Whose Life Is It Anyway? (film)

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Whose Life Is It Anyway?
Whose Life is it Anyway? poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster by Tom Jung
Directed by John Badham
Produced by Lawrence P. Bachman
Written by Brian Clark
(play, screenplay)
Reginald Rose (screenplay)
Starring Richard Dreyfuss
John Cassavetes
Christine Lahti
Bob Balaban
Music by Arthur B. Rubinstein
Cinematography Mario Tosi
Edited by Frank Morriss
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
  • December 2, 1981 (1981-12-02)
Running time
119 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $13 million
Box office $8.2 million

Whose Life Is It Anyway? is a 1981 film adapted by Brian Clark and Reginald Rose from Clark's 1972 television movie and 1978 stage play, all under the same title. The film is directed by John Badham and stars Richard Dreyfuss. Whose Life Is It Anyway? received an 83% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on six reviews and an average rating of 5.9/10[1].


Sculptor Ken Harrison is paralyzed from the neck down after a car accident, and is no longer able to create art, make love or have any semblance of a normal existence. Confined to a hospital, Harrison hires lawyer Carter Hill who, reluctantly at first, represents him to petition legally for the right to end his life.

Dr. Emerson, the hospital administrator, is staunchly opposed to euthanasia, and is determined to keep his patient alive even against his wishes. Dr. Scott, Harrison's sympathetic physician, develops personal feelings for him. She wants to keep him alive, even though Harrison's girlfriend, Pat, has accepted his decision.

A young orderly and a young nurse, John and Mary Jo (respectively), do what they can to keep Harrison's spirits up, even wheeling him to a hospital basement where they treat him to reggae music and marijuana. In the end, though, it will be up to Judge Wyler whether Harrison has a moral, ethical and legal right to choose to die.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whose Life Is It Anyway?, retrieved 2018-05-10 

External links[edit]