Marvin's Room (1996)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  28 February 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 18,796 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 70 user | 45 critic | 20 from

A leukemia patient attempts to end a 20-year feud with her sister to get her bone marrow.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Charlotte
Retirement Home Director
John Callahan ...
Beauty Shop Lady
Steve DuMouchel ...
Gas Station Guy (as Steve Dumouchel)


Estranged since their father's first stroke some 17 years earlier, Lee and Bessie lead separate lives in separate states. Lee's son, Hank, finds himself committed to a mental institution after setting fire to his mother's house. His younger brother, Charlie, seems unfazed by his brother's eccentricities or his mother's seeming disinterest. When Lee comes to the asylum to spring Hank for a week in Florida so that he can be tested as a possible bone marrow donor for Bessie, Hank is incredulous. "I didn't even know you had a sister," he says. "Remember, every Christmas, when I used to say 'Well, looks like Aunt Bessie didn't send us a card again this year?'" "Oh yeah," Hank says. Meanwhile, Marvin, the two women's bedridden father, has "been dying for the past twenty years." "He's doing it real slow so I don't miss anything," Bessie tells Dr. Wally. In Bessie's regular doctor's absence, it has fallen to Dr. Wally to inform Bessie that she has leukemia and will die without a bone marrow ... Written by Mark Fleetwood <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sometimes the people you know the least...are the ones you need the most! See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:




Release Date:

28 February 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Marvinova soba  »

Box Office


$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$57,739 (USA) (20 December 1996)


DEM 77,089 (Germany) (5 June 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sigourney Weaver, Anjelica Huston and Kathleen Turner were all considered for the role ultimately played by Diane Keaton. See more »


Early in the film, when Meryl Streep's character visits a psychiatrist. The boom mic is visible twice in the psychiatrist's scenes. See more »


[first lines]
Bessie: Uh, Janine, I wonder if you could tell me how long I might have to wait, because I left Aunt Ruth at home in charge of dad, and...
Janine: You'll have to see Doctor Wally, because Doctor Serrot is on vacation.
[finishes typing "I quit" letter]
Bessie: See "Doctor who"?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The producers wish to thank ... the staff and guests of Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom, Orlando Florida, ... the residents and staff of The Florida Manor Nursing Home ... See more »


Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.130 (2013) See more »


My Purity
Written by Mark Dombrowski and Mike Cross
Published by EMI Virgin Songs, Inc./It Made a Sound Music (BMI)
Performed by Sponge
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

Great acting, simple story
6 August 1998 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

This movie should be reviewed for its great performances from some of the best actors today. Meryl Streep does not fail to shine out as one of the best actresses of all time as an emotionally distraught mother in this tale of hopes, emotions and intense feelings. Keaton, on the other hand portrays her best performance ever, and Leonardo DiCaprio proves that he has talents besides being a heartthrob. This movie really moved me, not because of the story itself but the acting was very realistic....I believe that they all should have received an Oscar nomination. Well done!

23 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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