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Coma (1978) More at IMDbPro »

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Coma -- When patients die during routine surgery, a concerned doctor defies her male superiors and uncovers a secret plot by hospital administrators to sell body parts on the black market.


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Up 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Michael Crichton (screenplay)
Robin Cook (novel)
View company contact information for Coma on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 January 1978 (USA) See more »
Imagine your life hangs by a thread. Imagine your body hangs by a wire. Imagine you're not imagining.
When a young female doctor notices an unnatural amount of comas occurring in her hospital she uncovers a horrible conspiracy. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 nomination See more »
(70 articles)
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User Reviews:
Excellent medical thriller See more (82 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

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 ... Computer Technician

Frank Downing ... Kelly

Richard Doyle ... Jim
Alan Haufrect ... Dr. Marcus
Lance LeGault ... Vince (as Lance Le Gault)
Michael MacRae ... Chief Resident

Betty McGuire ... Nurse

Tom Selleck ... Sean Murphy
Charles Siebert ... Dr. Goodman
William Wintersole ... Lab Technician
Ernest Anderson ... First Doctor

Harry Basch ... Second Doctor
Maury Cooper ... Third Doctor
Joni Palmer ... Dance Instructor

Joanna Kerns ... Diane
Kay Cole ... Sally
Tom Borut ... Dr. Cowans (as Tom Borut M.D.)
Philip G. Brooks ... Dr. Richards (as Philip G. Brooks M.D.)
Benny Rubin ... Mr. Schwartz
David Hollander ... Jimmy
Dick Balduzzi ... 1st Maintenance Man
Gary Bisig ... 2nd Maintenance Man

Kurt Andon ... 1st Cop
Wyatt Johnson ... 2nd Cop
Mike Lally ... Security Man (as Mike Lally Sr.)
John Widlock ... Norman
Duane Tucker ... 1st Man in Shower
Del Hinkley ... 2nd Man in Shower

Paul Ryan ... 1st Technician
Michael Mann ... 2nd Technician
Sarina C. Grant ... Woman in Elevator

David McKnight ... Man in Elevator
Gerald Benston ... Anesthetist (as Gerald Benston M.D.)
Robert Burton ... Pathology Residents

Ed Harris ... Pathology Resident #2
Joe Bratcher ... Surgical Residents
Martin Speer ... Surgical Residents
Roger Newman ... Surgical Residents
Paul Davidson ... Surgical Residents
Amentha Dymally ... Nurses
Lois Walden ... Nurses
Sharron Frame ... Nurses
Sue Bugden ... Nurses
Susie Luner ... Nurses
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jason Bernard ... Surgical Residents (uncredited)

Jeffrey Corazzini ... Patient (uncredited)

Bob Dio ... Subway Passenger (uncredited)
Edward C. Higgins ... Security Guard #2 (uncredited)
Gerry Vichi ... Ambulance Driver (uncredited)
Donald Wayne ... (uncredited)

Nicholas Worth ... Patterson Institute Chief of Security (uncredited)

Directed by
Michael Crichton 
Writing credits
Michael Crichton (screenplay)

Robin Cook (novel)

Produced by
Martin Erlichman .... producer
Original Music by
Jerry Goldsmith 
Cinematography by
Victor J. Kemper (director of photography)
Film Editing by
David Bretherton 
Casting by
Joyce Agu  (as Joyce Robinson)
Sam Christensen 
Production Design by
Albert Brenner 
Set Decoration by
Rick Simpson 
Makeup Department
Carolyn Ferguson .... hair stylist
Don Schoenfeld .... makeup artist
Carrie White .... hair stylist: Miss Bujold's hairstyle designer
Production Management
Phil Rawlins .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Alan Brimfeld .... second assistant director (as Alan Brimfield)
Ronald R. Grow .... assistant director (as Ron Grow)
William McGarry .... assistant director
Art Department
Sam Moore .... property master
V.R. Bud Shelton .... assistant property master (as V. 'Bud' Shelton)
Benjamin Resella .... scenic effects supervisor (uncredited)
William Ladd Skinner .... set designer (uncredited)
Sound Department
William Griffith .... sound (as Bill Griffith)
Michael J. Kohut .... sound
William L. McCaughey .... sound (as William McCaughey)
John Riordan .... sound editor
Aaron Rochin .... sound
Special Effects by
Joe Day .... special effects
Andrew Miller .... special effects (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Bill Hansard .... process coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Gerald Hirschfeld .... photographer: Jefferson Institute sequence
Bruce McBroom .... still photographer
Doug Byers .... electrician (uncredited)
Thomas P. Powell .... rigging gaffer electric (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Yvonne Kubis .... wardrobe
Eddie Marks .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Chuck Ellison .... assistant editor
Steve Johnson .... colorist (uncredited)
Music Department
Harry V. Lojewski .... music supervisor
William Saracino .... music editor
Jerry Goldsmith .... conductor (uncredited)
Willard Jones .... music copyist (uncredited)
Artie Kane .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Milton Kestenbaum .... musician: bass (uncredited)
Virginia Majewski .... musician: viola (uncredited)
Michael J. McDonald .... score remixer (uncredited)
Arthur Morton .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Don Peake .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Lee Ritenour .... musician: guitar (uncredited)
Tommy Vig .... musician: percussion (uncredited)
Other crew
Chris Hutson .... technical advisor
John James .... location manager
John Lugar .... assistant to producer
Cydney Michaelson .... technical advisor
Don Morgan .... unit publicist
Betsy Norton .... script supervisor
Brent Sellstrom .... video coordinator
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
113 min | Belgium:104 min (video version)
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:M | Finland:K-16 (cut) | Finland:K-18 (uncut) | France:-12 | Iceland:16 | Netherlands:16 | Norway:18 | Norway:18 (1978) | Singapore:PG | Sweden:15 | UK:AA (original rating) | UK:15 (video rating) (1986) | USA:PG | USA:TV-PG (2006) | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Actor Michael Douglas once described this film has having elements of both Love Story (1970) and The Hospital (1971) as well suspense elements of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. Director Michael Crichton once wrote a number of novels under the pseudonym of "Michael Douglas" which was a hybrid of the first name of his (Michael) and his brother's (Douglas).See more »
Crew or equipment visible: Dr. Wheeler and Dr. Bellows are walking along a corridor discussing something. A technician must be moving along the floor with a long microphone which can be seen.See more »
Dr. Cowans:Anesthesia's the easiest job in the world until something goes wrong. It's 99% boredom and 1% scared-shitless panic.See more »
Movie Connections:


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34 out of 37 people found the following review useful.
Excellent medical thriller, 5 March 2003
Author: preppy-3 from United States

Patients check into the (fictitous) Boston Memorial Hospital for routine operations and, inexplicably, go into irreversible comas. Dr. Susan Wheeler (Genevieve Bujold) wants to know why much to the disappointment of her doctor boyfriend (Michael Douglas). When she tries to find answers, she finds herself marked for death.

Michael Crichton directed from Robin Cook's great novel. There are huge gaps in logic, but the film is so exciting and entertaining those can be forgiven. It's fairly well-directed and well-done overall. There are many great sequences--Bujold being stalked by a killer in the hospital late at night; a visit to the creepy Jefferson Institute; some lovely views of Cape Cod MA; Bujold, and then Douglas, tracking a suspicious oxygen line and the "accidental" death of a janitor. Also there's Jerry Goldsmith's loud, pounding score moving the picture along and, best of all, this was shot on location in Boston.

The acting is so-so. Douglas and Bujold are OK as the leads. Richard Widmark is having the time of his life playing a hospital administrator. Rip Torn and Elizabeth Ashley also turn in good performances. Also look for Tom Selleck, Ed Harris (with hair!) and Joanna Kerns in bit parts.

A very good movie. However you do have to deal with some very dated dialogue of Bujold trying to make it in a "man's" world. Also be aware that this is pretty extreme for a PG rated movie--there are fairly clear shots of Bujold's body during a shower scene and plenty of nude, dead bodies in a freezer sequence and some really gruesome scenes throughout the hospital.

This film has disappeared for some reason. It caused a lot of excitement around here when it was filmed in 1977 and was a big hit in 1978. Then it just disappeared. That's surprising considering how the careers of Cook, Crichton and Douglas have taken off. It deserves rediscovery.

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Farrah Fawcett shamosfisher-1
Nurse at Jefferson Institute mecahill
Jefferson Institute darthquincunx
The anatomy lab 'meat locker' pathologica
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is this movie as good as awake? iljh2001
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