational as based on a true story.
Really enjoyed it.
Published 10 months ago by Elias Boueiri
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous Meryl
I had never heard of this film but I consider Meryl Streep one of the really great actresses of our time ... Read more
Published 13 months ago by SallymetHarry
5.0 out of 5 stars First do no Harm
Received in Excellent condition and just what was required to keep the grown ups entertained an excellent film with good entertainment all around and a true story
Published 14 months ago by Les
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