Genre Guesstimation – Vital Signs (1990)

The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s genre has been chosen by Patty of and we will be reviewing our favorite Medical Dramas.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Aug by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Patty!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Medical Dramas…..

“Third year is like being a rookie pitcher called on to pitch the seventh game of the World Series… blindfolded.” – Dr. David Redding

Number of Times Seen – 1 (6 Aug 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A group of talented and gifted medical students all vie for the top spot in the class while also dealing wit the various ups and downs of life and love along the way.

My Take on it – I was actually quite surprised that I had never seen or even heard of this film before coming across it during my research for this month’s genre.

They do an excellent job here creating a story and characters that need to deal with the crazy and unpredictable life of medical students.

The characters are all very friendly with one another despite the fact that they are in a competitive field of work and they make it all quite convincing to watch things unfold.

The movie has a great cast and that enhances the story because we want to care about these characters as things begin to move along.

Adrian Pasdar, Laura San Giacomo, Diane Lane, Bradley Whitford and William Devane are all great here.

Jimmy Smits stands out as the mentor of the students.

There is no doubt in my mind, that this film helped make TV Medical Dramas much more dominant in prime time over the past 30years because it’s so easy to spot numerous aspects of this story that bleed into things on ER, Chicago Hope and even Grey’s Anatomy.

This movie’s plot allows us to see the way of life and love that these characters need to deal with while trying to make it through one of the most difficult years of their careers.

Bottom Line – Great film that does a stellar job of showing the crazy life of medical students. The way that they all vie for top spots against one another is done quite well because we can see that they still remain friends despite the competition among them. The cast is great and that helps keep the story interesting to watch unfold. There is no doubt in my mind that this film helped herald in the age of TV Medical dramas like ER, Grey’s Anatomy and Chicago Hope which began to dominate prime time for nearly 30 years.  The story is able to show the way that they have to deal with life and love during this very critical year of their lives.  Loved seeing Smits in the role of the mentor.  Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Bradley Whitford and Jimmy Smits would later go on to star in The West Wing together. (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Comes really close. It’s easy to see how this film was partial inspiration for so many TV medical dramas.

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)


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One thought on “Genre Guesstimation – Vital Signs (1990)

  1. Pingback: Genre Grandeur August Finale – The Sleeping City (1950) – Caftan Woman | MovieRob

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