In his interview with Jeff Shannon, Clint Eastwood claims he was never trying to make a statement with Million Dollar Baby: “It was just a story the way F.X. Toole wrote it some years ago.” Sorry, I don’t buy it. The original story was exploited. Characters were inserted in the boxing story, the hospital scenes were stripped bare, and the character of Frankie was altered significantly.
In the movie, following her injury, Maggie regains consciousness in a hospital somewhere in Las Vegas, where no one knows how to turn a patient every two hours or perform range-of-motion exercises. There is no Stryker frame, circle bed or “halo” to stabilize Maggie’s cervical spine or prevent bedsores. She is finally moved to a “rehab center” after languishing for two months in a regular hospital bed.
In the original story, the fictional rehab facility in Los Angeles is called “Evergreen Rehabilitation Center.” Toole writes: “Maggie was given first-class treatment with genuine concern for her well-being. She was one of 10 quadriplegics there, but there were many more paraplegics, and a