Awakenings (1990)

Awakenings (1990)

Rating: 7.8/10 from 117,158 users
Runtime: 121 min
Genre: Biography / Drama | 1990 | 11 Jan 1991 (USA)

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 convince, albeit reluctantly, his skeptical boss, Dr. Kaufman, to administer an expensive experimental drug therapy on only one patient with family consent. That patient is forty-one year old Leonard Lowe, who has been in his current state since he was eleven years old, and who has been supported by his loving mother through all these years. As the drug therapy "awakens" Leonard, there are several issues that come into play. Malcolm has to try and convince Kaufman and the hospital administration to extend the therapy to the other patients. Despite not knowing the long term effects, Leonard, who was aware of his surroundings through his catatonic state, may have mixed emotions about his situation, wanting both to be treated as human being and an experiment guinea pig to ensure that what is happening benefits him and others in the long run. Mrs. Lowe may be unprepared for the new Leonard, she expecting who she remembers as a sweet eleven year old boy. Through all these issues, what may be the most illuminating issue for Malcolm is the need to stimulate the human spirit, including his own in dealing with people around him. Written by Huggo


Director: Penny Marshall

Writer: Oliver Sacks / Steven Zaillian

Company: Columbia Pictures

Awards: Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1

Country: United States

Creator: n/A

Location: Gun Hill Road, Norwood section, Bronx, New York, USA


Seasons: n/A

Sound Mix: Dolby Stereo

Tagline: There is no such thing as a simple miracle.

User Review: 210

Writer: Oliver Sacks / Steven Zaillian

Cast: Robert De Niro / Robin Williams / Julie Kavner / Ruth Nelson / John Heard / Penelope Ann Miller / Alice Drummond / Judith Malina / Barton Heyman / George Martin / Anne Meara / Richard Libertini / Laura Esterman / Dexter Gordon / Jayne Haynes / Le Clanché du Rand / Yusef Bulos / Steven Randazzo / Gloria Harper / Gwyllum Evans / Mary Catherine Wright / Mary Alice / Keith Diamond / Steve Vinovich / Tiger Haynes / John Christopher Jones / Bradley Whitford / Max von Sydow / Harvey Miller / Tanya Berezin / Peter Stormare / Shane Fistell / Waheedah Ahmad / Charles Keating / Christina Huertes / Linda Burns / Judy Jacksina / Gary Tacon / Rico Elias / Mel Gorham / Chris Carolan / Debra Kovner-Zaks / Max Rabinowitz / Gordon Joseph Weiss / Byron Utley / Anthony McGowen / Paul Montgomery / Leonard Tepper / Vincent Pastore / Howard Feller / Libby Titus / Michael Hyde / Tomislav Novakovic / Adam Bryant / Anthony J. Nici / Oliver Block / Buck Smith / Joan E. MacIntosh / Harry L. Seddon / Vin Diesel / Heather Rose Dominic / Tom Farrell / Michael Hurley / Doris McCarthy / James Medina / Jack Mulcahy / Sherry Pagán / Jan Saint

Language: English