• Awakenings (1990)


Release Date: 1990

DVD Release Date: September 9th, 1997

PG-13 |2 hr 1 min

Plot Summary

The story of a doctor's extraordinary work in the Sixties with a group of catatonic patients he finds languishing in a Bronx hospital. Speculating that their rigidity may be akin to an extreme form of Parkinsonism, he seeks permission from his skeptical superiors to treat them with L-dopa, a drug that was used to treat Parkinson's disease at the time.

Cast: Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Julie Kavner, Ruth Nelson, John Heard, Penelope Ann Miller, Alice Drummond, Judith Malina

Director: Penny Marshall

Genres: Drama

Production Co: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Keywords: Inspiring, Growing up, Doctor, Friendship, Hospital, 1960s, 1930s, Emotional, New York City

Ratings & Reviews

  • 100
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    After seeing Awakenings, I read it, to know more about what happened in that Bronx hospital. What both the movie and the book convey is the immense courage of the patients and the profound experience of their doctors, as in a small way they reexperienced what it means to be born, to open your eyes and discover to your astonishment that "you" are alive. show more

  • 88
    Jay CarrBoston Globe

    Director Penny Marshall's choreography encompasses emotional as well as physical ebbs and flows. Awakenings lives up to its title. [11 Jan 1991]

  • 88
    San Francisco Chronicle

    Awakenings is a troubling film, but it's also a courageous one that dares to tackle a difficult subject with sensitivity and honesty. [20 Dec 1990, p.E1]

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com

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Nominated Best Picture
Nominated Writing (Screenplay - Based on Material From Another Medium)
Nominated Actor in a Leading Role