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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Patients check into the (fictitous) Boston Memorial Hospital for routine operations and, inexplicably, go into irreversible comas. Dr. Susan Wheeler (Genevieve Bujold) wants to know why much to the disappointment of her doctor boyfriend (Michael Douglas). When she tries to find answers, she finds herself marked for death.

    Michael Crichton directed from Robin Cook's great novel. There are huge gaps in logic, but the film is so exciting and entertaining those can be forgiven. It's fairly well-directed and well-done overall. There are many great sequences--Bujold being stalked by a killer in the hospital late at night; a visit to the creepy Jefferson Institute; some lovely views of Cape Cod MA; Bujold, and then Douglas, tracking a suspicious oxygen line and the "accidental" death of a janitor. Also there's Jerry Goldsmith's loud, pounding score moving the picture along and, best of all, this was shot on location in Boston.

    The acting is so-so. Douglas and Bujold are OK as the leads. Richard Widmark is having the time of his life playing a hospital administrator. Rip Torn and Elizabeth Ashley also turn in good performances. Also look for Tom Selleck, Ed Harris (with hair!) and Joanna Kerns in bit parts.

    A very good movie. However you do have to deal with some very dated dialogue of Bujold trying to make it in a "man's" world. Also be aware that this is pretty extreme for a PG rated movie--there are fairly clear shots of Bujold's body during a shower scene and plenty of nude, dead bodies in a freezer sequence and some really gruesome scenes throughout the hospital.

    This film has disappeared for some reason. It caused a lot of excitement around here when it was filmed in 1977 and was a big hit in 1978. Then it just disappeared. That's surprising considering how the careers of Cook, Crichton and Douglas have taken off. It deserves rediscovery.
  • COMA: An extremely impressionistic medical thriller, which has since, set standards for many other thrillers of the type. The concept was novel, and surreal. Dr. Susan Wheeler, (Genevieve Bujold) is a successful, beautiful, and intelligent woman, at Boston Memorial Hospital. She has a love/hate relationship with fellow doctor Mark Bellows (Michael Douglas). She has no reason to suspect any sort of foul play at work, until she looses her best friend to an accident during surgery. A deep investigation leads on to the awful truth, that her friends death was no accident, and other deaths weren't either. Much more suspense and intrigue await at the Jefferson Institute, were the shocking truth is revealed. Michael Crichton is just as good a director as he is a writer. The two leads play great off each other, and Jerry Goldsmiths score will send eerie vibes through you goosebumped skin! The first, and best medical thriller, COMA has everything a proper, intellectual movie needs. Terrific introductions, affective development, twisted characters, and mystery for the bold, and brave. A classic to be known, and enjoyed over and over again.
  • I just revisited this movie after 25 years and was surprised how well it held up, even given the rather absurd plot and advances in medical technology in the interim. Genevieve Bujold has forever been underused and underrated, and she is simply superb here. And while I wouldn't tarnish Hitchock's reputation by comparing Coma too closely to any of his work, Crichton does a good job of maintaining suspense. I love the scene where Richard Widmark explains the crazy rationale behind it all, and we see it through Bujold's drug-addled eyes, which somehow makes it more palatable than if we were watching it straight.

    And I love all the cameos -- Lois Chiles! Tom Selleck! Ed Harris! Many other recognizable faces. Elizabeth Ashley is so over-the-top she's camp. All in all, a fun movie.
  • From now on I'm staying away from hospitals, no matter how cute the nurses, and especially if they stick something up my nose. The movie may be a one-track screenplay, but it's a first- rate thriller accelerating suspense by the minute. So what the heck is going on at this prestige hospital where too many folks are collapsing into comas after ordinary procedures. From the marquee, you'd expect Michael Douglas (Dr. Mark) to be the heroic bloodhound. But he's not. Instead, it's a she, sweet looking, little Bujold (Dr.Wheeler) who takes all the risks from climbing into the clouds to burying assassins in a pile of cadavers—an unforgettable scene. Underneath the riveting suspense, this is really a sneaky feminist-type film.

    I really like the way we can never be sure about Douglas. Sometimes he's helpful and affectionate, but then there are the darker fleeting moments that add a good unsettling note. At the same time, the great Richard Widmark (Dr. Harris) is suavely slimy as the head doctor. And what about that Jefferson Institute. It may be the most sinister looking modern building I've seen, more like a futuristic prison, which I guess it is. Anyway, there are a number of unforgettably imaginative scenes that, along with a riveting screenplay, make this a first-rate nail-biter.
  • Man, I had no idea what a good time I was in for with this one. Chrichton, a young Douglas, Tom Selleck in a minor (but important!) role, and I believe that's a very young Ed Harris playing a morgue attendant/medical examiner. His line about his wife is one of the funniest in the film. But seriously, this is very good and very overlooked. Tight construction, buildup, excellent characterization, swift and unpredicatble plot turns and visually striking scenes. I don't know how they created the "Institute's" main "storage facility". If you think about the actors involved in that one, you have to be impressed. And as another comment points out, the chase scene that ends in the freezer room is excellent; creepy and visceral. The killer , who is really just a hit man for whoever is behind 'the conspiracy' is suitably athletic, anonymous, and menacing. His sole line : "They told me to make it look like an accident" is extremely scary and effective - when coupled with his actions during the maintenance man scene. Good writing, Michael. Ane the suspense during the finale, well they just don't make'em like this anymore. Very enjoyable.
  • Not for those who fear the medical profession, this creepy thriller takes it's time getting started, but then kicks into high gear. It creates a mood and builds suspense to an almost unbearable degree. Elfin Bujold (sporting a truly unappealing hairstyle) is Dr. Susan Wheeler, a principled, dedicated intern at a major hospital. She begins to notice a disturbing trend...that folks with purportedly minor surgeries are not coming out of their operations conscious. From this point on, it is virtually Bujold against the world as a gallery of sexist, condescending doctors (including her own lover Douglas) tries to poo-poo her findings or encourage her to lay off. Naturally, she can't leave well enough alone and is soon up to her ears in intrigue and violence. The film has a blatantly frank point of view. People eat sandwiches while they are examining cadavers. Brains are sliced like deli meat. It's all very clinical and unsettling to non-medical viewers. There are several highly-charged moments including a duct hole exploration and a chase through a seemingly abandoned hospital. Jerry Goldsmith's clanking score doesn't take center stage until late in the film, but is wonderfully nerve-wracking when it needs to be. Bujold and the Chief of Staff Widmark make wonderful counterparts as they come from different generations and different eras of medicine. Best of all is the brief, but unforgettable, appearance of Ashley as the world's most intimidating nurse. In her opening scene she blinks exactly once! Her voice is a monotone terror and her stare is up there with Medusa's. The section that contains her is surreal, but arresting and very campy! Adding to the fun is a series of small appearances by people like Torn, Chiles, Selleck and Harris. This is a frightening film with some memorable imagery and a startling amount of skin for a PG film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In Coma young idealistic doctor Genevieve Bujold comes upon a practice that she finds too horrifying to contemplate. Patients are deliberately put into comas and then sent to an institute where they are kept mechanically alive so their body parts can be sold to the highest bidder. She tries to tell her boyfriend fellow physician Michael Douglas about what's happening, but he's not buying it. He's very much attuned to hospital politics and there's as much of that in the medical field as any other.

    Michael Crichton's novel is turned into one creepy movie that gets creepier by the minute as Bujold uncovers more and more of the story. In her performance Bujold manages to hit the notes of idealism, vulnerability, and toughness at the same time, not easy to do. Bujold for instance, scared as she is, proves quite the match for Lance LeGault who's trying to kill her.

    Some others in the cast are Richard Widmark, head of the hospital medical staff where she works in Boston, Rip Torn the very well connected head of anesthesiology which seems to be where the problem lies and Lois Chiles whose case sparks Bujold's interest.

    Making early film bit appearances are Ed Harris and Tom Selleck. But the performance that will totally creep you out is Elizabeth Ashley, head of the institute where all the coma patients are warehoused. She makes Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest like Mary Poppins.

    Coma is a fine thriller of a film and those last few minutes with Bujold quite vulnerable will have you on the edge of your seat.
  • As a squirrelly doctor at a Boston hospital who smells a rat when her best friend mysteriously goes into an anesthesia-related coma during a routine operation, Genevieve Bujold proves once again what a dynamic presence she is on the screen. Cool-headed one moment, hysterical and running-in-all-directions the next, she's instantly identifiable to us. As a mystery-thriller that is so filled with continuity errors, gaps in logic and a final act that gives the audience the satisfying release it needs but at the risk of all credibility, "Coma" shouldn't work (and, indeed, many fans of Robin Cook's wordy book didn't think it did). However, as a trashy, one-box-of-popcorn melodrama, the film is very enjoyable and suspenseful. Not the least of the reasons why it's so good is Bujold; handling herself like one of the best crime detectives ever concocted, she is gutsy, feisty, nosy and infectious. You never tire of her spirit. *** from ****
  • I decided to pick up this film originally because it was an early Michael Douglas movie, and Michael Crighton wrote and directed this screenplay. By the cover it had all the elements for a great movie, and the movie brought no disappointment. It was absolutely intriguing and brilliantly filmed. The background of the cold sterile hospital was haunting and perfect. Each actor whether big or small brought a twist to the story. The main character who played Dr. Susan Wheeler was perfect as the stern, and cold Doctor who's best friend goes in for a routine operation and then is rendered into a mysterious brain dead Coma. Dr. Wheeler begins to notice strange "coincidences" around the hospital and starts to investigate other "Coma" cases. What she unravels is a top secret plot that goes right to the very top. The story unravels perfectly and the tension and clues are superb. You can't get a much better 2 hour movie. It's definately a movie that you might be tempted to pass by but it's worth renting. Michael Douglas is even great, although only in it as a supporting character, as Dr. Wheeler's Doctor boyfriend who she tries to convince something terrible is going on within the hospital. You never know who might be involved in this plot and you're waiting for it all to unravel. The only negative aspect of this movie was the ending happens very very quickly, kind of leaves you feeling a little hurried but still an first class movie. Also look for Tom Selleck portraying a patient/dead body. You can't go wrong with this movie. 8/10
  • In COMA, petite heroine Genevieve Bujold shows you don't have to be an amazon like Sigourney Weaver or Lucy Lawless to get physical with the bad guys. Set against a hospital backdrop ranking in verisimilitude with that of THE HOSPITAL (the only other accurate medical drama of the 1970's), this is a gripping thriller even on repeat viewing over twenty years later. Bujold's acting has been mentioned by other reviewers, but I would award special accolades to Richard Widmark, whose character's unctuous avuncularity is executed with superb subtlety. Plus, he even comports himself just like a real physician of seniority.

    I do have a few complaints, not least of which is the gratuitous and grossly inaccurate portrayal of clinical lab personnel and the laboratory environment. Shame on Crichton, who must have missed out on visiting the lab through his entire tenure as a medical student. The laserdisc transfer is technically one of the worst I have in my collection. The monaural soundtrack is overdriven and distorted; the colors are washed out; and careless unmasking of the print (COMA is not letterboxed) results in visible boom mikes in several shots.

    Still, this is a classic film, and anyone who wants to get up to speed on medical movies wouldn't want to exclude COMA.
  • "Coma", as well as other mid-to-late 70's films, was one of the reasons I became a filmmaker myself. In terms of the suspence, tension and general spookiness of such a "normal and everyday" subject as hospitals, doctors, etc., was very influential in how I perceived the things around me. The great thing about the film, and the book - of course, was that we put our trust in people like doctors, policemen, goverment officials, and the like - and most of the time that trust is "blind faith". Dr. Cook and DR. Crichton are masters at this genre - Making the incredible credible. Even though this film is a bit dated, It is almost becoming a reality. In China, prisoners are "harvested" for their organs so others can benefit. Technology, like in the film, can now sustain life for as long as the machine(s) and/or computers can function. It was Sci-Fi in 1978 - now an all-to-real reality. Back to the film itself, I thought Dr. Crichton did a wonderful job on the directing and the screenplay. The material he had from Dr. Cook was first-rate. The cinematography, done by A.S.C. President Victor J. Kemper was outstanding. The technique of keeping the images at the hospital as cold, sterile and clinical as possible was brilliant. Mr. Hirschfield's "Jefferson Institute" sequences were also fantastic. Dr. Crichton's editing pace was also a stroke of genius. All editing was done with straight cuts. No zooms and very few dolly /pan shots. This was keep with the theme that YOU, THE VIEWER, are in the hospital and the "cuts" are as impersonal and precise as the doctor's scalpel. The cast was also well thought out. Ms. Bujold, even though she speaks with a thick French-Canadian accent, was the perfect protagonist. You do not have to be an Amazon Woman to be strong and independent. Mr. Douglas was a bit "sleepy" in his role, he just needed more to do. Mr. Widmark was perfect as the Chief, as was Mrs. Ashley as the Institute's head matron. Look for Tom Selleck and Ed Harris in their first movie roles. Also, in the "Jefferson Institute" sequence, you will see a young Christopher Reeve as a hapless victem of the movie's plot. All in all, "Coma" is one of those films that, even though had moderate success at the box office, is really a forgotten gem in the MGM vaults. It proves that you do not need blood guts, or special effects to make a great movie. Gee, kind of like Mr. Hitchcock.
  • Love this picture. It should have become a suspense classic but for some reason it has ended up being aired on anything but prime time on various TV-networks. I believe that this might be due to it not being one of Michael Douglas's most memorable films. His heart really didn't seem to be in it. Maybe he and Genevieve Bujold didn't hit it off or that it's more of her film than his. The other actors did swell, especially Widmark, Torn and Ashley.

    Bujold gives an energetic performance and is utterly believable as the paranoid yet justifiably suspicious doctor seeking the answer to the question: "There have been 12 cases of unexplained coma in young healthy patients the last year; don't you find that surprising?" And everybody replies: "No." And there's of course the priceless Jefferson Institute.

    The sequence where the protagonists approach its sinister exterior is very well done in a Hitchcockian fashion. Its inside and creepy activities are fundamental, not merely to the story, but to the overall impact of this picture. I was somewhat disappointed to be informed of it being owned by Xerox at the time of the shooting. And now by a shoe brand...
  • Warning: Spoilers
    First of all, if you're going to have surgery, watch this film AFTER the operation. This movie about a big-city hospital where patients are mysteriously dying during routine surgery is well-acted, well-directed, and absolutely riveting. Genevieve Bujold and Michael Douglas are doctors at the hospital and are (constantly battling) lovers. Bujold begins to investigate these mysterious deaths, and is stonewalled by the hospital's senior doctors.

    It seems that someone is spiking the hospital's anesthetic gas with carbon monoxide in order to harvest the organs of brain-dead patients. Douglas refuses to believe her until Bujold ends up on the operating table, whereupon the mystery is satisfyingly solved, and the bad guys are brought to justice.

    Very creative film has powerhouse acting and directing, is incredibly suspenseful, and the ending is superb. Watch for Tom Selleck as a soon-to-be-comatose patient, and Ed Harris as a pathologist. Highly recommended medical drama.
  • A forgotten classic from the late 70s? Yes, I just discovered the picture and enjoyed my 2 hours in company of Geneviève Bujold.

    The film is set in a Hospital which feels and looks just like the real one, what verisimilitude! There's something strange going on, but is she just imagining it or is there a real conspiracy? There are some stunning examples of locations, the Jefferson institute is amazing, I felt so freaked out by it.

    Geneviève Bujold gives an excellent performance, really liked her, she had a lot of warmth, really felt for her and she kept her feminity throughout. Michael Douglas is good, but not great. I think the director could've added much more to his character.

    The direction is pretty suspenseful, very slick and framed very well.

    The screenplay isn't bad at all, any problems should've been rectified on set.

    The film was framed at 1.66:1

    A nice suspenseful picture, deserves more recognition.
  • Coma was a really fun film. I liked it to pieces. It opens with a really intriguing shot of a gorgeous Genevieve Bujold driving to her work as a Dr. Wheeler, and listening to the radio on a beautiful crisp Boston morning. A film like this has the audience attention from that grab. Exposition ensues and so does a bit of crazy character development. Then, something else happens, ,a major death takes place and a real intrigue seeks in. Then, the revelation is that a crisis is concerning certain patients. Not for those who are queasy in hospitals. This film, about patients slipping one by one into a coma for no apparent reason still has enough affect to chill every one of it's audience members to the bone! All the stars are at their best with a script that-while has some of its unoticable flaws- keeps the audience in the roots of fear as they root for the lead female. Great Jerry Goldsmith score as well. Great photography and direction from Crighton. a cool film!
  • Based on Robin Cook's novel, the story goes that Dr. Susan Wheeler (Genevieve Bujold) a resident in the Boston Memorial Hospital suspects something is wrong when too many patients come out in a coma after minor surgery. When nobody takes her seriously she starts an investigation of her own and then realizes she is on dangerous ground for someone is trying to stop her even if she has to die.

    Michael Crichton takes the most from Cook's book and assembles a most enjoyable thriller with tension all along, intrigue and an impacting ending too. Among the shocking and powerful sequences this movie offers there's the chasing of Wheeler by a hired killer that lasts in the hospital's morgue full with dead bodies hanging from the ceiling in transparent plastic bags in a sort of subrealistic scene; her visit to the mysterious Jefferson Institute where coma patients are held; the "accidental" death by electrocution of a cleaning employee of the hospital that knows to much; and the final discovery by Wheeler of how things are and who is behind them.

    Genevieve Bujold gives a fine performance as the stubborn Wheeler and Michael Duoglas is alright too as her work partner and lover (not a very demanding role anyway). Rip Torn (the surgery chief) and Elizabeth Ashley as a sinister nurse credit the supporting cast. And there's finally Richard Widmark very convincing as the Medical Center's Director who shows sympathy for Wheeler although he believes she's just a trouble maker that could ruin the Hospital's reputation.

    A great thriller that constantly improves as the film goes on. You can't miss it if you like real suspense in movies.
  • Mystery suspense-thrillers don't get much better than this! "Coma" is an overlooked 1978 film that stars Canadian actress Genevieve Bujold ("Anne of the Thousand Days", "Tightrope") and Michael Douglas, with surprise appearances from Ed Harris and Tom Selleck. Bujold plays a doctor who discovers that too many patients are going into unexplained comas after routine surgery. But no-one will believe her and keep rationalizing it. She soon learns that there is a conspiracy larger than could be imagined. Similar but superior in many ways to the more recent "Extreme Measures" with Hugh Grant. Although some may be disappointed by the weak resolution at the end of the film, an effectively frightening score and edge-of-your-seat suspense make this one of the best thrillers in history, and the film proves that modern special effects and superhuman stunts and action are not necessary to make a movie of this genre a winner. I also liked the fact that, like the "Alien" films, the lead role was by a female who didn't "whimp" out as many do in these kind of flicks. (10 out of 10)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A top-notch suspense thriller from Michael Crichton, the man who gave us WESTWORLD and JURASSIC PARK. Unlike those rousing crowd-pleasing adventure yarns, COMA is a film which works on subtlety, building up a level of quiet suspense unseen in all but 5% of such would-be films. Yes, this is great stuff, with tons of atmosphere and suspense, great acting from the entire cast and a large, complicated (yet easy to follow) plot with far-reaching implications. There are so many great scenes in COMA that it's hard to keep track of them. There's a wonderful stalking sequence in which Bujold finds herself being chased by a murderous mystery man, which makes the best use of a hospital I've yet to see in a movie - forget the gory, boring HALLOWEEN 2, this is the real stuff and with not a drop of blood to be seen. There's also a really nail-biting climax which had me on the edge of my seat - something which only a small handful of films are capable of doing.

    Following in the footsteps of other '70s conspiracy films like THE CONVERSATION, COMA lets the plot unfold at a slow pace, building up pieces of a jigsaw until it all falls into place with a horrific clarity. Genevieve Bujold is excellent as the smart and sexy young doctor who acts as the eyes and ears of the audience, as we follow her journey and never get ahead of her in her investigation. The camera-work and music is also great, with fine locations (the Jefferson building couldn't look more sinister) and some excellent visuals, like the famous shot of the comatose bodies suspended from wires in a warehouse. The action set-pieces are well handled and stick in the mind (like the murder of the janitor, for instance, which has the best on screen death by electrocution I've seen).

    Bujold is supported by a familiar cast of old and new faces, all of whom put in fine turns. Michael Douglas is the misunderstood boyfriend who helps Bujold in her research, while Richard Widmark has the fun role of the evil mastermind (don't worry, it doesn't take much to work that out) behind the illegal organ donation scheme. The rest of the cast includes Tom Selleck as a victim, Rip Torn as a doctor and a chilling turn from the guy playing the hired killer; it's a shame I don't know the actor as I'd keep an eye out for him. COMA takes the audience on an epic journey, is gripping at all times, and simply one of the best conspiracy-thrillers out there. 100% recommended.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Novels are best made into movies when you follow them as sincerely as possible. Of course, one can never follow a novel completely since what can be conveyed to the minutest detail in a 600 page novel definitely cannot be packed in a two hour movie. But still, when you do not miss out the essential aspects of the movie, only then can you satisfy those who have read the novel. Coma is one of the fine examples of how a movie can be made out of a good novel.

    Coma is based on the novel of the same name by Robin Cook. Robin Cook, being a man of medicine himself is able to present to us with great amount of realism as to how the profession of medicine can be used for commercial selfish gains. Most of his novels are set in a premise where the men of medicine are misusing their powers in order to gain wealth. The story of Coma is about a hospital where something suspicious is going on, as discovered by our lead character – Dr. Susan Wheeler.

    The movie then shows how her suspicions prove to be right but she gradually discovers the complexity of the plot and is then faced with a dilemma as to who can be trusted and who cannot be trusted. The best part of the movie, as is the best part of the novel is that it works in a smooth flow and makes us believe that what is being depicted is a surreal possibility and who knows – somewhere in world, it just might be the truth.

    For a movie that is made in 1976, the direction, screening and scripting is simply beautiful. It keeps us on the edge of our seats and gives our gray cells plenty of exercise as they try and anticipate as to what is going to happen next. The whole cast does a wonderful job in creating a movie that will for me remain one of the most defining movies in the genre best described as "medical thrillers'.
  • "Coma" is one of those movies which for some reason made a powerful impression on me as a kid. Not through its story line, the acting or Geneviève Bujold(I was still too young to appreciate these "aspects" :-) ), but through an overall atmosphere. Such that, upon reviewing 20 years later, certain scenes trigger memories and almost puts me back into that couch as a 7-8 year old. Another of those movies is the weird early science fiction movie by George Lucas of which the title escapes me right now.

    In "Coma", it was in particular the image of the "Jefferson Institute" building that recalled an evening somewhere in the late '70s. There's probably no movie featuring a more effective and suggestive modern-style horror house. For me, the "Jefferson Institute" complex perfectly impersonates and clenches the feeling that this intelligent thriller is trying to get accross. By its architecture and desertedness, it suggests sterility, impersonality, loneliness and the feeling of an industrial complex. The sterility of a medical system that does well in the technical aspect, but features a growing impersonality that makes it miss its primary goal: to make people feel good. The loneliness of Bujold, who is rather assumed by everyone to be paranoid than to be believed, even by her boyfriend. And the industrial feeling of a healthcare system that doesn't exist to cure people, but to keep itself alive as an industry (=profitable).

    With the arrival of sophisticated genetic techniques, the medical horror genre is bound to return soon to the big screen. It will be difficult to do a better job than the concisely-titled "Coma"...

    JoH
  • Warning: Spoilers
    If you find hospitals scary, don't watch this. Based on the bestseller by Robin Cook, and brought to the screen by Michael Crichton ( the man behind 'Westworld' and 'Jurassic Park' ), it is a terrifying exercise in Hitchcockian suspense. 'Dr.Susan Wheeler' ( Genevieve Bujold ) notices that a number of healthy people have been lapsing into comas during routine operations. All have happened in the same operating theatre. The comatose patients are then shipped off to the mysterious Jefferson Institute. When Susan's best friend Nancy ( Lois Chiles, later to appear in 'Moonraker' ) also lapses into a vegetative state, Sue investigates, uncovering a conspiracy led by Dr.Harris ( Richard Widmark ). The Jefferson Institute is illegally using the bodies for medical experiments. Attempting to expose the scheme, Susan is herself then drugged and sent off for an operation. It is down to her boyfriend, fellow doctor 'Dr.Mark Ryland' ( a young Michael Douglas ) to try and save the day...

    French actress Bujold showed tremendous promise in 'Anne Of The Thousand Days' ( 1968 ) but sadly never lived up to it. Not her fault. The scripts she was offered were mostly poor, such as the execrable 'Swashbuckler' ( 1976 ). 'Coma', though, is an exception. Anyone who thinks movies in which women are the main characters are a relatively new invention should be made to watch it. Douglas' character, by comparison, is a supporting one.

    'Coma', even when viewed thirty-three years later, is strong stuff. Scenes such as Susan being shown round the Jefferson Institute and encountering dozens of bodies suspended in mid-air are horrifying to this day. When an assassin follows her into a room full of vertically-stored corpses, she pushes them and they topple on top of him like falling dominoes. The suspense is highlighted by a typically brilliant Jerry Goldsmith score.

    Things To Look Out For - one of the doomed patients is a young Tom Selleck ( future 'Magnum P.I.' ).

    Film versions of books are often inferior, but 'Coma' does not dumb down the story. If anything, it is better. Cook's novel was badly let down by a weak ending. The film's climax, however, is right on the money.
  • A few years after directing "Westworld" and a few years before writing "Jurassic Park", Michael Crichton directed this eerie adaptation of Robin Cook's "Coma", depicting sinister occurrences in a Boston hospital. Part of the fun is watching the plot slowly but surely unfold, with only Geneviève Bujold's character suspecting that something is up. The other part of the fun is seeing the early appearances of Tom Selleck, Ed Harris and Philip Baker Hall.

    Admittedly, some of the scenes are dated (Mark telling Susan to get him a beer even though they're both surgical residents, Dr. Harris putting his hands on Susan's face, and the general lack of privacy, confidentiality or security). But even so, it's one fine movie. This one and "The Hospital" (1971) are the ones to watch if you're on a bender for movies about eerie events in medical facilities.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Absorbing thriller, with taut direction by Crichton, an outstanding performance by Bujold and yet another spectacular score by Jerry Goldsmith. The notion of harvesting body parts is definitely still Timely (and I'm not talking about the inane fuss kicked up by politicos vying for funds regarding abortion or stem cell research or any of the rest of it): not long ago, former Vice president Dick Cheney needed yet ANOTHER heart replacement and managed, magically, to move to the head of the line of people waiting for heart transplants. What happened THERE...? COMA suggests possibilities. And the remark about hospitals being "the cathedrals of our age" has never been truer. (I had a doctor tell me once that I had six months to live. I divested myself of all the things I'd accumulated over my lifetime that I planned to "sit back and enjoy in my old age": a vintage collection of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND magazine; scores of collectible comics; books by the hundreds (including a complete run of paperback reprints of THE SHADOW from the late '60s, most in mint condition, and almost every single one of the Robert E. Howard collections from the same era, ALL of them in mint condition), etc. Seven months later, I went back to talk to that same doctor. I wanted to know WHY he told me that I had six months to live. His response: "I don't know WHY I told you that." That was about four years ago. Let that be a lesson for you: ALWAYS get a second opinion.)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Of course the novel is better and it loses it's extraordinary level of disbelief, shock and horror if you have seen it before or read the book. It's just like an Agatha Christie "who-done-it". Once you know the killer (and why) some of the "fizz" goes out of it. I saw it on a really big screen. The haunting scene at "The Institute" was burned into my mind forever. It's so unbelievable to see a sea of almost-perfect human bodies "floating" on suspended wires inside of a benign warehouse room that looks like "Costco". It's right-up-there with that old Twilight Zone episode where everyone's face is distorted and normal looking people are considered hideous-looking. Once the method of "murder" (O.K. the victims are only just almost-dead) is discovered, the movie goes downhill quickly and ends soon afterwords, as it should. Nobody believes what is going on and Genevieve Bujold's "young doctor" character almost dies at the hand of the perpetrator, as he tries to cover it all up. How does everybody end up in a "coma" and why? If you don't already know, watch the movie and find out! Featuring a young Michael Douglas and one my favorite character actors, Rip Torn. Sensitive Viewer Warning: some of the surgeries are a bit graphic and the female coma victims are almost naked. Not for the prudish or squeamish.
  • This is one fantastic film. I remember seeing this film as a teen and loved it then, I recently re-watched the film and I find it incredibly good. It's a drama, mystery, horror and thriller rolled into one intense film. Yes this movie is good - it's really good.

    If hospitals give you the creeps this film will give you the hospital creeps even more. There is no psycho slasher running around the hospital killing people - instead it has a story, a very scary story of murder but why? Who is involved? Can it be stopped? I will say that the end of the movie will leave you wondering how the story really ended - it's like a cliffhanger. I like it - because it will leave you thinking and wondering what happened to the characters in the end.

    Highly recommended to those that love a good horror story. This film is not for those that like all blood and guts - this film is far from it - it's a real story instead.

    9/10
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