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Whose Life Is It Anyway?

By Marshall Fine

In interviews, Richard Dreyfuss often refers to Whose Life Is It Anyway? as having been made at the nadir of his substance-abuse problem in the 1980s. Yet it's not too bad. Based on the hit Broadway play, it's a debate about the ethics of euthanasia and one person's right to choose whether to live or die. Dreyfuss plays a sculptor who, after a car accident, is left a paraplegic. Appalled at the prospect of a life in which he has no control of anything, he pleads with hospital authorities to help him die. When they refuse, he takes them to court. Dreyfuss brings great passion to a role in which he can't even use his body; the humor is often pitch-black, but it works, both as a script and as a cinematically opened-up version of a play.

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)DVD unavailableSoundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated RNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: John Badham

Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, John Cassavetes, Christine Lahti, Bob Balaban, Kenneth McMillan, Kaki Hunter, Janet Eilber, Thomas Carter

Released: June 14, 1981

Availability: VHS


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