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 »
In the near future, a police officer specializes in malfunctioning robots. When a robot turns out to have been programmed to kill, he begins to uncover a homicidal plot to create killer robots... and his son becomes a target.
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
In an interview with 'Millimeter' magazine, this film's director Michael Crichton said: "This is a story that contains many elements of reality: the fear people have of surgery, the fear of dying at the hands of your doctor, phobias about hospitals. Those are very real fears, and so to exaggerate them would not be much fun. My idea was to put the picture together in such a way that the fears are put in a safe prospective, and can be enjoyed as scares, without awakening deeper and more real anxieties." See more »
When Mark puts Dr. Wheeler to bed after the chase at the Anatomy Lab, the bed covers change between when she lays down and when she leaves moments later. See more »
Dr. George A. Harris:
Our society faces momentous decisions. Decisions about the right to die. About abortion. About terminal illness, prolonged coma, transplantation. Decisions about life and death. But society isn't deciding. Congress isn't deciding. The courts aren't deciding. Religion isn't deciding. Why? Because society is leaving it up to us, the experts. The doctors.
Dr. Susan Wheeler:
Dr. George A. Harris:
Americans spend $125 billion a year on health. More than defense. Because Americans believe in medical care. These great hospital ...
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Fine medical thriller; good work by Bujold and Widmark
In COMA, petite heroine Genevieve Bujold shows you don't have to be an amazon like Sigourney Weaver or Lucy Lawless to get physical with the bad guys. Set against a hospital backdrop ranking in verisimilitude with that of THE HOSPITAL (the only other accurate medical drama of the 1970's), this is a gripping thriller even on repeat viewing over twenty years later. Bujold's acting has been mentioned by other reviewers, but I would award special accolades to Richard Widmark, whose character's unctuous avuncularity is executed with superb subtlety. Plus, he even comports himself just like a real physician of seniority.
I do have a few complaints, not least of which is the gratuitous and grossly inaccurate portrayal of clinical lab personnel and the laboratory environment. Shame on Crichton, who must have missed out on visiting the lab through his entire tenure as a medical student. The laserdisc transfer is technically one of the worst I have in my collection. The monaural soundtrack is overdriven and distorted; the colors are washed out; and careless unmasking of the print (COMA is not letterboxed) results in visible boom mikes in several shots.
Still, this is a classic film, and anyone who wants to get up to speed on medical movies wouldn't want to exclude COMA.
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