Awakenings

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Overview

Based on a true story as related by neurologist Oliver Sacks, Awakenings stars Robin Williams as the Sacks counterpart, here named Dr. Malcolm Sayer. Something of a klutz and naif, Dr. Sayer takes a job at a Bronx psychiatric hospital in 1969. Here he's put in charge of several seemingly catatonic patients who, under Sayer's painstaking guidance, begin responding to certain stimulati. Apprised of the efficacy of a new drug called L-DOPA in treating degenerative-disease victims, Sayer is given permission to test ...
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Overview

Based on a true story as related by neurologist Oliver Sacks, Awakenings stars Robin Williams as the Sacks counterpart, here named Dr. Malcolm Sayer. Something of a klutz and naif, Dr. Sayer takes a job at a Bronx psychiatric hospital in 1969. Here he's put in charge of several seemingly catatonic patients who, under Sayer's painstaking guidance, begin responding to certain stimulati. Apprised of the efficacy of a new drug called L-DOPA in treating degenerative-disease victims, Sayer is given permission to test the drug on one of his patients: Leonard Lowe Robert De Niro, who has not communicated with anyone since lapsing into catatonia as a child. Gradually, Lowe comes out of his shell, encouraging Sayers to administer L-DOPA to the other patients under his care. Julie Kavner and John Heard also star.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
Loosely based on a book by real-life neurologist Oliver Sacks, Awakenings (1990) marked the high point of a successful side career for Sacks as a chronicler of unusual medical case histories. Although the film too often displays the easy sentimentality typical of director Penny Marshall, and the plot pitted its heroes against mindless hospital bureaucrats in a tired effort to force an antagonist into the proceedings, the career-high performances of stars Robin Williams and Robert De Niro make it a must-see film. Cast against type, the two pros sink their teeth into their roles as, respectively, a shy genius and a man with a teenager's mind betrayed by a collection of physical tics and twitches. The actors were rewarded for their efforts with a rare tie as Best Actor from the National Board of Review, and the film was nominated for three Oscars. So memorable was Williams in the doctor role that he repeatedly returned to the well and played healers in numerous later films, including Dead Again (1991), Nine Months (1995), Good Will Hunting (1997), What Dreams May Come (1998), and Patch Adams (1998).
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/10/1997
  • UPC: 043396505698
  • Original Release: 1990
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Surround
  • Language: English, Français, Español
  • Time: 2:01:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robin Williams Dr. Malcolm Sayer
Robert De Niro Leonard Lowe
Julie Kavner Eleanor Costello
Ruth Nelson Mrs. Lowe
John Heard Dr. Kaufman
Penelope Ann Miller Paula
Alice Drummond Lucy
Waheedah Ahmad Hysterical Woman
Tanya Berezin Psychiatrist
Oliver Block 1st Leonard's Friend
Adam Bryant Librarian
Yusef Bulos Joseph
Linda Burns Fishsticks
Chris Carolan EEG Technician
Keith Diamond Anthony
Le Clanche DuRand Magda
Rico Elias 1st Orderly
Laura Esterman Lolly
Gwyllum Evans Desmond
Howard Feller Patient, 5th Ward
Shane Fistell Man in the Hall
Dexter Gordon Rolando
Mel Gorham Nurse Sara
Gloria Harper Dottie
Tiger Haynes Janitor
Jayne Haynes Frances
Barton Heyman Bert
Christina Huertes Christina
Michael Hyde Bus Driver
Judy Jacksina Hospital Receptionist
John Jones Dr. Sullivan
Charles Keating Mr. Kean
Debra Kovner-Zaks Cafeteria Nurse
Richard Libertini Sidney
Joan E. MacIntosh Teacher
Judith Malina Rose
George Martin Frank
Mary Alice Nurse Margaret
Anthony McGowen Patient, 5th Ward
Anne Meara Miriam
Harvey Miller Hospital Director
Paul Montgomery Patient, 5th Ward
Anthony J. Nici Young Leonard Lowe
Tomislav Novakovic Bartender
Vincent Pastore Patient, 5th Ward
Max Rabinowitz Orderly, 5th Ward
Steve Randazzo Luis
Max Raven Head Ward Orderly
Buck Smith 2nd Leonard's Friend
Peter Stormare Neurochemist
Max von Sydow Dr. Peter Ingham
Gary Tacon George, Security Guard
Leonard Tepper Patient, 5th Ward
Libby Titus Club Singer
Byron Utley Patient, 5th Ward
Steve Vinovich Ray
Gordon Joseph Weiss Patient, 5th Ward
Bradley Whitford Dr. Tyler
Mary Catherine Wright Nurse Beth
Technical Credits
Penny Marshall Director, Producer
Elliot Abbott Producer
Battle Davis Editor
George De Titta Jr. Set Decoration/Design
Cynthia Flynt Costumes/Costume Designer
Anton Furst Production Designer
Jerry Greenberg Editor
Bill Groom Art Director
Ilona Herman Makeup
Jere Huggins Editor
Lawrence Lasker Producer
Les Lazarowitz Sound/Sound Designer
Amy Lemisch Associate Producer
Bernadette Mazur Makeup
Randy Newman Score Composer
Miroslav Ondrícek Cinematographer
Walter Parkes Producer
Oliver Sacks Source Author
Arne Schmidt Producer
Paul W. Shapiro Screenwriter
Steven Zaillian Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Chapter Selections
0. Chapter Selections
1. Introduction. [:13]
2. Start. [4:40]
3. The Bronx, 1969. [1:23]
4. Clinical experience required. [1:42]
5. A chronic hopspital. [1:48]
6. Home research. [1:28]
7. A new arrival. [2:55]
8. The will of the ball. [2:27]
9. Stimulus and response. [1:42]
10. Lucy on the move. [3:05]
11. 25 Years Of Atypicals. [1:52]
12. "I found the connection." [:49]
13. Dr. Peter Ingham. [2:11]
14. Visual rhythm. [2:29]
15. "I'd like to know more about your son." [1:29]
16. Brain waves. [1:12]
17. Will of the ballls. [:55]
18. Reaching them. [3:28]
19. Ouija board. [3:00]
20. L-Dopa. [2:23]
21. Asking Permission. [1:45]
22. Parental consent. [1:22]
23. The experiment begins. [2:13]
24. Increasing the dosage. [1:06]
25. "It's quiet." [2:31]
26. Someone to see Leonard. [1:31]
27. Meeting the staff. [1:46]
28. Older than he remembered. [1:49]
29. A mother's lullaby. [2:26]
30. Bronx tour. [2:51]
31. The Periodic Table of Elements. [1:46]
32. A request for the rest. [1:29]
33. The patron's presentation. [2:19]
34. Miracles. [1:47]
35. Awakenings. [3:15]
36. Group outing. [2:24]
37. "Are you following me?." [1:12]
38. Rethinking the outing. [1:40]
39. A devoted daughter. [1:36]
40. You Made Me Love You; "He Knows." [2:06]
41. Resuming their lives. [2:24]
42. "He never talked about girls before." [:38]
43. An important call from Leonard. [2:36]
44. What Leonard wants. [1:42]
45. Insufficient data at this time; restrained. [2:30]
46. The Messiah of Ward 5. [1:00]
47. Not paranoia, a fact. [1:01]
48. "The drug's not working." [2:59]
49. Glasses. [1:14]
50. "Help Me." [1:20]
51. Back with the group. [3:41]
52. Like a light switch going off. [1:13]
53. "Learn from me." [1:15]
54. Not grotesque. [:58]
55. Asking them to stop. [:50]
56. Last dance with Paula. [4:28]
57. The dream ends. [2:45]
58. Adjusting to the realitites of miracles. [1:31]
59. Asking Elanor out. [2:06]
60. Afterword. [:39]
61. End credits. [3:14]
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Menu

Side #1
Spoken Language
Subtitles
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A truly magnificent story

    This film is one of the few movies based on actual events that I really enjoyed. Because it is a true story, it is not only entertaining but also educational. In my opinion, Robin Williams gave one of his best performance in this movie. He captured so well the essence of being a philantropic doctor, who is frustrated with life's injustice, touched by the patients, recovery, motivated to surge on to find a cure for his patiens' illness.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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