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Coma (1978)

151 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Coma (DVD)

ER creator Michael Crichton directs Academy Award winner Michael Douglas and Genevieve Bujold in a medical thriller.When Dr. Susan Wheeler's (Bujold) best friend slips into a permanent coma during minor surgery, she discovers that healthy people are falling into comas--from which there is no recovery--during unnecessary operations at her hospital. And then she discovers the horrifying reason why.Based on the novel by Robin Cook.


Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Geneviève Bujold, Michael Douglas, Elizabeth Ashley, Rip Torn, Richard Widmark
  • Directors: Michael Crichton
  • Writers: Michael Crichton
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 9, 2010
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0045HCJ8A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,061 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Coma (1978)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 47 people found the following review helpful By B.C. Scribe on November 14, 2002
Format: DVD
After his success with the 1973 sci-fi thriller "Westworld" director Michael Crichton followed up with 1978's "Coma". In the earlier film he dazzled us with a fantastic futuristic vacation resort that turns against it's patrons. Here Crichton depicts the medical care system as a treacherous terrain where some patients may fall victim to odious conspiracy's.
Most people quite naturally experience an overwhelming fear of being defenseless and vulnerable while at the mercy of a hospital staff when they are admitted for surgery. Crichton explores this tendency of ours to suffer anxiety and apprehension at this prospect without being exploitative. He carefully crafts a believable scenario and we soon become caught in the same tangled web as the lead character Dr. Susan Wheeler, played marvelously by Genevieve Bujold. Wheeler is a bright, strong willed, liberated woman who supports herself and can withstand a challenge from her current boyfriend Dr. Mark Bellows, well played by Michael Douglas. Crichton received both critical praise and public criticism for the movie's portrayal of such an emancipated heroine, a role which has fortunately become more standard in the years that have followed.
When Wheeler's friend Mary is admitted to the hospital for an abortion Mary expresses her fears to Wheeler who assures her it is a routine operation and that she shouldn't feel a need to worry. Something does go wrong with the operation however and Mary falls into a coma, shortly afterward she dies. This event doesn't seem possible to Wheeler and out of curiousity she reviews Mary's medical records and notices inconsistencies and inquires about them.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Nearly Nubile on February 25, 2004
Format: DVD
I discovered by chance that this 1978 thriller with Michael Douglas was written and directed by Michael Crichton, who was himself a qualified medical doctor, but this film would have one believe that he had no love lost for his original profession (as would "The Andromeda Strain".)
Coma despite being an "old" movie by many standards, is surprisingly fascinating on DVD. Crichton gets good performances from the whole cast, with Genevieve Bujold, in particular, reminding us of what a fine actress she can be. As a doctor suspicious of certain goings-on in her hospital but disbelieved by everyone around her, she shows courage and determination (without ever losing her femininity) which is welcome in a female lead. She finds herself forced to question her own sense of perspective, even her sanity, as she struggles to uncover the mystery of comatose patients that surround her.
There's one sizeable twist towards the latter half of the movie, but you generally know what's going to happen. The beauty of this movie is in the overall execution -- it's VERY well done.
Recommended rental. Especially for the medically inclined.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 29, 2002
Format: DVD
Writer/director Michael Crichton's second film was an adaption of Robin Cook's bestselling novel. Geneviene Bujold has the hero's role in this thriller. This was made prior to Michael Douglas becoming a break out star. There are a number of fine performances including a great turn by the always interesting Rip Torn.

The extras are slim; we get the trailer and both the widescreen and standard versions of the movie. No director's commentary or observations from the cast; no "making of" documentary (or promo fluff piece for that matter). Which is a pity as this fine thriller does deserve better but then that was SOP when DVD's started coming out.

You can't argue with the price nor with Crichton's direction. He really never got any better than this as a director (although there are a couple of films like The Great Train Robbery that hold up to this and Westworld). Crichton isn't a great film director (he's a better writer) but he gets the job done. Coma will keep you guessing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 8, 2004
Format: DVD
"Coma" is based on the novel by Robin Cook, and a thoroughly fun read has become a thoroughly fun movie. When two patients in two days become comatose during minor procedures at Boston Memorial Hospital, Dr. Susan Wheeler (Genevieve Bujold) begins to suspect the unthinkable. Wheeler's lover and co-worker, Dr. Mark Bellows (Michael Douglas) initially doubts her. Naturally the males in the film believe Wheeler is having an emotional reaction, since one of the coma patients was Wheeler's best friend (Lois Chiles). But the film proceeds at a brisk clip with many hair-raising and cliff-hanging turns, all of them delicious and exciting, as Wheeler stubbornly follows up on her suspicions. What can be better than Wheeler escaping the sinister Jefferson Institute, where the coma patients mysteriously are transferred, clinging to the siren on top of an ambulance? The suspense is well handled, but there are other delights that have to do with the 70's. For instance, characters having "real" conversations -- something that was so popular in the 70's -- nurses hanging around the locker rooms or over surgery, discussing their home lives -- in a way that sounds completely and amusingly staged and artificial. And Wheeler, with the feminist movement new, is so aggressive in her attempt to prove herself in a man's world to the point of coming off cold and hostile, yet ultimately she becomes a classic female hysteric whose boyfriend comes to the rescue. Still, it doesn't detract from the fun, because Wheeler is also bold, the heroine who dares to blow the whistle and risk her life to uncover the mystery. As Leonard Maltin said, this film combines the best of medical flicks with mystery and suspense, so it's a double delight.
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