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The Dead Zone (1983)

Trailer
2:13 | Trailer
A man awakens from a coma to discover he has a psychic ability.

Director:

David Cronenberg

Writers:

Jeffrey Boam (screenplay), Stephen King (novel)
Reviews
Popularity
3,071 ( 414)
7 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Walken ... Johnny Smith
Brooke Adams ... Sarah Bracknell
Tom Skerritt ... Sheriff Bannerman
Herbert Lom ... Dr. Sam Weizak
Anthony Zerbe ... Roger Stuart
Colleen Dewhurst ... Henrietta Dodd
Martin Sheen ... Greg Stillson
Nicholas Campbell ... Frank Dodd
Sean Sullivan ... Herb Smith
Jackie Burroughs ... Vera Smith
Géza Kovács Géza Kovács ... Sonny Elliman (as Geza Kovacs)
Roberta Weiss ... Alma Frechette
Simon Craig ... Chris Stuart
Peter Dvorsky ... Dardis
Julie-Ann Heathwood Julie-Ann Heathwood ... Amy
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director David Cronenberg had to re-shoot the scene in which John Smith has his first premonition. It showed a little girl's room burning and a small E.T. doll could be seen on one of the shelves. The scene had to be re-shot when Universal Pictures threatened to file a lawsuit against them. See more »

Goofs

When Stillson presses the red button, it begins to blink on and off, with a synchronized audible tone. The next time you see the button, the tone is still perfectly synchronized with the red light, but it remained so only by speeding up significantly when the button was out of view. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Alternate Versions

Although the UK cinema version was 18-rated and intact in 1986 Thorn-EMI released a British home video version with 13 seconds cut to obtain a 15 certificate rating from the BBFC. A scissor suicide sequence was re-edited to remove shots of the preparation and aftermath, and shots of topless nudity and the descending scissors were removed from the gazebo murder. Later 18-rated releases feature the full uncut print. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Cinema Snob: Frozen Land (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Camptown Races
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Performed by Traditional
See more »

User Reviews

 
Relatively gore-free but very well-made Stehen King adaptation.
30 June 2004 | by barnabyrudgeSee all my reviews

One of the unwritten laws of the movies is that Stephen King books are nearly always disappointing when transferred to the big screen. One film which doesn't fit that rule is The Dead Zone. In the hands of David Cronenberg, you may expect this to be a gore-filled affair, but it is actually a very well-made, subtle film which emphasises the psychological sense of fear rather than settling for blood-spattered mayhem. There isn't a moment in the film that will make you jump out of your seat, but it is still an effectively scary film because it plays on your mind.

Normal, down-to-earth everyman Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken) is involved in a terrible car crash which leaves him comatose. Four years later, he miraculously awakens. To begin with, he is devastated to learn that his girlfriend has moved on, marrying and starting a family with another man. But soon he realises that this is the least of his problems. He soon discovers that the accident has left him with remarkable powers, which enable him to see into people's futures just by touching their hand. And Johnny is in for one hell of a nasty shock when he shakes hands with potential senator Greg Stillson (Martin Sheen) at a political rally....

An intelligently paced and very well-acted film, The Dead Zone is also full of unpredictable plot developments. Walken elicits great sympathy as the normal guy who rapidly learns that his new gift is actually a curse, and there are fabulous supporting performances from Tom Skerritt, Herbert Lom, Brooke Adams and the terrifying Martin Sheen. The film has several tremendous moments, but the climax in particular builds to an emotional crescendo. The premise of The Dead Zone is probably rather silly if you stop to think about it, but other than that it is a most impressive film - and still ranks as one of, if not THE, best adaptation of a Stephen King story so far.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

21 October 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Stephen King's The Dead Zone See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,556,083, 23 October 1983

Gross USA:

$20,766,616

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$20,766,616
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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