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.

Director:

Writers:

(book) (as Oliver Sacks M.D.), (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
2,386 ( 32)

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

English teacher Keating told their students to look at poetry with a different perspective of really authentic knowledge and feelings.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An unorthodox and irreverent DJ begins to shake up things when he is assigned to the US Armed Services Radio station in Vietnam.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, Tung Thanh Tran
Patch Adams (1998)
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The true story of a heroic man, Hunter Patch Adams, determined to become a medical doctor because he enjoys helping people. He ventured where no doctor had ventured before, using humour and pathos.

Director: Tom Shadyac
Stars: Robin Williams, Daniel London, Monica Potter
Cape Fear (1991)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a fourteen-year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two escaped cons only prayer to escape is to pass themselves off as priests and pass by the police blockade at the border into the safety of Canada.

Director: Neil Jordan
Stars: Robert De Niro, Sean Penn, Demi Moore
A Bronx Tale (1993)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A father becomes worried when a local gangster befriends his son in the Bronx in the 1960s.

Director: Robert De Niro
Stars: Robert De Niro, Chazz Palminteri, Lillo Brancato
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A former radio DJ, suicidally despondent because of a terrible mistake he made, finds redemption in helping a deranged homeless man who was an unwitting victim of that mistake.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Adam Bryant
Midnight Run (1988)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An accountant is chased by bounty hunters, the FBI, and the Mafia after jumping bail.

Director: Martin Brest
Stars: Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Yaphet Kotto
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After he dies in a car crash, a man searches heaven and hell for his beloved wife.

Director: Vincent Ward
Stars: Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr., Annabella Sciorra
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A prep school student needing money agrees to "babysit" a blind man, but the job is not at all what he anticipated.

Director: Martin Brest
Stars: Al Pacino, Chris O'Donnell, James Rebhorn
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A struggling widow falls in love with an illiterate short-order cook whom she teaches to read and write in her kitchen each night.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Jane Fonda, Robert De Niro, Swoosie Kurtz
Ronin (1998)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A freelancing former US intelligence agent tries to track down a mysterious package that is wanted by both the Irish and the Russians.

Director: John Frankenheimer
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone
Edit

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
Edit

Storyline

1969. Dr. Malcolm Sayer is hired as a clinical physician at a psychiatric hospital in the Bronx, despite he only having a research background. The job is not ideal on his side as he has difficulties relating to people which is the reason he has focused on research projects not involving human subjects, while the hospital hires him somewhat out of desperation in not finding anyone else with the qualifications who wants the job. Most of his patients are in a semi-catatonic state and are housed in what some of the orderlies coin the "garden" ward, where all they can do for the patients is water and feed them. He notices that some of the patients, despite their generally catatonic state, respond in unusual ways to certain stimuli. In doing some research, he also finds that some common bonds between these patients are that they suffered from encephalitis in the 1920s or 1930s, and that their physical states are like they have Parkinson's disease frozen in time. As such, he is able to ... Written by Huggo

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:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

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

When Nurse Costello approaches Nurses Margaret and Beth, Margaret says, "The patients have all been given their morning medication." The program the nurses are watching is "Days Of Our Lives," which in 1969 was broadcast at 2PM in NYC; well into the afternoon. See more »

Quotes

Leonard Lowe: Hello. My name is Leonard Lowe. It has been explained to me that I've been away for quite some time.I'm back.
See more »

Connections

References Taxi Driver (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Time of the Season
Written by Rod Argent
Performed by The Zombies
Courtesy of Marquis Enterprises Ltd.
by arrangment with Celebrity Licensing Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
BRAVO
19 July 2000 | by (usa) – See all my reviews

This is one of the best movies I have ever seen. It tore my heart out more than once and I cried a bucket of tears. I watched it 3 times in a row the first time I rented it. I recommended to others and everyone loved it. I have never admired Robin Williams more in a role. He was fabulous. Robert DeNiro, absolutely blew me away. I love him in all of his roles, but this was superb acting at it's very best. Ruth Nelson as the mother played a heart-wrenching role. Penelope Ann Miller was so sweet. When Leonard's mother walked into his room and he first spoke to her, I actually sobbed. It was beautiful. The saddest part was that this movie was true and Leonard and all of the other patients are in the same condition now that they were then. I only wish that I knew what ever became of all of them. If this story would have been fiction, I would not have enjoyed it half as much. Only true life can be this sad.


91 of 107 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The scene that just broke my heart... ssweet6
extremely underrated zzazzah
Vin Diesel techiebelle
Ben Stiller dsheatley
Randy Newman's music peter.gwen1
Why Actor instead of Supporting Actor? TommyFilmProductions
Discuss Awakenings (1990) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?