• Frys.com #7154832
  • Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
  • UPC #883929228003
  • Model #1000253524

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    Detailed Description
    (Manufacturer # 1000253524 )

    Plot
      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. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi
    Movie Type
      Thriller
    Movie Level Themes
      Woman In Jeopardy, Witnessing a Crime, Doctors and Patients
    Movie Level Tones
      Disturbing, Creepy, Tense, Chilly, Menacing
    Awards
      AMG Rating

      Review

        One of medical expert/author/filmmaker Michael Crichton's stronger directorial efforts, this taut '70s conspiracy thriller features a button-pushing premise, lots of disturbing imagery, and an appealing heroine played by the sexy, cerebral Genevieve Bujold. The dogmatism of Coma's feminist themes comes directly from Robin Cook's source novel; the fact that the first victim is a sexy woman seeking an illicit abortion is about as subtle as the film's gender politics get. In one of her biggest hits ever, though, Bujold manages to overcome such stridency by simply playing what she plays best: a woman of steely self-determination, strong intellect, and unselfconscious sensuality. Meanwhile, Rip Torn, Richard Widmark, and Michael Douglas provide an early Hollywood example of pervasive male villainy. Douglas' ambitious, arrogant doctor helped build the template for his enduringly sleazy screen persona. One intriguing lapse in the feisty-heroine-vs.-old-boy-network plot comes in the form of Elizabeth Ashley's crisp, sinister medical administrator; the veteran stage actress turns her small role into the very picture of institutional dread. Although Crichton's script proves more capable of suggesting its conspiracy than explaining it, the writer/director does build an effectively escalating sense of dread. A better visual stylist -- for example, David Cronenberg, who must have had Coma in mind when he cast Bujold in Dead Ringers -- could have turned this material into something even more insidiously disturbing. Nevertheless, Coma is an effective thriller whose vision of medicine corrupted by profit is as chilling and relevant as it is heavy-handed. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi








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