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The Dead Zone (1983)

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

Director:

David Cronenberg

Writers:

Jeffrey Boam (screenplay), Stephen King (novel)
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Popularity
2,996 ( 789)
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 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:

He can see the future. But can he escape it? See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

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, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$20,766,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The "sweat" on Christopher Walken's face during the "burning bedroom" sequence was in fact a flame-retardant chemical that had been sprayed onto him. The resulting effect, which hadn't been anticipated, looked surprisingly dramatic on film. See more »

Goofs

39:46 into the movie Sarah is putting the baby in the highchair her sweater fully buttoned up. In the next shot her sweater is half unbuttoned. 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

Referenced in Celebrity Deathmatch: The Return of Lucy Lawless (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
one of the most human--and humane--King adaptations
29 September 2005 | by Jonny_NumbSee all my reviews

I keep having to remind myself that David Cronenberg directed this, as it is so unlike his previous and subsequent work--more mainstream, less cold, and far less fixated on gooey special effects. What is going on here? One of the most stunning adaptations of a Stephen King novel with Christopher Walken absolutely brilliant as tortured coma victim Johnny Smith, that's what. An elementary-school teacher preparing to marry Sarah (Brooke Adams), Johnny has a run-in with fate that throws him into a coma for 5 years; when he awakens, he is plagued by psychic visions, including a chilling apocalypse that frames the film's final act. While the horror elements (including a suicide via scissors) carry an appropriate impact, the core of "The Dead Zone" is Walken's performance--he portrays Johnny as a recluse who regards his visions as a curse, and taps into a sensitivity and vulnerability that is rarely seen in male film characters; his interactions with others carry a down-home, plausible feel that gives the film a strong emotional resonance. Cronenberg directs Jeffrey Boam's script almost as a series of vignettes, but maintains a flowing pace and trusts Walken to deliver the film to a heartfelt, tragic conclusion.


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