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Awakenings (1990)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 76,453 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 162 user | 26 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 7.7/10

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 10 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

At one point a film Steven Spielberg considered directing, before passing it on to Penny Marshall. The time he spent on the project did yield one useful outcome for him: Steven Zaillian's script took several short chapters, each about different patients, and put them together into a linear whole. This brought Zaillian to Spielberg's attention, and he offered Zaillian the similar task of adapting Schindler's List (1993), which ended up winning Oscars for both of them. 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. Sayer: You told him I was a kind man. How kind is it to give life, only to take it away?
Eleanor: It's given to and taken away from all of us.
Dr. Sayer: Why does that not comfort me?
Eleanor: Because you are a kind man. Because he's your friend.
See more »


Soundtracks

You Made Me Love You
Written by Joseph McCarthy and James V. Monaco
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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.


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