Coma (1978)



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Movie Info

A feisty, feminist intern uncovers a medical conspiracy in this icy thriller about mysterious goings-on at Boston Memorial Hospital. When her best friend and aerobics partner, Nancy Greenly (Lois Chiles), emerges in a vegetative state from a routine abortion, Dr. Susan Wheeler (Genevieve Bujold) does some digging and discovers an overabundance of anesthesia-induced comas among otherwise healthy young patients. The male authority figures who challenge Susan's technically illegal tampering with medical records include her boss, Dr. Harris (Richard Widmark); the chief anesthesiologist, Dr. George (Rip Torn); and even her boyfriend, Dr. Mark Bellows (Michael Douglas), who doesn't want Susan's shenanigans to get in the way of his shot at chief resident. As Susan continues her crusade, the paper trail leads to the Jefferson Institute, a mysterious, experimental facility in which vegetative patients are stored en masse, suspended from the ceiling by wires threaded through their long bones, in order to reduce the cost of long-term care. A shadowy assailant begins to stalk Susan just as she uncovers the link between the Jefferson Institute and the comas at Boston Memorial, setting the stage for climactic suspense scenes involving morgues, malpractice and endless institutional corridors. Writer/director Michael Crichton adapted his second feature film from Robin Cook's bestseller of the same name. Tom Selleck, who would star in Crichton's Runaway several years later, appears briefly in Coma as another victim of lethal anesthesia.

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Geneviève Bujold
as Dr. Susan Wheeler
Michael Douglas
as Dr. Mark Bellows
Richard Widmark
as Dr. Harris
Elizabeth Ashley
as Mrs. Emerson
Rip Torn
as Dr. George
Lois Chiles
as Nancy Greenly
Hari Rhodes
as Dr. Morelind
as Dr. Morelind
Gary Barton
as Computer Technician
Alan Haufrect
as Dr. Marcus
Michael MacRae
as Chief Resident
Charles Siebert
as Dr. Goodman
William Wintersole
as Lab Technician
Joni Palmer
as Dance Instructor
Kay Cole
as Sally
Sarina C. Grant
as Woman in Elevator
Benny Rubin
as Mr. Schwartz
Dick Balduzzi
as First Maintenance Man
Gary Bisig
as Second Maintenance Man
Michael Lally
as Security Man
Duane Tucker
as First Man in Shower
Paul Ryan
as First Technician
David McKnight
as Man in Elevator
Robert Burton
as Pathology Resident #1
Ed Harris
as Pathology Resident #2
Joe Bratcher
as Surgical Resident
Martin Speer
as Surgical Resident
Roger Newman
as Surgical Resident
Tom Borut
as Dr. Cowans
Philip G. Brooks
as Dr. Richards
Kurt Andon
as First Cop
Wyatt Johnson
as Second Cop
Del Hinkley
as Second Man in Shower
Michael Mann
as Second Technician
Gerald Benston
as Anesthetist
Paul Davidson
as Surgical Resident
Gerald Berns
as Security Guard
Edward C. Higgins
as Security guard #2
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News & Interviews for Coma

Critic Reviews for Coma

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (4)

Coma is an extremely entertaining suspense drama in the Hitchcock tradition.

Nov 27, 2007 | Full Review…
Top Critic

See it and worry.

Sep 30, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

The aftereffect of Coma is a catlike yawn, benign and bored.

May 9, 2005 | Rating: 2/5

Michael Crichton's slow-paced thriller must have begun with something to say about the morality of the medical profession, but whatever it was is lost in the shuffle of unnecessary narrative detail.

Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

The boys'-club politics at the hospital provide the picture with interesting subtext right in line with the sexual dynamics of the period; Bujold proves to be a worthy champion for the feminist cause.

Aug 8, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

...a genuinely suspenseful mystery thriller, with a conspiracy angle unfolding in due course without a lot of fuss and bother.

Jul 19, 2012 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Coma


A criative thriller.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer


Tightly directed medical thriller with top performances from Genevieve Bujold and Richard Widmark. Interesting premise well realized with a lot of now familiar faces, like Ed Harris and Tom Selleck, in small roles. Elizabeth Ashley scores strongly in her few scenes imparting a sense of malevolence beneath an icy professional demeanor.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

This is a fine entertaining suspense drama in the Hitchcock tradition.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

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