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Awakenings (1990)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 78,508 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 162 user | 28 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)

Awakenings (1990) on IMDb 7.8/10

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

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Director: Peter Kassovitz
Stars: Robin Williams, Hannah Taylor Gordon, Éva Igó
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ruth Nelson ...
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Paula
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Lucy
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Rose
Barton Heyman ...
Bert
George Martin ...
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Miriam
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The rock that De Niro is standing on in the water is named Killy Rock. It is located in Edgewater Park, a small waterfront community in The Bronx. See more »

Goofs

Car window when Dr. Sayer is sitting inside talking to Nurse Costello. See more »

Quotes

Leonard Lowe: It's quiet.
Dr. Malcolm Sayer: Yes, everybody's sleeping.
Leonard Lowe: I'm not.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Pioneers of Television: Robin Williams Remembered (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Shanghai Shuffle
Written by Gene Rodemich (as G. Rodemich) and Larry Conley (as L. Conley)
Performed by Fletcher Henderson
Courtesy of MCA Records
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User Reviews

Robin Williams Should Do Films Like This More Often
25 October 2002 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

"Awakenings" is a positively surprising career change of pace for its two leads, Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro. Based on a true story, the film is about the experimental drug invented by Dr. Oliver Sacks (Williams) and how it successfully awakened many paitents from catatonic states which had lasted as long as 30 years. DeNiro gives an especially moving performance as one of the paitents who also turns out to be one of the drug's biggest success stories. It's a real shame how overlooked this film turned out to be for Williams' career. He should be getting praised for his quality dramatic performances in films that matter like this one rather than for his inferior comedies. This film proves that Williams can successfully expand his range and be a great dramatic actor. The same goes for DeNiro and his performance here as well.


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