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Awakenings

The movie Awakenings was based on the book Awakenings.

Which one did you like better, the movie or the book?  Right now there are 4 votes for the book, and 9 votes for the movie.

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Movie details for Awakenings

The movie was released in 1990 and directed by Penny Marshall, who also directed The Preacher's Wife (1996). Awakenings was produced by Sony Pictures. More information on the movie is available on Amazon.com and also IMDb.

Actors on this movie include Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Julie Kavner, Ruth Nelson, John Heard, Penelope Ann Miller, Alice Drummond, Judith Malina, Barton Heyman, George Martin (II), Anne Meara, Richard Libertini, Laura Esterman, Dexter Gordon, Jayne Haynes, Le Clanché du Rand, Yusef Bulos, Steven Randazzo, Gloria Harper and Gwyllum Evans.

 

Read More About This Movie

Based on the acclaimed book by neurologist Oliver Sacks, director Penny Marshall's hit 1990 drama stars Robin Williams as Dr. Malcolm Sayer. Sayer is a neurologist who discovers that the drug L-Dopa can be used to "unlock" patients in a mental hospital fr... Read More
Based on the acclaimed book by neurologist Oliver Sacks, director Penny Marshall's hit 1990 drama stars Robin Williams as Dr. Malcolm Sayer. Sayer is a neurologist who discovers that the drug L-Dopa can be used to "unlock" patients in a mental hospital from the mysterious sleeping sickness that has left them utterly immobilized. Leonard (Robert De Niro) is one such patient who awakens after being in a comatose state for 30 years, leaving Sayer to guide Leonard in adjusting to the world around him. Penelope Ann Miller costars as the daughter of another patient, with whom Leonard falls tenuously in love. Earning Oscar nominations for best picture, actor, and screenplay, this moving fact-based drama was a hit with critics and audiences alike. --Jeff Shannon

Book details for Awakenings

Awakenings was written by Oliver Sachs. The book was published in 1973 by Vintage. More information on the book is available on Amazon.com.

 

Read More About This Book

It hardly seems fair that so many great doctors are also great writers. Perhaps it's qualities like sensitivity, craft, and dedication that keep physicians like Oliver Sacks in hospitals all day and at writing desks all night; if nothing else, these quali... Read More
It hardly seems fair that so many great doctors are also great writers. Perhaps it's qualities like sensitivity, craft, and dedication that keep physicians like Oliver Sacks in hospitals all day and at writing desks all night; if nothing else, these qualities shine in books like Awakenings. This powerful set of case histories rises above its pathological foundation to find new literary territory, a medical-spiritual synthesis equally stimulating for the mind and the soul. It's no wonder Hollywood producers chose to turn it into a feature film--anyone can see the universal human struggle against bondage and despair in these pages.

The sleeping-sickness epidemic of 1918 caused hundreds of survivors to slip into a bizarre rigid paralysis with similarities to advanced Parkinson's disease. These patients, only occasionally able to communicate or move, were nearly all institutionalized for life, their ranks increasing every now and then with similarly afflicted men and women. Sacks came to work at a long-term care facility shortly before the first exciting results with L-dopa and Parkinson's in the late 1960s; his patients soon embarked on dramatic, difficult recoveries from up to 50 years of torpor. He documents their spiritual and medical obstacles with great care to portray their individual personalities, long suppressed but finally released. Though many great doctors are also great writers, few can compare with Oliver Sacks for expressing the relation of medicine to the human spirit. --Rob Lightner