Whose Life Is It Anyway? (film)
|Whose Life Is It Anyway?|
Theatrical release poster by Tom Jung
|Directed by||John Badham|
|Written by||Brian Clark
Reginald Rose (screenplay)
|Edited by||Frank Morriss|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Box office||$36 million|
Whose Life Is It Anyway? is a 1981 film adapted by Brian Clark and Reginald Rose from a 1972 television movie and Clark's play of the same title. The film is directed by John Badham and stars Richard Dreyfuss.
After a car accident, sculptor Ken Harrison becomes a quadriplegic who sues for the right to end his life, no longer able to create art, make love or have any semblance of a normal existence. He hires a lawyer (Bob Balaban) who, reluctantly at first, represents Harrison while knowing that he is trying to win his client a death sentence.
Staunchly opposed to euthanasia is a by-the-book hospital administrator (John Cassavetes), who is determined to keep his patient alive even against his wishes, and sympathetic doctor (Christine Lahti), who develops personal feelings for Harrison. She wants to keep him alive, even though Harrison's girlfriend has accepted his decision.
A young orderly (Thomas Carter) and nurse (Kaki Hunter) 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 is up to a judge (Kenneth McMillan) whether the patient has a moral, ethical and legal right to choose to die.
- Richard Dreyfuss as Ken Harrison
- John Cassavetes as Dr. Emerson
- Christine Lahti as Dr. Scott
- Bob Balaban as Carter Hill
- Thomas Carter as John
- Kaki Hunter as Mary Jo
- Kenneth McMillan as Judge Wyler
- Janet Eilber as Pat
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