Nell (1994)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  23 December 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 21,764 users  
Reviews: 86 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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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 14 mins) The depth of the water Jerry is in changes. See more »


Jerry: [translating for Nell to the court] You have big things. You know big things. But you don't look into each other's eyes. And you're hungry for quietness.
See more »


Referenced in Rules of Engagement: Bag Ladies (2007) 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

25 April 2004 | by (Washington State) – See all my reviews

I just watched this movie for the second time. One word: wow!

This is one of the rare gems that you can tell when actors and actresses put everything into their performances, and actually go beyond the role. How can I tell? At the very end of the movie, the emotion of the moment that Jodie's character feels towards the scene with the little girl reminding her of her lost sister is enough to make Jodie herself cry and wipe away a tear. Incredible. It's very rare to see that level of immersion into a role where the actors involved feel real emotion about a scene. I'm willing to bet that moment of grace at the very end of the movie wasn't scripted nor acted on Jodie's part. You simply cannot get more heartfelt emotion into a scene than what was shown at the end of Nell. Brilliant and well-acted movie by all. A definite 10.

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