Nominated for three Academy Awards® including Best Picture and Best Actor, and based on a true story, Awakenings stars Robin Williams as a taciturn neurologist and Robert De Niro as the patient he revives from a 30-year state of catatonia. At Bainbridge Hospital in the Bronx, reclusive researcher Dr. Malcolm Sayer (Williams) tries to find out why a group of patients including Leonard Lowe (De Niro), misdiagnosed as atypical schizophrenics and hysterics, have been catatonic for years. Haunted by the possibility that these “human statues” might be alive inside, it falls to the shy, awkward physician to discover the key that will awaken Leonard and others to the joys and pains of living, inadvertently awakening in himself untapped capacities for friendship and love.

  • 2 hr 1 minPG13HDSD
  • Dec 20, 1990
  • Drama

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Cast & Crew

  • Robert de NiroActor

    One of the greatest actors of all time, Robert De Niro was born on August 17, 1943 in Manhattan, New York City, to artists Virginia (Admiral) and Robert De Niro Sr. His paternal grandfather was of Italian descent, and his other ancestry is Irish, English, Dutch, German, and French. He was trained at the Stella Adler Conservatory and the American Workshop. De Niro first gained fame for his role in Bang the Drum Slowly (1973), but he gained his reputation as a volatile actor in Mean Streets (1973), which was his first film with director Martin Scorsese. He received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Godfather: Part II (1974) and received Academy Award nominations for best actor in Taxi Driver (1976), The Deer Hunter (1978) and Cape Fear (1991). He received the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull (1980). De Niro has earned four Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, for his work in New York, New York (1977), opposite Liza Minnelli, Midnight Run (1988), Analyze This (1999) and Meet the Parents (2000). Other notable performances include Brazil (1985), The Untouchables (1987), Backdraft (1991), Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994), Heat (1995), Casino (1995) and Jackie Brown (1997). At the same time, he also directed and starred in such films as A Bronx Tale (1993) and The Good Shepherd (2006). De Niro has also received the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003 and the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2010.
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  • Robin WilliamsActor

    Robin McLaurin Williams was born on Saturday, July 21st, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois, a great-great-grandson of Mississippi Governor and Senator, Anselm J. McLaurin. His mother, Laurie McLaurin (née Janin), was a former model from Mississippi, and his father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams, was a Ford Motor Company executive from Indiana. Williams had English, German, French, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. Robin briefly studied political science at Claremont Men's College and theater at College of Marin before enrolling at The Juilliard School to focus on theater. After leaving Juilliard, he performed in nightclubs where he was discovered for the role of "Mork, from Ork", in an episode of Happy Days (1974). The episode, My Favorite Orkan (1978), led to his famous spin-off weekly TV series, Mork & Mindy (1978). He made his feature starring debut playing the title role in Popeye (1980), directed by Robert Altman. Williams' continuous comedies and wild comic talents involved a great deal of improvisation, following in the footsteps of his idol Jonathan Winters. Williams also proved to be an effective dramatic actor, receiving Academy Award nominations for Best Actor in a Leading Role in Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), and The Fisher King (1991), before winning the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Good Will Hunting (1997). During the 1990s, Williams became a beloved hero to children the world over for his roles in a string of hit family-oriented films, including Hook (1991), FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992), Aladdin (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji (1995), Flubber (1997), and Bicentennial Man (1999). He continued entertaining children and families into the 21st century with his work in Robots (2005), Happy Feet (2006), Night at the Museum (2006), Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009), Happy Feet Two (2011), and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014). Other more adult-oriented films for which Williams received acclaim include The World According to Garp (1982), Moscow on the Hudson (1984), Awakenings (1990), The Birdcage (1996), Insomnia (2002), One Hour Photo (2002), World's Greatest Dad (2009), and Boulevard (2014). On Monday, August 11th, 2014, Robin Williams was found dead at his home in Tiburon, California USA, the victim of an apparent suicide, according to the Marin County Sheriff's Office. A 911 call was received at 11:55 a.m. PDT, firefighters and paramedics arrived at his home at 12:00 p.m. PDT, and he was pronounced dead at 12:02 p.m. PDT.
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  • Richard LibertiniActor

  • Anne MearaActor

    The incredibly gifted comedienne-actress Anne Meara is known for her comedic efforts alongside husband-comedian, Jerry Stiller; together, they were 'Stiller and Meara'; they were original members of the improvisational company, the Compass Players, which later evolved as the Second City Theater. They gained popularity with their skits on The Ed Sullivan Show (1948), but the act dissolved following the demise of variety television. Meara went on to offer her talents to a variety of television roles, notably the Golden Globe-winning Sally Gallagher in Rhoda (1974), and Veronica Rooney, an outspoken Irish cook in the hit sitcom A.R.C.H.I.E. (2016). In later years, Meara played reoccurring characters in Sex and the City (1998) and The King of Queens (1998).
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  • Dexter GordonActor

  • John HeardActor

  • Julie KavnerActor

  • Mary AliceActor

  • Max von SydowActor

    Max von Sydow was born Carl Adolf von Sydow on April 10, 1929 in Lund, Skåne, Sweden, to a middle-class family. He was the son of Baroness Maria Margareta (Rappe), a teacher, and Carl Wilhelm von Sydow, an ethnologist and folklore professor. His surname traces back to his partial German ancestry. When he was in high school, he and a few fellow students, including Yvonne Lombard, started a theatre club which encouraged his interest in acting. After conscription, he began to study at the Royal Dramatic Theatre's acting school (1948-1951), together with Lars Ekborg, Margaretha Krook and Ingrid Thulin. His first role was as Nils the crofter in Alf Sjöberg's Only a Mother (1949). After graduation, he worked at the city theatres in Norrköping and Malmö. His work in the movies by Ingmar Bergman (especially The Seventh Seal (1957), including the iconic scenes in which he plays chess with Death) made him well-known internationally, and he started to get offers from abroad. His career abroad began with him playing Jesus in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965); Hawaii (1966) and The Quiller Memorandum (1966). Since then, his career includes very different kind of characters, like Karl Oskar Nilsson in The Emigrants (1971); Father Lankester Merrin in The Exorcist (1973); Joubert the assassin in Three Days of the Condor (1975), Emperor Ming in Flash Gordon (1980); the villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the Never Say Never Again (1983); Liet-Kynes in Dune (1984) the artist Frederick in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986); Lassefar in Pelle the Conqueror (1987), for which he received his first Academy Award nomination; Dr. Peter Ingham in Awakenings (1990); Lamar Burgess in Minority Report (2002) and The Renter in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011), which earned him his second Academy Award nomination. He became one of Sweden's most admired and professional actors, and is the only male Swedish actor to receive an Oscar nomination. He was nominated twice: for Pelle the Conqueror (1987) in 1988 and for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011) in 2012. He received the Guldbagge Award for Best Director in his directing debut, the drama film Katinka (1988). In 2016, he joined the sixth season of the HBO series Game of Thrones (2011) as the Three-eyed Raven, which earned him his Primetime Emmy Award nomination. Max von Sydow died on March 8, 2020, in Provence, France, and was survived by his wife Catherine Brelet and four children. He was 90.
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  • Penelope Ann MillerActor

    Penelope Ann Miller is an acclaimed and diverse actor, who has stood the test of time, working in every medium and genre, with some of the most legendary actors and directors of all time. Most recently she took on the role of Elizabeth Turner in the controversial true story of Nat Turner's 1831 slave rebellion, "The Birth of a Nation", which won rave reviews and The Grand Jury and Audience Awards at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. She starred in 2012's Academy Award winning Best Picture, The Artist, opposite Best Actor Oscar winner Jean Dujardin. The black & white silent film that took the awards season by storm winning 5 Academy Awards, 7 BAFTA's and 3 Golden Globe Awards including Best Picture among many others. Miller was also recognized for her work in the ensemble category with nominations at the SAG and Critic's Choice Awards. She was recently honored with Career Achievement Awards at the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival and the Sarasota Film Festival where they showcased her respected body of work from the past 25 years. Penelope has shared the screen with some of the most notable and renowned leading men and directors in Hollywood. This distinguished list includes Al Pacino and Sean Penn in director Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way for which she received a Golden Globe nomination; Marlon Brando and Matthew Broderick in The Freshman directed by Andrew Bergman; Robert De Niro and Robin Williams in Penny Marshall's Awakenings; Robert Downey Jr. in Sir Richard Attenborough's Chaplin; Danny DeVito and Gregory Peck in Norman Jewison's Other People's Money; Matthew Broderick & Christopher Walken in Mike Nichols' Biloxi Blues; and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Ivan Reitman's Kindergarten Cop. Television credits include the critically acclaimed and award winning ABC drama, American Crime, opposite Emmy winners Felicity Huffman and Regina King, TNT's Men of a Certain Age opposite Ray Romano; ABC's Mistresses, and just recently, in Lifetime's, ripped from the headlines, "NY Prison Break: The Seduction Of Joyce Mitchell," transforming herself into the upstate NY small town mom and prison seamstress, who aided to convicted killers in their audacious jailbreak and is now serving 7 years in prison. Among her many accolades, Miller received a special jury award for Best Performance at the Hollywood Film Festival Awards for her role in the independent feature Rhapsody in Bloom. She was named, Star of Tomorrow by The Motion Picture Bookers Club, Most Promising Actress by The Chicago Film Critics Association, and received a Tony Award nomination for her portrayal of 'Emily' in Broadway's Tony-winning revival of Our Town. Miller's other credits include Rocky Marciano opposite Jon Favreau and George C. Scott, The Last Don opposite Joe Montegna, The Mary Kay Letourneau Story for which she won critical acclaim, Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story opposite James Woods, Rob Reiner's flipped and Sam Raimi's box office hit, The Messengers, opposite Kristen Stewart. Miller left her native Los Angeles when she was 18 and moved to New York, where she studied acting at HB Studios under Herbert Berghoff. Two years later, Miller got her big break on Broadway when she originated the role of 'Daisy Hanningan' in Neil Simon's Tony Award-winning play Biloxi Blues opposite Matthew Broderick. Later, she would reprise her role in Universal's film version, directed by Mike Nichols. Miller currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two daughters.
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