7.8/10
99,688
178 user 38 critic

Awakenings (1990)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 11 January 1991 (USA)
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
2,172 ( 101)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC

Comic-Con 2017: All Aboard the IMDboat

 | 

July 20 to 23, 2017

Get entertainment news, trailer drops, and photos with IMDb's coverage of 2017 San Diego Comic-Con featuring host and IMDboat captain Kevin Smith, including Saturday's live event.

Browse Our Guide to Comic-Con

Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 8 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 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
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
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In 1965, an unorthodox and irreverent DJ named Adrian Cronauer 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
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
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
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

The name that Leonard spells out on the Ouija board is German poet Rainer Maria Rilke, and the poem that Dr. Sayer quotes in the arboretum is "The Panther." 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

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 Manhunt 2 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Purple Haze
Written & Performed by Jimi Hendrix
Courtesy of Elber B.V.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


63 of 68 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?