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Sleepers (1996)

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After a prank goes disastrously wrong, a group of boys are sent to a detention center where they are brutalized. Over ten years later, they get their chance for revenge.



(book), (screenplay)
1,999 ( 572)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Geoffrey Wigdor ...


As children, Lorenzo Carcaterra - Shakes to his friends - Michael Sullivan, Tommy Marcano, and John Reilly were inseparable. They grew up in Hell's Kitchen, a far from perfect neighborhood, one filled as Shakes says with scams and shake downs, but one where the rules were known by its residents. The one adult who they admired was Father Bobby Carelli, who understood them as kids more than most adults and more than he himself would like to admit. In 1967, their lives would change forever when a typical teenage prank went wrong which led to the four of them being sentenced to various terms at Wilkinson Home for Boys, a reformatory. There, they were physically, emotionally and sexually abused primarily by Sean Nokes, the head guard of their cell block, and fellow guards Ralph Ferguson, Henry Addison, and Adam Styler, although there were other caring figures of authority at the home including other guards. Their time at the home affected the four, not all who were able to emerge from the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Four friends have made a mistake that will change their lives forever. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, graphic violence and two scenes of strong sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

18 October 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los hijos de la calle  »


Box Office


$44,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,305,745, 20 October 1996, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jay Z sampled the line, "You boys are soft like bread" for his song "Streets Is Watching" from his 1997 album, "In My Lifetime: Vol. 1". See more »


When the boys sit around a table and decide to keep quiet after Wilkinson, the camera's shadow is visible on Tommy's face and John's back. It moves as the shot tracks around the table. See more »


[first lines]
Lorenzo: This is a true story about friendship that runs deeper than blood. This is my story and that of the only three friends in my life that truely mattered. Two of them were killers who never made it past the age of 30. The other's a non-practicing attorney living with the pain of his past - too afraid to let it go, never confronting its horror. I'm the only one who can speak for them, and the children we were.
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Referenced in Material (2012) See more »


My Eyes Adored You
Performed by Frankie Valli
Written by Kenny Nolan and Bob Crewe
Courtesy of The Four Seasons Partnership
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Hell's Kitchen's legacy
4 November 2005 | by See all my reviews

A classic. The story is complex and very sophisticated. The cast is sheer brilliant and hardly to surpass. Here we get first-class entertainment in combination with suspense and a variety of themes that are fairly well known to anyone, just as revenge, justice, murder, abuse, atonement etc. The kids do a fine job, really. They add tremendous depth to the deeds and to the behave of the grown ups. Their genuine and sure-handed performances grant the movie a considerable amount of emotional recognition and chain anyone who soaks up and identifies with the storyline and the characters. The very end closes the circle and makes us aware of how quickly our lives can fall apart. Thrilling and suspense is guaranteed. Very recommendable.

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