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|Geneviève Bujold||Dr. Susan Wheeler|
|Michael Douglas||Dr. Mark Bellows|
|Elizabeth Ashley||Mrs. Emerson|
|Richard Widmark||Dr. Harris|
|Rip Torn||Dr. George|
|Tom Selleck||Sean Murphy|
|Lois Chiles||Nancy Greenly|
|Hari Rhodes||Dr. Morelind (as Harry Rhodes)|
|Gary Barton||Computer Technician|
|Alan Haufrect||Dr. Marcus|
|Lance LeGault||Vince (as Lance Le Gault)|
|Michael MacRae||Chief Resident|
|Ed Harris||Pathology Resident #2|
"Imagine your life hangs by a thread. Imagine your body hangs by a wire. Imagine you're not imagining."
Dr. Susan Wheeler (Geneviève Bujold) is a surgical resident at Boston Memorial Hospital. Wheeler is devastated when her best friend is pronounced brain dead and ends up in a coma after minor surgery at the hospital.
Looking at the records, Susan finds that over the previous year a number of other fit young people have ended up the same way. She comes across two similarities to the cases: they all took place in the same operating theatre (operating room eight), and all the comatose bodies were moved to a remote facility called the Jefferson Institute. She continues to investigate, increasingly alone, starting to wonder if she can trust even her own boyfriend, Dr. Mark Bellows (Michael Douglas).
Eventually she discovers that the Jefferson Institute is a front for black market organ sales, where the patients organs are sold to the highest bidder. Boston Memorial is in on this, purposely inducing comas in patients whose organs match those of potential buyers. The patients are rendered brain dead via covert carbon monoxide poisoning, through a pipe that leads from the basement to the OR.
Susan's investigation then reveals the mastermind behind all of it - Dr. George Harris (Richard Widmark), Chief of Surgery, who she has been confiding in all along. Dr. Harris tries to stop Susan from exposing the truth, and attempts to render her brain dead with carbon monoxide in operating room eight, under the pretext of performing an appendectomy. However, Mark, now having realized the truth as well, manages to find and disconnect the pipe before it can poison Susan. The movie ends with Susan awake, being wheeled out of the operating room holding Mark's hand. Meanwhile, Dr. Harris stands defeated in the operating room, as two police officers wait outside to arrest him.
Theatrical : 1978-01-06 : United States of America