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Nell (1994)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  23 December 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 21,547 users  
Reviews: 87 user | 24 critic

In a remote woodland cabin, a small town doctor discovers Nell - a beautiful young hermit woman with many secrets.



(play), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Nell (1994)

Nell (1994) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paula Olsen
Alexander Paley
Todd Peterson
Mary Peterson
Billy Fisher
Don Fontana
Heather M. Bomba ...
Twin #1
Marianne E. Bomba ...
Twin #2
Mike Ibarra
Stephanie Dawn Wood ...
Ruthie Lovell
Mary Lynn Riner ...
Janet Baring
Lucile McIntyre ...


Nell is a girl who's been brought up in an isolated world. The only people she knew were her mother and twin sister. They lived together in a cottage in the forest. Nobody has ever met Nell. After her mother's death, she's discovered by the local doctor Jerome. He's fascinated by her, since she speaks a mangled language, developed by her sister and herself growing up, "twin speak" if you will. But Paula, a psychology student, wants her observed in a laboratory. The judge decides they get three months to observe her in the forest, after which he'll decide about Nell's future. Written by Tony Kessen <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Her heart. Her soul. Her language are a mystery...A mystery called Nell. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 December 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Una mujer llamada Nell  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£902,923 (UK) (17 March 1995)


£1,843,233 (UK) (14 April 1995)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A successful 4-membered Korean indie-rock band named themselves Nell after this movie. See more »


(at around 12 mins) Nell swims in the nude, but when on the shore and dancing, she has on underwear. See more »


[Jerry ringing the bell of Paula's boat]
Paula: Hey.
Jerry: You sure can make it, roughin' it like this? I don't see an air conditioning unit. You ok about breathing raw air?
[Paula knocks on a box on the ceilling]
Jerry: Oh.
See more »


Featured in 70th Golden Globe Awards (2013) See more »


Written by Willie Nelson
Performed by Patsy Cline
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

What a charming movie
28 June 2002 | by (The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

This film really surprised me, because it was really good. But it mostly surprised me, because I read here that this would be a drama and I must say I disagree. Drama stands for sadness and melancholy, whereas this film stood for humanism. I mean Nell is basically as happy as can be and who are we (the people in the film) to tell her that her way of life is not good? I know this might sound strange, but I see this film as a metaphor for human behavior. We reject what is not like us (race, religion, gender, sexual preference, skin color and so on) and think those people ought to be like us, because they are not ‘normal'. Well you tell me who is more normal: Nell or the people who want to put her away; Nell or the journalists; Nell or the boys in the bar? I will tell you: Nell, Nell and Nell. I can recommend this film to everyone and I hereby want to thank all people involved and especially Jodie Foster for her great performance.

7,5 out of 10

30 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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