Jan 11, 1991 · Directed by Penny Marshall. With Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Julie Kavner, Ruth Nelson. 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.
- Penny Marshall
- 3 min
Awakenings is a 1990 American drama film based on Oliver Sacks's 1973 memoir of the same title. It tells the story of a fictional character, neurologist Dr. Malcolm Sayer, who is based on Sacks and played by Robin Williams. In 1969, he discovered beneficial effects of the drug L-Dopa.
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Penny Marshall's medical drama Awakenings (1990) is a profoundly moving film. I find it captures the belief in medical science that doctors should aspire to, but more so relating to their patients' suffering and condition. Marshall bravely represents a lost portion of society that have been left to die catatonic and hopeless in hospitals.
"Awakenings" is a very moving picture with powerful acting, great direction, and a theme that will have you in tears. One of my favourites, it is such an incredible film.
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Awakenings is the remarkable account of a group of patients who contracted sleeping-sickness during the great epidemic just after World War I. Frozen in a decades-long sleep, these men and women were given up as hopeless until 1969, when Dr. Sacks gave them the then-new drug L-DOPA, which had an astonishing, explosive, “awakening” effect.
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