Coma (1978)

104m (USA – theatrical), 113m (USA – TCM library print)
35mm film, “filmed in Metrocolor”, 1.37:1 (negative ratio), 1.85:1 (intended ratio)
stereo, English

An American science fiction film directed by Michael Crichton.

Plot Summary

Dr Susan Wheeler discovers that a number of relatively healthy patients at her hospital are suddenly going into after suffering “complications” during what should have been straightforward operations. The patients are removed to a sinister special clinic where they simply disappear.


Directed by: Michael Crichton
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents a Martin Erlichman production. A Michael Crichton film. Presented by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Produced by: Martin Erlichman
Screenplay by: Michael Crichton
Based on the Novel by: Robin Cook
Director of Photography: Victor J. Kemper
Editor: David Bretherton
Music: Jerry Goldsmith
Sound: Bill Griffith, William McCaughey, Michael J. Kohut, Aaron Rochin
Wardrobe: Eddie Marks, Yvonne Kubis
Makeup: Don Schoenfeld
Hairdresser: Carolyn Ferguson
Special Effects: Joe Day
Production Designer: Albert Brenner
Locations: Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston City Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Chet Holifield Federal Building, Laguna Niguel, California, USA; Holiday Inn, Somerville, Massachusetts, USA; Lexington, Massachusetts, USA; Mass. General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA [all uncredited]

Genevieve Bujold (Dr Susan Wheeler)
Michael Douglas (Dr Mark Bellows)
Elizabeth Ashley (Mrs Emerson)
Rip Torn (Dr George)
Richard Widmark (Dr [George A.] Harris)
Lois Chiles (Nancy Greenly)
Lance Le Gault (Vince)
Harry Rhodes (Dr Morelind)
Gary Barton (computer technician)
Frank Downing (Kelly)
Richard Doyle (Jim)
Alan Haufrect (Dr Marcus)
Michael MacRae (chief resident)
Betty McGuire (nurse)
Tom Selleck (Sean Murphy)
Charles Siebert (Dr Goodman)
William Wintersole (lab technician)
Ernest Anderson (first doctor)
Harry Basch (second doctor)
Maury Cooper (third doctor)

Alternative Titles

Coma profondo – Italy
Kóma – Hungary
Koma – Sweden
Kooma – Finland
Morts suspectes – France

See also
Anatomie (2000)
The Cell (2000)
Dead Sleep (1990)
Death Warrant (1990)
Extreme Measures (1996)
Minority Report (2002)



  • Film Score Monthly vol.5 no.7 (August 2000) pp.34, 35 – soundtrack review (Score: reviews of current releases on CD by Jonathan Z Kaplan and Jeff Bond)
  • Films and Filming vol.24 no.4 (January 1978) pp.12-17; 18-19 – interview with Michael Crichton; illustrated preview
  • Films and Filming vol.24 no.11 (August 1978) pp.34-35 – review
  • Hammer's Halls of Horror vol.2 no.9 (June 1978) pp.13-14 – note (Media Macabre by Tony Crawley)
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.247 no.13 (5 July 1977) p.8 – credits
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.250 no.3 (25 January 1978) pp.3, 24 – review
  • The Listener vol.100 no.2587 (23 November 1978) p.702 – review
  • M/F Journal no.3 1979 p.59-81 (UK) – article (by Elizabeth Cowie)
  • M/F Journal no.4 (1980) p.57-69 (UK) – article (by Elizabeth Cowie)
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.45 no.538 (November 1978) pp.216-217 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Movie no27/28 (Winter 1980) pp.85-90 (USA) – article
  • Music from the Movies n28 (August 2000) p.61 – soundtrack review (Film music review: archival by AK)
  • New Review of Film and Television vol.1 no.1 (November 2003) pp.77-99 (UK) – article (Material aspects of subjectivity – a Deleuzian reading of images of the flesh by Patricia Pisters)
  • Photoplay vol.29 no.8 (August 1978) pp.30-31 – review
  • Radio Times vol.280 no.3661 (12 March 1994) p.50 – illustrated article (by Barry Norman)
  • Screen International no.156 (16 September 1978) p.25 – review
  • Sight & Sound vol.47 no.3 (Summer 1978) pp.193-194 – credits, review
  • Variety 25 January 1978 p.24 – review


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.340
  • Film Review 1979-80 by F. Maurice Speed pp.137-138
  • French Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Pulp Fiction by Jean-Marc Lofficier and Randy Lofficier p.26
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.63
  • Horror Films of the 1970s by John Kenneth Muir pp.518-522 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review