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Coma (1978) More at IMDbPro »

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Coma -- When patients die during routine surgery, a concerned Boston 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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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)

 (From Variety - TV News. 20 September 2015, 7:00 PM, PDT)

Self/less | Review
 (From ioncinema. 9 July 2015, 9:30 AM, PDT)

Michael Crichton's Micro heading to the movies
 (From Den of Geek. 28 June 2015, 10:37 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
"Someone's putting people into comas..." See more (81 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?

A number of changes were made when adapting the film's source novel to the screen. The story's central protagonist Dr. Susan Wheeler was an attractive feminist blonde medical student in the book whereas in the film she is an unglamorous brunette second year surgical resident medical officer. The women's lib feminist content of the novel was cut right down for the film. Moreover, the medical institute building in the book was situated in the city whereas in the movie the building is located in the outer suburbs out of town.See more »
Continuity: The MG-B that Dr. Wheeler drives in the opening scene with a tan interior and a black plastic honeycomb grille switches to an earlier model with a black interior and an all chrome grille (noticeable in the scene where the car will not start). When Dr. Wheeler visits the Jefferson Institute, it has switched back to the MG-B with the tan interior and black grille.See more »
Dr. Susan Wheeler:You did it.
[Put people in irreversible comas]
Dr. George A. Harris:No decision is easy, Sue. It only looks that way when you're young. When you're older, everything is complicated. There is no black and white, only gray.
See more »
Movie Connections:


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32 out of 39 people found the following review useful.
"Someone's putting people into comas...", 17 April 2002
Author: Poseidon-3 from Cincinnati, OH

Not for those who fear the medical profession, this creepy thriller takes it's time getting started, but then kicks into high gear. It creates a mood and builds suspense to an almost unbearable degree. Elfin Bujold (sporting a truly unappealing hairstyle) is Dr. Susan Wheeler, a principled, dedicated intern at a major hospital. She begins to notice a disturbing trend...that folks with purportedly minor surgeries are not coming out of their operations conscious. From this point on, it is virtually Bujold against the world as a gallery of sexist, condescending doctors (including her own lover Douglas) tries to poo-poo her findings or encourage her to lay off. Naturally, she can't leave well enough alone and is soon up to her ears in intrigue and violence. The film has a blatantly frank point of view. People eat sandwiches while they are examining cadavers. Brains are sliced like deli meat. It's all very clinical and unsettling to non-medical viewers. There are several highly-charged moments including a duct hole exploration and a chase through a seemingly abandoned hospital. Jerry Goldsmith's clanking score doesn't take center stage until late in the film, but is wonderfully nerve-wracking when it needs to be. Bujold and the Chief of Staff Widmark make wonderful counterparts as they come from different generations and different eras of medicine. Best of all is the brief, but unforgettable, appearance of Ashley as the world's most intimidating nurse. In her opening scene she blinks exactly once! Her voice is a monotone terror and her stare is up there with Medusa's. The section that contains her is surreal, but arresting and very campy! Adding to the fun is a series of small appearances by people like Torn, Chiles, Selleck and Harris. This is a frightening film with some memorable imagery and a startling amount of skin for a PG film.

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Nurse at Jefferson Institute mecahill
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The anatomy lab 'meat locker' pathologica
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