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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. Thirteen years later, they get their chance for revenge.

Director:

Barry Levinson

Writers:

Lorenzo Carcaterra (book), Barry Levinson (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,179 ( 1)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Bacon ... Nokes
Billy Crudup ... Tommy
Robert De Niro ... Father Bobby
Ron Eldard ... John
Minnie Driver ... Carol
Vittorio Gassman ... King Benny
Dustin Hoffman ... Danny Snyder
Terry Kinney ... Ferguson
Bruno Kirby ... Shakes' Father
Frank Medrano ... Fat Mancho
Jason Patric ... Shakes
Joe Perrino ... Young Shakes
Brad Pitt ... Michael
Brad Renfro ... Young Michael
Geoffrey Wigdor ... Young John
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Four friends made a mistake that changed their lives forever. See more »

Genres:

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Levinson.com

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 October 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los hijos de la calle See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$44,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:

$49,100,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$165,615,285
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro also appeared in Wag the Dog (1997), Meet the Fockers (2004), and Little Fockers (2010). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

References The Untouchables (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Early In The Morning
Performed by The Gap Band
Written by Lonnie Simmons, Charlie Wilson and Rudy Taylor
Courtesy of Mercury Records
By Arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
4 childhood friends set out for petty prank that changes their lives forever.
4 January 2004 | by LadyamcalSee all my reviews

"Sleepers," is a captivating, taut, ride. It's well-crafted visually and storywise, keeping my attention from the first plot point to the last, which is hard to do, as I see dozens of movies each week. I can't believe I missed this back in '96. It must have been the pedestrian title, but at any rate, the performances were top-notch and the story, both intriguing and heart-wrenching. One seemingly harmless lifting of a hot dog, places four lives in a juvenile system that rips their promise apart. Wow. Who cares if the story is true, the movie is entertaining and a fun ride!


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