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Awakenings (1990)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 77,056 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 162 user | 27 critic | 18 from Metacritic.com

The victims of an encephalitis epidemic many years ago have been catatonic ever since, but now a new drug offers the prospect of reviving them.

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Title: Awakenings (1990)

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Ruth Nelson ...
...
...
Paula
...
Lucy
...
Rose
Barton Heyman ...
Bert
George Martin ...
...
Miriam
...
Sidney
Laura Esterman ...
Lolly
Dexter Gordon ...
Rolando
Jayne Haynes ...
Frances
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Storyline

A new doctor finds himself with a ward full of catatonic patients. He is disturbed by them and the fact that they have been catatonic for decades with no hope of any cure. When he finds a possible chemical cure he gets permission to try it on one of them. When the first patient awakes, he is now an adult having gone into a catatonic state in his early teens. The film then delights in the new awareness of the patients and then on the reactions of their relatives to the changes in the newly awakened. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There is no such thing as a simple miracle.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 January 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Despertares  »

Box Office

Gross:

$52,096,475 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Prior to filming, the actors portraying patients studied films of Dr. Oliver Sacks's actual post-encephalitis patients, and Robert De Niro and Robin Williams spent time with Sacks in the hospital observing him and his patients. See more »

Goofs

The chocolate custard that is made for Leonard and Dr. Sayers is first shown to be crooked and off centered. Yet in the next shot, the cones handed to them are perfectly symmetrical. See more »

Quotes

Dr Malcolm Sayer: What we do know is that, as the chemical window closed, another awakening took place; that the human spirit is more powerful than any drug - and THAT is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. THESE are the things that matter. This is what we'd forgotten - the simplest things.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #7.166 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

O Soave Fanciulla
from "La Bohème"
Written by Giacomo Puccini
Performed by Mirella Freni and Nicolai Gedda
Orchestra of the Opera House, Rome
Conducted by Thomas Schippers
Courtesy of Angel/EMI, a division of Capitol Records, Inc.
by arrangment with CEMA Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tearjerker
3 September 2003 | by See all my reviews

Besides when I was a child, I never actually cried during a movie. I've felt the urge to cry during some of them or had tears forming in my eyes, but they never really came out. Before I viewed "Awakenings," "Schindler's List" was the closest one to making me cry. Now, "Awakenings" has done it.

Another great thing about "Awakenings," is that it truly teaches us to appreciate the simple things in life that we take for granted, from taking a walk by yourself or reading a book or even just brushing your teeth.

I don't care what anyone says, both Robin Williams' and Robert DeNiro's performances were excellent and touching. I found this more touching then "Patch Adams." (But I guess "Patch Adams" is more of a Comedy/drama).

Give this great film a try. Grab the Kleenexs during Robert De Niro's first dance.


54 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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