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Lorenzo's Oil (1992)

PG-13 | | Drama | 29 January 1993 (USA)
A boy develops a disease so rare that nobody is working on a cure, so his father decides to learn all about it and tackle the problem himself.



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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Deirdre Murphy
Doctor Judalon
Wendy Gimble
Ellard Muscatine
Loretta Muscatine
Mary Wakio ...
Comorian Teacher
Don Suddaby ...
Colin Ward ...
Jake Gimble
Nurse Ruth (as La Tanya Richardson)
Nurse Nancy Jo
William Cameron ...


Until about the age of 7, Lorenzo Odone was a normal child. After then, strange things began to happen to him: he would have blackouts, memory lapses, and other strange mental phemonenons. He is eventually diagnosed as suffering from ALD: an extremely rare incurable degenerative brain disorder. Frustrated at the failings of doctors and medicine in this area, the Odones begin to educate themselves in the hope of discovering something which can halt the progress of the disease. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

disease | ald | brain | hope | medicine | See All (217) »


Some people make their own miracles.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a child's life threatening ordeal | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

29 January 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un milagro para Lorenzo  »

Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)


$7,286,388 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Lorenzo's actual secretary (Rita Chapman, née Fussey) had an uncredited walk on part in the film. See more »


Augusto Odone: When we first went to the Comoros, what did we do? We got to know the country, right?
Michaela Odone: Yes
Augusto Odone: We studied, we got to know the language, resources, its law. We studied, right? We should threat Lorenzo's illness like another country.
Michaela Odone: I don't quite see the analogy.
Augusto Odone: All right, all right. ALD has many dimensions, right?
Michaela Odone: Yes
Augusto Odone: So, in order to understand it, we need to command genetics, biochemistry, microbiology, neurology, ology-ology.
Michaela Odone: Augusto, we don't have time to go to medical school.
Augusto Odone: Michaela, the ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the credits pictures of children are shown, which were cured by "Lorenzo's Oil". See more »


Referenced in Community: Contemporary Impressionists (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Painful, Yet Moving True Story....
1 November 2002 | by (Virginia, U.S.) – See all my reviews

Definetly one of the most inspiring movies ever made.

As individuals, it would be quite easy to feel helpless while up against a disease such as ALD and a medical establishment that has agendas other than the life of a small child. But Augusto and Michaela Odone refused to just stand idly by and while there son's life slipped away from them. Instead, they made the unprecedented decision to learn as much as they could about their son's devastating illness and then set about to find a cure. Because of their efforts, thousands of boys will now be able to enjoy a life their child will not. Had they not been the exceptionally educated and intelligent people that they were I don't know if they would have been able to accomplish such an unbelievable feat. Who knows? What's important to remember, and what I think is the moral of the story is that great things can be accomplished when people become determined to make a difference.

Though Lorenzo regained his sight, some motor skills, and the ability to swallow, his condition hasn't improved to a large degree over the years, and will not until science is able to regenerate the myelin sheath covering his brain that was all but destroyed by the ALD. At the end of the movie, Augusto was involved with a group of scientists who were about to begin trials that would put the myelin back into some puppies who were born with this defect. I, along with others pray for those suffering from this disorder, as well as for people with other diseases such as Multiple Schlerosis that this therapy could help, that they will be successful.

Sadly, Michaela passed away not too long ago. Being from Virginia the Odone's are considered heros in this state, so her death made the papers here. I cried when I thought of how difficult it must have been for her to have to leave the child she'd spent so many years giving hours upon hours of endless care and attention. I'm sure it never crossed her mind that he would outlive her.

If you've never seen this movie, be sure not to miss it. It's a stellar 10!! But be sure to bring a whole box of tissues, you're going to need it!

14 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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