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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)
1,474 ( 525)
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 made a mistake that changed 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?


Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro reunited with Barry Levinson in Wag the Dog (1997). See more »


When the boys are being driven to the detention center, the road has double yellow road stripes and yellow 'dashed' center stripes. Dashed center markings were still white until the early 1970s. While many roads still used white solid center markings, double yellow lines had been introduced in the 1950s, so they may have been on that road in the mid 1960s. 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.
See more »


Featured in The Directors: The Films of Barry Levinson (2000) See more »


Alone Again, Or
Performed by Love
Written by Bryan MacLean
Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Simply Brilliant
22 November 2005 | by See all my reviews

I've watched this film so many times and it never fails to break my heart. I wasn't expecting it to be so deep and emotional but the story is told in such a way that you can really feel the fear and other feelings that the characters are experiencing.

Of course I think the cast was fantastically chosen, I especially give praise to Kevin Bacon, Jason Patric, Joe Perrino and Dustin Hoffman for their great acting. I believe no other actors could have made the film as heart stopping as they did.

I've asked my friends about this film and was surprised to hear that not many have seen it. Is this because more action-packed or fast-paced/ comedy movies are more popular? Who knows.

All I can say is, this film is quite special because without having action-packed scenes and surprises round every corner, it still keeps me glued to the seat.

The last thing I just HAVE to mention is that this movie introduced me to Ron Eldard who is a sensational actor.

All in all.... truly heartbreaking film, might almost even make you cry. Nothing shows friendship lasts forever, more than the events the characters have to endure in this film.

I definitely recommend for older kids. If you're always watching the same kind of films, this one is sure to open your eyes to a whole new side of film making.

Woooo Woooooo!!!

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