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Whose Life Is It Anyway? (1981)

R  |   |  Drama  |  12 March 1982 (Australia)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 2,104 users  
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Ken Harrison is an artist who makes sculptures. One day he is involved in a car accident, and is paralyzed from his neck down. All he can do is talk, and he wants to die. In hospital he ... See full summary »



(play), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Clare Scott
Carter Hill
Judge Wyler
Kaki Hunter ...
Mary Jo Sadler
Orderly John
Alba Oms ...
Nurse Rodriguez
Janet Eilber ...
Kathryn Grody ...
Mrs. Boyle
Dr. Jacobs
Mel Stewart ...
Dr. Barr
Ward Costello ...
Mr. Eden
Alston Ahern ...
Day Nurse
Betty Cole ...
ICU Nurse


Ken Harrison is an artist who makes sculptures. One day he is involved in a car accident, and is paralyzed from his neck down. All he can do is talk, and he wants to die. In hospital he make friends with some of the staff, and they support him when he goes to trial to be allowed to die. Written by Eva Kristin Berntzen <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The ultimate drama in the human comedy See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

12 March 1982 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

C'est ma vie, après tout!  »

Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At Richard Dreyfuss' suggestion, John Badham directed Dreyfus in the stage version of this film as a way for both of them to get familiar with the material. The production was produced at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in the summer of 1980, and co-starred Blythe Danner in the role ultimately played by Christine Lahti. See more »


Ken Harrison: I admit that it's embarrassing for a man to compliment a woman on her breasts when only one of them is in bed. One of the people, that is. Not one of the breasts.
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User Reviews

A Wonderful Movie...
3 September 2000 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A brilliant performance by Richard Dreyfuss...and wonderful performances by Christine Lahti and John Cassavetes and Bob Balaban and Kenneth McMillan. I've watched this movie a number of times since it came out and it never fails to move me. Since I don't, and never have, worked in a hospital I can only believe that some of the events are a bit far fetched [jamming in the basement and smoking dope, for example] but getting past them, you have a riveting story. A battle for a human life. He wants to be allowed to die and they are determined to keep him alive. There are many wonderful moments, especially the hearing, that express the notion that both/neither is right/wrong. But whatever side you take you can't be disappointed by this moving story and these moving performances. In my opinion, 10/10.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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