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The Dead Zone (1983)

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A man awakens from a coma to discover he has a psychic detective ability.



(screenplay), (novel)
3,488 ( 576)
7 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Sullivan ...
Géza Kovács ...
Sonny Elliman (as Geza Kovacs)
Simon Craig ...
Peter Dvorsky ...
Julie-Ann Heathwood ...


Johnny Smith wakes from a coma due to a car accident, only to find he has lost five years of his life, and yet gained psychic powers. Foreseeing the future appears to be a 'gift' at first, but ends up causing problems... Written by Paul Reynolds <pauljr@innotts.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In his mind, he has the power to see the future. In his hands, he has the power to change it. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

21 October 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Stephen King's The Dead Zone  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Before the accident, Johnny instructs his class to read "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". Christopher Walken would later go on to appear in Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow (1999). See more »


Shape of a blood bag clearly visible under Henrietta Dodd's sweater when she is shot by the sheriff. See more »


[first lines]
Johnny Smith: [Johnny is reading "The Raven" to his class] And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting, on the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door, and his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, and the lamp light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor, and my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor, shall be lifted... nevermore.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the opening titles roll, certain parts (or "dead zones") of the screen become blocked out, until the part of the screen you can see spell out the title "The Dead Zone." See more »


Referenced in Dead Zone Abridged (2013) See more »


Yankee Doodle
Written by Traditional
Performed by Traditional
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A deep and stirring thriller.
26 July 2006 | by (Brentwood, USA) – See all my reviews

Well-done big screen adaptation of the Stephen King novel is one of the most acclaimed King-based films ever, and rightfully so.

School teacher awakens from a five year coma to discover that he has the power to see into a person's past or future trauma by merely touching them.

The story that drives this solid thriller is a well-rounded and often moving character study. It's a compelling tale with some great sequences of suspense and the occasional good jolt. Director David Cronenberg delivers splendidly well-shot sequences in this film, as well as a nice atmospheric kind of bleakness that's completely in tune with our story. The music score is also quite beautiful.

The cast is the best highlight however. Star Christopher Walken does perhaps one of his best performances as our tormented hero, whom we build quite a bond with. Brook Adams is quite good as Walken's lost love. Martin Sheen is impressive as a sinister politician. Tom Skerritt and Colleen Dewhurst are also good in their small roles.

All around The Dead Zone is a wonderful film, even if you're not a fan of Stephen King.

Remade as a TV series in 2002

*** 1/2 out of ****

20 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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