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Awakenings (1990)

Awakenings, 121min, United States


Penny Marshall, Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Julie Kavern, Ruth Nelson, John Heard, Penelope Ann Miller, Alice Drummond, Judith Malina, Anne Meara, Barton Heyman

In 1969, Doctor Sayer (Robin Williams) works with catatonic patients at a psychiatric hospital.

He works diligently to create a medication that may help his patients. Finally, he finds a new compound that could possibly help, and he receives approval to try the new drug on one patient.

Leonard Lowe (Robert DeNiro) has been in a catatonic state since childhood and is the first test subject selected, due to his mother’s permission.

Dr. Sayer administers the drug, but there is no reaction. Slowly, he increases the dose and Leonard starts to react.

With the success of Leonard’s awakening, Dr. Sayer is able to administer the medication to all the catatonic patients.

For the first time in years, the once quiet and lifeless patients are talking and active.

The medical community is astounded by the new miracle drug, and Leonard's continued success.

Soon, Leonard starts noticing small side effects, but keeps them hidden. Everything seems to go well, until Dr. Sayer also notices the small changes in Leonard.

Based on a true story.