March 10th, 1995



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Still of Dustin Hoffman and Cuba Gooding Jr. in OutbreakDustin Hoffman at event of OutbreakMorgan Freeman, Dustin Hoffman and Rene Russo in OutbreakDonald Sutherland and Kiefer Sutherland at event of OutbreakChristy Turlington at event of OutbreakDolly Parton at event of Outbreak

Extreme measures are necessary to contain an epidemic of a deadly airborne virus. But how extreme, exactly?

Release Year: 1995

Rating: 6.4/10 (45,535 voted)

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman

In July of 1967, In Motaba River Valley, Zaire, a virus with a 100% mortality rate starts infecting people. The virus becomes known as the Motaba virus, and it's so deadly that it causes severe bleeding and liquefies internal organs, killing within 3 days. The virus wipes out Motaba River Valley, and a devastatingly huge fire bomb is dropped onto Motaba River Valley in order to reduce the chances of further infection. The bomb was dropped on the orders of corrupt General Donald McClintock, even though an army surgeon, General Bill Ford, was against the idea. 27 years later, in 1994, there is another outbreak in Motaba River Valley. At the United States Army Research Insitiute of Infectious Diseases (USARIID), located at Fort Detrick in Maryland, Colonel Sam Daniels is doing research on the Motaba virus, and so is his ex-wife Roberta Keough, who works at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta...

Writers: Laurence Dworet, Robert Roy Pool

Dustin Hoffman - Sam Daniels
Rene Russo - Robby Keough
Morgan Freeman - General Billy Ford
Kevin Spacey - Casey Schuler
Cuba Gooding Jr. - Major Salt
Donald Sutherland - General Donald McClintock
Patrick Dempsey - Jimbo Scott
Zakes Mokae - Dr. Benjamin Iwabi
Malick Bowens - Dr. Raswani
Susan Lee Hoffman - Dr. Lisa Aronson
Benito Martinez - Dr. Julio Ruiz
Bruce Jarchow - Dr. Mascelli
Leland Hayward III - Henry Seward
Daniel Chodos - Rudy Alvarez
Dale Dye - Colonel Briggs

Taglines: This animal carries a deadly virus... and the greatest medical crisis in the world is about to happen.

Release Date: 10 March 1995

Filming Locations: Arcata, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $13,420,387 (USA) (12 March 1995) (2215 Screens)

Gross: $187,800,000 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Betsy, the white-headed capuchin Monkey, also appears in the sitcom Friends as Marcel, Ross' pet. The monkey's prior role in Outbreak was spoofed by a poster showing Marcel as the star in the fictional movie "Outbreak 2: The Virus Takes Manhattan". Both the movie and the TV series are Warner Brothers productions.

Factual errors: Salt comments that their Loach (Hughes H-6) will go 400 miles without refueling. The Hughes H-6's real range is only 267 miles.

Casey Schuler: How many brain cells did I kill?
Sam Daniels: How many? About a billion.
Casey Schuler: Oh, now I'm only as smart as you.
Sam Daniels: What can we give him to kill his sense of humor?

User Review


Rating: 9/10

When I first saw this movie, I was ten, and even then I liked it. The script itself housed very funny one liners, particularly form Spacey's character. But I was amazed at how fast the film itself moved. In the first, you are following these scientists going to Africa to find a virus outbreak. Next thing you know, you're watching a helicopter go head on with a plane.

First comes the acting. Dustin Hoffman is stupendous as always, Rene Russo plays Robbie with realism, Kevin Spacey makes for a good humor man, Cuba Gooding Jr. pulls off the green man trying to earn respect, and being a bad-ass at the same time. As always, Morgan Freeman is wonderful. Any role I see him in is a role I remember. He's always different, too, neigh does he ever repeat in characterization. Sometimes he's funny, sometimes he's incredibly serious. Last but not least comes Donald Sutherland, one of my favorite actors to date. He can jump into the shoes of any character, including the general trying to protect a secret he knows he shouldn't. One actor whom I particularly enjoyed watching was J.T. Walsh. It's a great shame he died, I liked all his stuff from Breakdown to Pleasantville. He is only in Outbreak for about five minutes, but he has one of my favorite monologues in the history of film. He commands attention as he speaks.

Next comes the story itself. A very to-date story. A one all can relate to because it could very well happen. A virus from Africa makes its way here and begins infecting all, without a cure. I liked that there was a hero aspect in Sam Daniels. he was the tracker, the hunter, the curist. Coupled with the story comes the dialogue. Rich, under-appreciated, funny, and serious all wrapped into one. As I said before, the monologue for Walsh is brilliant. Many lines are etched into my mind, and are often used in conversation. Too bad no one knows what I'm saying.

I'm a bit surprised this film didn't bode too well with audiences. Mayhap they didn't want to see what could happen, who knows? My only complaint is character endings. You insinuate what happens to McClintock and Ford, also Sam and Robbie, but we don't ever see Casey again. I could infer that he dies, but he could very well have survived. I wish there was a way to know.

Finally comes Wolfgang Peterson's remarkable direction. I've been a huge fan of his movies since this movie, including Air Force One, Enemy Mine, not much for Perfect Storm, but his upcoming Ender's Game should be good.

At the end, I felt a certain sense of relief and wonderment. But I have to say the soundtrack is rather exquisite. I have always liked James Newton Howard, and though the cd is short in time, it's a time I cannot forget. Particularly the end theme when it's chopper vs. plane time. What a song, keeps me in suspense every time. I like songs that are taken for film trailers as well. It's still too bad not a lot of people know about this movie.

9 out of 10


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