235 user 106 critic

The Dead Zone (1983)

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


David Cronenberg


Jeffrey Boam (screenplay), Stephen King (novel)
2,964 ( 471)
7 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





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 Roberta Weiss ... Alma Frechette
Simon Craig ... Chris Stuart
Peter Dvorsky ... Dardis
Julie-Ann Heathwood Julie-Ann Heathwood ... Amy


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:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Before his accident, Johnny Smith is an English teacher. Stephen King was also an English teacher before becoming a full-time writer. See more »


During the scenes leading up to the car crash, it is raining heavily in some scene cuts and in others not at all. 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 »

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 »


Referenced in The Frighteners (1996) See more »


The Yankee Doodle Boy
(a.k.a., "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy") (uncredited)
Written by George M. Cohan
(Cohan included a snippet of "Yankee Doodle" (traditional) in his own composition)
Performed by Traditional
See more »

User Reviews

The Dead Zone: Deserves its recognition
23 March 2018 | by PlatypuschowSee all my reviews

The Dead Zone is one of those critically acclaimed movies which I'm astounded has taken me this long to get around to.

Starring Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen and the late great Herbert Lom this Stephen King adaptation tells the story of a man who upon coming out of a coma learns he has gained the power of premonition.

The interesting thing about the Dead Zone is it's almost like a mini-series squeezed into a single film as it doesn't have one solid storyline throughout and instead is a series of stepping stones to the brilliant finale.

The cast are on point and Lom who is famous for his villianous characters (Pink Panther for example) is highly likeable and steals every scene he's in.

I'm so glad coming out of this that I finally got round to it as it is yet another great King adaptation worthy of its acclaim.

The Good:

Opening a movie with an Edgar Alan Poe quote works for me

Perfectly executed from performances to writing

Great finale

The Bad:

Cheating protagonists, they never get old

Would have benefitted from at least 30 minutes more

Things I Learnt From This Movie:

It's scary how alike Martin & Charlie were around the same age

24 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Frequently Asked Questions

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English | Russian

Release Date:

21 October 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Stephen King's The Dead Zone See more »


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,556,083, 23 October 1983

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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