To be fair, this is a livelier film than you'd expect, considering that its subject is a paralysed patient's struggle for the right to die. Badham has done his best to see that this adaptation of Brian Clark's play is filled with humour and emotion, and he's helped by a verbally energetic performance from Dreyfuss. But popular cinema is ultimately not about talk, and for all its verbal pyrotechnics, the film has the unmistakable narrative thinness of the filmed play. One of the results is that our sympathy for the eternally wisecracking Dreyfuss is stretched to the limit. 'So far as I am concerned' says Dreyfuss at one point, 'I am dead already'. Yet, despite some moving scenes, this is precisely what the film never conveys.
Cast and crew
Brian Clark, Reginald Rose
Janet Eilber Christine Lahti Richard Dreyfuss Bob Balaban Kenneth McMillan John Cassavetes Kaki Hunter