The Bumblebee Flies Anyway (1999)


The Bumblebee Flies Anyway (1999)

Barney Snow (Wood) wakes up in a hospital with no memories but his name & recurring images of a car crash. With little else to go on, he makes the place his temporary home and soon learns that all of the other residents in this youth clinic are dying from terminal illnesses - except him. When another patient, Mazzo (Perrino), asks Barney to play host for his visiting twin sister Cassie (Cook), the two strike up a fast friendship that blooms into romance and promises a fresh start for Barney. But as he gradually pieces together his fragmented memory, he begins to unravel the puzzle of his strange dreams and remember his old life. How will Barney react once he learns the truth about his own past, and what will he do when Mazzo surprises him with a difficult request for help?
IMDb   6.3 /10
TheMovieDb    6.6 /10
RottenTomatoes  60 %
Director Martin Duffy
Writer Robert Cormier
Writer Jennifer Sarja
Release Date1999-12-31
Runtime1h 35min
GenreDrama, Romance
Content RatingPG-13 (PG-13)
AwardsAwards1 nomination
CompanyShooting Gallery
Eileen Snowas Eileen Snow
Barney Snowas Barney Snow
Dr. Harrimanas Dr. Harriman…
Billyas Billy
Mazzoas Mazzo
Dr. Croftas Dr. Croft
Nurse Bascamas Nurse Bascam
Allie Roonas Allie Roon
Christopher Mark Petrizzo
Christopher Mark Petrizzo
Chris Ronsonas Chris Ronson
Cassieas Cassie
Samuel Ronsonas Samuel Ronson
Willyas Willy…
Matthew Cavallary
Matthew Cavallary
Young Barney Snowas Young Barney Snow
David France
David France
Richard Snowas Richard Snow
Joan Levy
Joan Levy
Woman in Suburbsas Woman in Suburbs
Alice Liu
Alice Liu
Nurse Lias Nurse Li
Mrs. Ronsonas Mrs. Ronson

The Bumblebee Flies Anyway

The Bumblebee Flies Anyway is a 1999 film starring Elijah Wood, directed by Martin Duffy. It was based on the novel of the same name by Robert Cormier.


Barney Snow (Elijah Wood) wakes up in a hospital with no memory of why he is there. All he has is his name and some vague recollections of a car crash. He assumes that he is in the hospital for his amnesia and settles in to try to recover. He quickly realizes that all of the other residents of the youth clinic are all suffering from terminal illnesses.

Another patient, Mazzo (Joseph Perrino), asks Barney to play host for his visiting twin sister Cassie (Rachael Leigh Cook). Barney immediately falls for Cassie and strives to get better, if only to be able to see her in a setting outside the hospital. He is determined to learn about his past so that he can make her a part of his future.

In his explorations, both inside his shattered memories and through the physical rooms of the hospital, Barney starts to realize that there was no car crash. Doctor Harriman (Janeane Garofalo) induced amnesia in Barney to make him forget everything in his past. Barney demands to know why, and Harriman tells him he has cancer. The experimental procedure that Barney is undergoing is attempting to test the power of the mind in fighting cancer. Barney had volunteered for the treatment, hoping for a miracle cure.

The theory was that if Barney didn’t know he had cancer, the body might stop creating the cancer cells. The explanation Harriman gives comes from an old myth that, based on weight ratios to wing power and wind resistance, the bumblebees should be aerodynamically incapable of flight — yet the bumblebee doesn’t know that, so it flies anyway.

Torn between his hope for a cure and his desire to continue his budding relationship with Cassie, Barney is forced to choose whether to go through the amnesia procedure again or remain with the memories and knowledge he has thus far acquired.


  • Elijah Wood as Barney Snow
  • Janeane Garofalo as Dr. Harriman/Handyman
  • Rachael Leigh Cook as Cassie
  • George O. Gore II as Billy
  • Joseph Perrino as Mazzo/Berto
  • Roger Rees as Dr. Croft
  • Oni Faida Lampley as Nurse Bascam
  • Jeffrey Force as Allie Roon
  • Christopher Mark Petrizzo as Chris Ronson
  • Samuel Haft as Samuel Ronson
  • John E. Mack as Willy/Orderly
  • Joan Levy as Woman in Suburbs