7.8/10
92,944
174 user 37 critic

Awakenings (1990)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 11 January 1991 (USA)
Trailer
2:43 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
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
2,326 ( 571)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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

English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke
Men of Honor (2000)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story of Carl Brashear, the first African American, then also the first amputee, US Navy Diver and the man who trained him.

Director: George Tillman Jr.
Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr., Robert De Niro, Charlize Theron
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    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
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
Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An android endeavors to become human as he gradually acquires emotions.

Director: Chris Columbus
Stars: Robin Williams, Embeth Davidtz, Sam Neill
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 | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A single mother/waitress, a misanthropic author, and a gay artist form an unlikely friendship after the artist is assaulted in a robbery.

Director: James L. Brooks
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear
Ronin (1998)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A freelancing former U.S. 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
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone; because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Robert De Niro
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An employee of a one-hour photo lab becomes obsessed with a young suburban family.

Director: Mark Romanek
Stars: Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen, Michael Vartan
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Ruth Nelson ...
...
...
Paula
...
Lucy
...
Rose
...
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

Robin Williams and Max von Sydow would appear together one more time in What Dreams May Come (1998). See more »

Goofs

When Doctor Sayer and Leonard are driving through the streets, the New York City Buses are GMC RTSs which were not produced until 1979. The film takes place in the 1960s. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Sayer: His gaze is from the passing of bars so exhausted, that it doesn't hold a thing anymore. For him, it's as if there were thousands of bars and behind the thousands of bars no world. The sure stride of lithe, powerful steps, that around the smallest of circles turns, is like a dance of pure energy about a center, in which a great will stands numbed. Only occasionally, without a sound, do the covers of the eyes slide open-. An image rushes in, goes through the tensed silence of the frame- only to ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Animaniacs: Video Review/When Mice Ruled the Earth (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A great film.
16 November 1998 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

Penny Marshall's Awakenings is a very emotional movie and heartwarming to say the least. Marshall has out done herself with this picture. The movie is a masterpiece. Robin Williams is great and Robert De Niro should have won the Oscar for his performance in this movie. De Niro hits every note perfectly and shows why he is the greatest actor of his generation. The movie is well written by Steven Zaillian and Penny Marshall did a super job. Bring a hankerchief to this one.


44 of 52 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:
?