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Whose Life Is It Anyway? (1981)

R | | Drama | 22 January 1982 (USA)
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2:20 | Trailer
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 »

Director:

John Badham

Writers:

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Dreyfuss ... Ken Harrison
John Cassavetes ... Dr. Michael Emerson
Christine Lahti ... Dr. Clare Scott
Bob Balaban ... Carter Hill
Kenneth McMillan ... Judge Wyler
Kaki Hunter ... Mary Jo Sadler
Thomas Carter ... Orderly John
Alba Oms Alba Oms ... Nurse Rodriguez
Janet Eilber ... Pat
Kathryn Grody ... Mrs. Boyle
George Wyner ... Dr. Jacobs
Mel Stewart ... Dr. Barr
Ward Costello Ward Costello ... Mr. Eden
Alston Ahern Alston Ahern ... Day Nurse
Betty Cole 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:

The ultimate drama in the human comedy See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 January 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Al fin y al cabo es mi vida See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$8,206,145

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,206,145
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Dreyfuss claims to have no memory of making this film. This was a side effect to his heavy drug use during the early 1980s. See more »

Quotes

Ken Harrison: [about the crowd in his room] This must be Grand Central Station!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Wings: Whose Wife Is It Anyway? (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Punkette Nights
Words and Music by Michael Starobin
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User Reviews

 
Excellent Character Study...Highly Effective But Not Pretentious or Preachy!
11 February 2016 | by TonyKissCastilloSee 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!


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