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Whose Life Is It Anyway?


Price: $89.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Dreyfuss, John Cassavetes, Christine Lahti, Bob Balaban, Kenneth McMillan
  • Directors: John Badham
  • Writers: Brian Clark, Reginald Rose
  • Producers: Gregg Champion, Lawrence P. Bachmann, Martin C. Schute, Ray Cooney
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 22, 2007
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000N3SRP4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,227 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Whose Life Is It Anyway?" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Ken Harrison is an artist that makes sculptures. One day he is involved in a car accident, and is paralyzed from his neck. All he can do is talk, and he wants to die. In hospital he make friends with some of the staff, and they support him when he goes to trial to be allowed to die.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 51 customer reviews
Dont miss this film!
Jim Casper
I am a nurse who has worked for many years with trauma patients and while some Hollywood liberalities were evident, the film/story overall is not far off.
Sally L. Jones
Appalled at the prospect of a life in which he has no control of anything, he pleads with hospital authorities to help him die.
Ken Haney

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Roberto Frangie on January 16, 2007
Ken Harrison (Richard Dreyfuss) is an artist... His fingers make things of beauty...

When he lived through a car accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down, we understood why he wanted to be left alone to die...

Ken moved from a world of life and creation, to an empty world where he can't move even a single finger...

Lying under the white sheets of the hospital bed, he is subjected to stress under the shock of his another reality... The artist has gone... The creator of an art expressed in all its different dimensions, round in relief, imagery, symbolism, all vanished in seconds...

But his human spirit remains alive under the severity, the compulsion, the threats of his new reality...

Ken was a cunning sculptor, skillful, ingenious in the use of his mind and hands... He is now charming, capable to seduce the whole nursing staff by pillow talk...

The movie deals with many hypothesis about the right to die...

Does a patient have the right to choose to die? Does he have the right to refuse life-sustaining medical treatment, even if that means certain immediate or accelerated death?

Doctor Emerson (John Cassavetes) wants to prolong the life of Ken... He wants him to live his disability as quadriplegic even feeling so down... For him, everybody has their own struggles in life...

Richard Dreyfuss is superb as Ken Harrison, a quick moving mind, true and clever, who displays unpleasant, troublesome reality... He relies on his intelligence and energy rather than his looks and charisma to win his fight, his right to die...

John Cassavetes i excellent in his role, intense as Dr. Emerson, the Chief of Staff...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn Groob on July 21, 2005
This is one of the best, most poignant films ever made. Please produce this on DVD soon. I've been waiting for years!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 23, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Its been out since 1981 already. Don't you think its time the price got lowered for the average person. I've been looking for it second hand for years. Tell the studio to lower the price please.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 7, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This highly underrated film expertly examines the right of any person to control the destiny of their own life. As a quadrepelegic who used to be a sculptor, Richard Drefuss plays a character who decides his life is not worth living. Everything he loved in life has been taken away from him. Directed brilliantly with a stellar cast.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 17, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Richard Dreyfuss took my breath away in the role of a sculptor who, as a result of a horrifying car accident, is facing life as a quadriplaegic. Convinced that, if he cannot sculpt, his life is already over, he releases his lover and fights hospital policy and personnel for the right to die. My crush on John Cassavettes was renewed, Christine Lahti made an indelible first impression on me, and Janet Eilber as Pat was very believable. But Richard Dreyfuss is brilliant!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Not Siskel or Ebert on July 19, 2006
Verified Purchase
Needed to take an elective college class many years ago. I chose the "Death and Dying" class. This film was suggested viewing but not manditory. After viewing this film, I was deeply moved and also troubled. We discussed this film in great detail and the class was torn on which was the moral or ethical rights of the patient versus the hospital and the doctors who were treating the patient. Needless to say, we all learned a great deal about ourselves and how we see life. It is a real shame that this film is not out on DVD and it is a real shame that the film studio is not releasing this at a lower cost to the public. I do own a VHS copy which has been played many times over. This film still gives me pause for thought and reflection everytime I see it. I ask that the viewing public petition the studio to release this on DVD.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bomojaz on November 8, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
Richard Dreyfuss plays a young man who is paralyzed in a car accident, but with his mind fully intact; he wants to be discharged from the hospital in order to die. His chief nemesis, of course, is his doctor, played by John Cassavetes. Dreyfuss is such an animated actor that not even being confined to a bed as quadriplegic can take that quality of acting away from him. Just in talking and using his brain he exudes more energy than most actors do in a screen performance.

He hires a lawyer to fight his case in court, and he wins. At movie's end he leaves the hospital, and we don't know how to feel: good because he got what he fought for or bad because he's going to die now. Some scenes go straight for the heartstrings, but most of the movie is thought-provoking and intelligently done. Dreyfuss is too good here to completely believe him when he says he can't remember making the movie because of his drug habit at the time. Deserves a DVD release, and soon. Come on, guys.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jim Casper on December 30, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I have seen many films that made my spirit rise and fall with uncontrolled emotions, however this film is without a doubt one of...if not the best I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. The cast in this film is so strong, they will bring you in and turn you everyway but loose. The story of a man who had his life in his creations and sharing them with people that were close to him, then in a flash his future changes with a devastating car crash that strips him of his ability to create, his manhood, and the hardship of having to adjust and make decisions about the rest of his life. The interaction with the rest of the cast pulls this film together to create a true heart string pull that will stay with you forever. Dont miss this film!
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