Plastic surgeon Larry Roberts performs a series of minor alterations on a group of models who are seeking perfection. The operations are a resounding success. But when someone starts ... See full summary »
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Steven Hilliard Stern
A young woman doctor discovers something sinister going on in her hospital. Relatively healthy patients are having 'complications' during simple operations and ending up in comas. The patients are then shipped off to an institute that looks after them. The young doctor suspects there is more to this than meets the eye. Written by
Colin Tinto <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The name of the experimental clinic was The Jefferson Institute whilst the name of the hospital was the Boston Memorial Hospital, the latter closely resembling the real life Massachusetts General Hospital, though the site used for it was the real life Boston City Hospital. See more »
Crew and a camera are reflected in the glass as we first see Mrs. Emerson approach Dr. Wheeler. See more »
Anesthesia's the easiest job in the world until something goes wrong. It's 99% boredom and 1% scared-shitless panic.
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A very underated "Hitchcockian" thriller from the disco-era.
"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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