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Awakenings (1990)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 11 January 1991 (USA)
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The victims of an encephalitis epidemic many years ago have been catatonic ever since, but now a new drug offers the prospect of reviving them.

Director:

Penny Marshall

Writers:

Oliver Sacks (book) (as Oliver Sacks M.D.), Steven Zaillian (screenplay)
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2,146 ( 705)

Remembering Penny Marshall

Take a look back at the life and legacy of groundbreaking actor, director, comedian, and producer Penny Marshall.

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert De Niro ... Leonard Lowe
Robin Williams ... Dr. Malcolm Sayer
Julie Kavner ... Eleanor Costello
Ruth Nelson ... Mrs. Lowe
John Heard ... Dr. Kaufman
Penelope Ann Miller ... Paula
Alice Drummond ... Lucy
Judith Malina ... Rose
Barton Heyman ... Bert
George Martin ... Frank
Anne Meara ... Miriam
Richard Libertini ... Sidney
Laura Esterman Laura Esterman ... Lolly
Dexter Gordon ... Rolando
Jayne Haynes Jayne Haynes ... Frances
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Storyline

1969. Dr. Malcolm Sayer is hired as a clinical physician at a psychiatric hospital in the Bronx, despite he only having a research background. The job is not ideal on his side as he has difficulties relating to people which is the reason he has focused on research projects not involving human subjects, while the hospital hires him somewhat out of desperation in not finding anyone else with the qualifications who wants the job. Most of his patients are in a semi-catatonic state and are housed in what some of the orderlies coin the "garden" ward, where all they can do for the patients is water and feed them. He notices that some of the patients, despite their generally catatonic state, respond in unusual ways to certain stimuli. In doing some research, he also finds that some common bonds between these patients are that they suffered from encephalitis in the 1920s or 1930s, and that their physical states are like they have Parkinson's disease frozen in time. As such, he is able to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There is no such thing as a simple miracle.

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Filmnegah.com (Persian)

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 January 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Despertares See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$417,076, 25 December 1990, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$52,096,475
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robin Williams and Robert De Niro were both with John Belushi the night before he fatally overdosed at the Chateau Marmont. Penny Marshall was also going to direct Joy of Sex (1984), that was going to be Belushi's next starring vehicle. See more »

Goofs

When Doctor Sayer and Leonard are driving through the streets, the New York City Buses are GMC RTSs which were not produced until 1979. The film takes place in the 1960s. See more »

Quotes

Paula: [reading to her father] The Mighty Mets stormed their locker room shortly after nine o'clock on their night to remember. Released from bondage and ridicule after seven destitute seasons, they raised the roof of Shea Stadium - while their fans attempted to dismantle it - in one of the loudest, wildest victory celebrations in baseball history
See more »

Connections

Featured in Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
Written by Harry Carroll and Joseph McCarthy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Words Would Not Describe How Breathtakingly Amazing This Film Is...But I'll Try
18 February 2007 | by moinsyyedSee all my reviews

I only have a handful of films i could submit as massively underrated & this would be one of them. I found myself lost for words talking about this film because they are just not enough. What i will say is that if you believe 'raging bull', 'godfather 2' or any other other film by deniro are his best performances then BOY WERE YOU WRONG! & i totally resent the statement Kate winslet made in her guest appearance in 'extras' series 1 about disabled peoples portrayal in film getting the actors an Oscar, which this film totally disproves (sadly).

'Rain man' can move over, because this truly is a worthy masterpiece that should have really got the Oscar.Deniro always seems to be typecast as a 'tough-guy' or 'wise guy' & this film goes some way to showing that he isn't all about 'that'.This film also shows us that he has one of the best smiles in Hollywood and is just one minuscule element that makes this film so endearing. Robin Williams & Robert Deniro are Hollywood's greatest actors and this may be the only film you'll see them in together, so go out and get this on DVD (its cheap!) Bare in mind that despite the films early slow pace, you'll find yourself never wanting this film to end as you draw closer to its conclusion, Deniro gives the performance of his life & i wish the Oscar film board had a resubmission/review board to correct there past mistakes/injustices so that i could fill them up in a room with this on screen & watch there faces as they walked out after watching it begging for forgiveness for not awarding it the Oscar!


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