6.9/10
16,044
105 user 54 critic

Coma (1978)

When a young female doctor notices an unnatural amount of comas occurring in her hospital she uncovers a horrible conspiracy.

Director:

Michael Crichton

Writers:

Michael Crichton (screenplay), Robin Cook (novel)
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Popularity
2,233 ( 4,422)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Geneviève Bujold ... Dr. Susan Wheeler (as Genevieve Bujold)
Michael Douglas ... Dr. Mark Bellows
Elizabeth Ashley ... Mrs. Emerson
Rip Torn ... Dr. George
Richard Widmark ... Dr. Harris
Lois Chiles ... Nancy Greenly
Hari Rhodes ... Dr. Morelind (as Harry Rhodes)
Gary Barton Gary Barton ... Computer Technician
Frank Downing Frank Downing ... Kelly
Richard Doyle ... Jim
Alan Haufrect Alan Haufrect ... Dr. Marcus
Lance LeGault ... Vince (as Lance Le Gault)
Michael MacRae Michael MacRae ... Chief Resident
Betty McGuire ... Nurse
Tom Selleck ... Sean Murphy
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Storyline

A young doctor at a hospital, Susan Wheeler (played by Geneviève Bujold), starts noticing a pattern of strange occurrences with patients. Healthy patients are suddenly developing complications and ending up in comas. She starts investigating and what she reveals is astonishing. Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Imagine your life hangs by a thread. Imagine your body hangs by a wire. Imagine you're not imagining. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 January 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Koma See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Surgery patient Sean Murphy, also seen later in the Jefferson Institute, was actor Tom Selleck. Selleck would later work with this film's director Michael Crichton on Runaway (1984). See more »

Goofs

Although the background passenger on the MBTA might look like a dummy, she is obviously real. She moves her eyes during the scene. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Susan Wheeler: Jim, I know it sounds silly but, supposing you wanted to put people into a coma, what would you do?
Jim: You mean on purpose?
Pathology Resident #2: Diethyl para-amino tannadol.
Jim: No, no, leaves a serum trace.
Pathology Resident #2: Yeah, if you know to look for it.
Jim: But it also peaks alk phos. That's a real giveaway. Besides, who can get tannadol?
Pathology Resident #2: Well, then you can use paradine.
Jim: No, it has a taste. We'd all make great murderers. I mean, who knows better about murder than a pathologist?
Pathology Resident #2: It sure keeps my wife in line.
See more »

Connections

Version of Coma (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A very underated "Hitchcockian" thriller from the disco-era.
16 August 2001 | by RColtASCSee all my reviews

"Coma", as well as other mid-to-late 70's films, was one of the reasons I became a filmmaker myself. In terms of the suspence, tension and general spookiness of such a "normal and everyday" subject as hospitals, doctors, etc., was very influential in how I perceived the things around me. The great thing about the film, and the book - of course, was that we put our trust in people like doctors, policemen, goverment officials, and the like - and most of the time that trust is "blind faith". Dr. Cook and DR. Crichton are masters at this genre - Making the incredible credible. Even though this film is a bit dated, It is almost becoming a reality. In China, prisoners are "harvested" for their organs so others can benefit. Technology, like in the film, can now sustain life for as long as the machine(s) and/or computers can function. It was Sci-Fi in 1978 - now an all-to-real reality. Back to the film itself, I thought Dr. Crichton did a wonderful job on the directing and the screenplay. The material he had from Dr. Cook was first-rate. The cinematography, done by A.S.C. President Victor J. Kemper was outstanding. The technique of keeping the images at the hospital as cold, sterile and clinical as possible was brilliant. Mr. Hirschfield's "Jefferson Institute" sequences were also fantastic. Dr. Crichton's editing pace was also a stroke of genius. All editing was done with straight cuts. No zooms and very few dolly /pan shots. This was keep with the theme that YOU, THE VIEWER, are in the hospital and the "cuts" are as impersonal and precise as the doctor's scalpel. The cast was also well thought out. Ms. Bujold, even though she speaks with a thick French-Canadian accent, was the perfect protagonist. You do not have to be an Amazon Woman to be strong and independent. Mr. Douglas was a bit "sleepy" in his role, he just needed more to do. Mr. Widmark was perfect as the Chief, as was Mrs. Ashley as the Institute's head matron. Look for Tom Selleck and Ed Harris in their first movie roles. Also, in the "Jefferson Institute" sequence, you will see a young Christopher Reeve as a hapless victem of the movie's plot. All in all, "Coma" is one of those films that, even though had moderate success at the box office, is really a forgotten gem in the MGM vaults. It proves that you do not need blood guts, or special effects to make a great movie. Gee, kind of like Mr. Hitchcock.


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