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Awakenings (1990) Poster

(1990)

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (5) | Audio/visual unsynchronised (1) | Character error (4) | Continuity (9) | Factual errors (1)

Anachronisms 

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.
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When Dr. Sayer takes a patient to the window and shows the street outside, 1980s cars are seen driving by though the movie is set in the 1960s.
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1969 - After Dr Sayer exits his car he looks up at the care facility he has an interview appointment. Clearly heard in the background is a modern day electronic siren at a time when the Federal 'Pulsator' siren was still the standard siren used.
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When Dr. Sayer takes Leonard out into the city for the first time, they see (among other things) an aircraft landing - a Boeing 747. The movie takes place in 1969 and the first revenue flight of the Boeing 747 was January 21st, 1970. Additionally, the 747 is in El Al livery that was used around 1990.
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The film is set in 1969, but the rear end of a 1972 Chevrolet Impala coupe is seen in a parking lot. The 72 Impala is also more weathered than a 1965 model in the same shot.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

Dr Sayer puts on a record saying "This is one of the most beautiful arias ever written...". The record is clearly an LP (you can even see "Long Playing" on the label) but it starts turning at 78rpm - and the music is heard at normal speed.
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Character error 

When Leonard gets the correct dose of medicine and 'awakens', he walks with almost no difficulty. If he had been catatonic for years, and even if he had been exercised regularly, he would not have been able to just get up and walk around so easily. His muscles would have atrophied. His voice would also have been raspy from disuse.
At one point Dr. Sayers describes L-DOPA as synthetic dopamine. It is in fact a precursor to dopamine, i.e. a substance used by the body to synthesize dopamine.
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Both times through "Slumber Boat" (Riley and Gaynor, 1898), Leonard's mother substitutes the first half of the second verse ("Baby's fishing for a dream") for the second half of the first ("His line a silver moonbeam is").
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When Dr Sayer first arrives at the facility he remembers to retrieve his paperwork from the car. Then he locks the door, but leaves the keys in the lock. Next he places his hand in his pocket as if pocketing the keys.
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Continuity 

In the parking lot scene just before Eleanor tells Dr. Sayer she believes his theory, Dr. Sayer gets in his 1964 Dodge Polara that has a pushbutton transmission control. When the car is shown from the outside, it has a column mounted shifter used only on 1965 and later Dodge cars. Also, to shift from park into reverse, the shifter should have been moved down instead of up.
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When Leonard leaves the rest of the group and ends up eating lunch in the cafeteria, he and his companion change positions at the table between shots.
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Dr. Sayer's coat is unbuttoned when he caught up with Nurse Eleonor Costello at the stairs of the hospital, then when he asked her out it is buttoned. When they descended the stairs it is unbuttoned again.
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When Dr. Sayer begins to type up Lucy's initial diagnosis, he puts a new form into the typewriter and begins typing. After only a few clicks, a close-up shows him already halfway through his second line of typing.
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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.
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Car window when Dr. Sayer is sitting inside talking to Nurse Costello.
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The orientation of the eyeglasses when Dr. Sayer attempts to hand them to new patient Lucy.
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Lucy's feet relative to the checkered floor pattern when she walks towards the window.
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Dr. Sayers takes the group to a dance hall. He is sitting at a table and eats the cherry that was from his drink. A woman patient pulls him to the dance floor but the cherry that he ate appears on his napkin.
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Factual errors 

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.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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