7.8/10
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182 user 41 critic

Awakenings (1990)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 11 January 1991 (USA)
Trailer
2:43 | Trailer

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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:

Writers:

(book) (as Oliver Sacks M.D.), (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,511 ( 169)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Leonard Lowe
... Dr. Malcolm Sayer
... Eleanor Costello
... Mrs. Lowe
... Dr. Kaufman
... Paula
... Lucy
... Rose
... Bert
... Frank
... Miriam
... Sidney
Laura Esterman ... Lolly
... Rolando
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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 January 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Despertares  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where the patients all awaken, Nurse Costello charges through the door into Dr. Sayer's office where he is asleep, she calls, "Dr. Sayer". He jumps up and says, "What is it?", whereupon she says, "It's a fucking miracle!" However, in recent years, almost all screenings of the film delete the obvious word, leaving, "It's a miracle!" See more »

Goofs

When Dr Sayer first arrives at the facility he remembers to retrieve his paperwork from the car. Then he locks the door, but leaves the keys in the lock. Next he places his hand in his pocket as if pocketing the keys. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Malcolm Sayer: She borrows the will of the ball.
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Connections

Referenced in Hélas pour moi (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

You Made Me Love You
Written by Joseph McCarthy and James V. Monaco
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User Reviews

 
Can someone please tell me WHY??
26 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

Can someone please tell me WHY Penny Marshall never received an Academy Award nomination for this? This is an excellent movie. A truly great film. My opinion? DeNiro's best role to date. He was superb. While I loved "Schindler's List," I think DeNiro's role by far out muscled Liam Neeson as an Oscar contender. (No disrespect to Neeson intended.) But I'm still disappointed over that one.

Robin Williams was wonderful, as well. As was Julie Kavner. Can't believe we never saw much of her after this role. She's a definite talent. Excellent casting by Marshall.

For anyone out there who hasn't seen it, RUSH to your video store TODAY! It's truly one of those "Don't Miss" films. It will definitely give you some life perspective.

As for Ms. Marshall - I believe one of these days, we are going to be seeing an Oscar with her name on it. "Best Director!" She gives all women in film something to strive for.


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