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Awakenings (1990)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 11 January 1991 (USA)
Trailer
2:43 | Trailer
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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Popularity
1,755 ( 840)
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Oliver Sacks has been fictionalized into an American neurosurgeon named Malcolm Sayer. However, Robin Williams' portrayal bears a very close physical resemblance to the real Dr. Sacks, as he was in the 1960s. (Contributed on the day of Dr. Sacks' death.) See more »

Goofs

In the parking lot scene just before Eleanor tells Dr. Sayer she believes his theory, Dr. Sayer gets in his 1964 Dodge Polara that has a pushbutton transmission control. When the car is shown from the outside, it has a column mounted shifter used only on 1965 and later Dodge cars. Also, to shift from park into reverse, the shifter should have been moved down instead of up. See more »

Quotes

Margaret: Miriam, there's no easy way to tell you this, so - your husband - he was granted a divorce from you in 1952.
Miriam: Oh, thank God!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Pioneers of Television: Robin Williams Remembered (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Time of the Season
Written by Rod Argent
Performed by The Zombies
Courtesy of Marquis Enterprises Ltd.
by arrangment with Celebrity Licensing Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

 
A marvelous true story comes to an awakening..
18 August 2009 | by mukarram123See all my reviews

After watching this movie i can't stop thinking that there are so many untold true and moving stories which can really impact your perspective towards life.

The problem remains that many of these true stories may have happened with a few bunch of people or to a minuscule portion of the society.And the rapid changes conditioned upon this society that such touching incidents are veiled and have to wait for the eventuality of a writer like Oliver sacks to bring it back to life through his book of the same name.

Here is a movie of belief and hope that will lift your spirits no matter what you have experienced in life.I was in tears as i watched how unfair life can be.Robin Williams has portrayed Dr.Sayer with true conviction, and Deniro's performance is commendable.Penny Marshall has done a tremendous job directing this Drama.

I strongly recommend this to everyone.

Mukarram.Dhorajiwala


12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 January 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Awakenings See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$417,076, 25 December 1990

Gross USA:

$52,096,475

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$52,096,475
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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