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Whose Life Is It Anyway? (1981)

R | | Drama | 22 January 1982 (USA)
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 »

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(play), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Dr. Michael Emerson
...
Dr. Clare Scott
...
Carter Hill
...
Judge Wyler
Kaki Hunter ...
Mary Jo Sadler
...
Orderly John
Alba Oms ...
Nurse Rodriguez
Janet Eilber ...
Pat
Kathryn Grody ...
Mrs. Boyle
...
Dr. Jacobs
...
Dr. Barr
Ward Costello ...
Mr. Eden
Alston Ahern ...
Day Nurse
Betty Cole ...
ICU Nurse
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Storyline

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 <eva@himolde.no>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You'll have a lot of laughs.....before you cry. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 January 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

C'est ma vie, après tout!  »

Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Ken Harrison: I better be nice to this woman. Otherwise, the good doctor will dissolve her in water and inject her into me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in After Lately: Who's Vagina Is It, Anyway?! (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Punkette Nights
Words and Music by Michael Starobin
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Excellent Character Study...Highly Effective But Not Pretentious or Preachy!
11 February 2016 | by (Pasto, Colombia) – See all my reviews

Events in your life can shape and change you...sometimes radically. Before my heart attack and triple bypass I rated this 8*. Now, it is a most resounding 10*! In "Whose Life" the life-altering event for sculptor Ken Harrison (Richard Dreyfuss in an outstanding performance) was a traffic accident that left him quadriplegic.

About 6 months after the fact, Harrison begins to to realize that not only his sculptures, but his perception of the world, its interpretation and his own self-image had been shaped through the use of his hands. Of course, his hands "died" on the day of the accident, and therefore, Harrison concludes, so did he.

The film focuses on both his day to day struggle to cope with his unbearable condition and his confrontation with the hospital administration, or at least with its decision-making chief medical officer, Dr. Emerson (John Cassavetes-turning in a fine performance), who is intent on keeping Harrison in the hospital and under its care, against his will, even if that means declaring Harrison incompetent.

Christine Lahti also has a supporting role. The film is highly effective but not pretentious or preachy in the least.

10*STARS*.....ENJOY/DISFRUTELA!

Any comments, questions or observations, in English or Español, are most welcome!


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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