Whose Life Is It Anyway? (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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 a 1972 television movie and Clark's play of the same title. The film is directed by John Badham and stars Richard Dreyfuss.


Sculptor Ken Harrison is paralyzed from the neck down in a car accident, and is 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 him to petition legally for the right to end his life, while knowing that he is trying to win his client a death sentence.

The hospital administrator (John Cassavetes) is staunchly opposed to euthanasia, and is determined to keep his patient alive even against his wishes. Harrison's sympathetic doctor (Christine Lahti), meanwhile, develops personal feelings for him, 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.


See also[edit]

External links[edit]