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Awakenings [DVD] (1990)

Robert De Niro , Robin Williams , Cynthia Flynt    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
Price: 6.37 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Awakenings [DVD] (1990) + Patch Adams [DVD] [1999] + Good Will Hunting [DVD] [1998]
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Product details

  • Actors: Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Julie Kavner, Ruth Nelson, John Heard
  • Directors: Cynthia Flynt
  • Producers: Randy Newman, Walter F. Parkes
  • Format: PAL, Anamorphic, Widescreen, Dolby, Surround Sound
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Dec 2007
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000YN3LY0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,036 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Based on the acclaimed book by neurologist Oliver Sacks, director Penny Marshall's hit 1990 drama Awakenings 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

Product Description

Dr Malcolm Sayer (Robin Williams) is a shy neurologist and keen lover of earthworms and botany who accidentally wins a job at the New York Bainbridge Hospital looking after catatonics. He discovers, through sheer patience, hard work and experimentation, that the patients may be revivable, with one patient (Robert De Niro) responding to treatment after thirty years' 'sleep'.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Little Known Masterpiece 20 Oct 2007
By Andrew Kerr TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
Awakenings is a little masterpiece of a film, that I discovered late one night while channel surfing. I was immediately taken back by the depth of the film and purchased the DVD for a very low price on Amazon the following day.

The film stars Robert De Niro and Robin Williams and is based on a non-fictional book written by neurologist Oliver Sacks. Awakenings follows Dr Malcolm Sayer who takes up a post at a hospital in New York. The Doctor played perfectly by Robin Williams, discovers some of his patients - who survived the 1916 sleeping sickness epidemic can be helped to awaken from their existence as living statues (Encephalitis) through the use of an experimental drug known as L-Dopa. One patient called Leonard (De Niro) is awoken after being in a coma like state for thirty years. Leonard is transformed into a normal man and even falls in love. Encourage by this Dr Sayer sets about 'awakening' the other patients.

I found the film to be moving and powerful with the ability to make you question how you value the life of others. Awakenings is absorbing and very involving, and you can't help become gripped by the emotion and strength of the story. The acting throughout really is fantastic. Both Robin Williams and Robert De Niro are at their best and offer inspiring and tear jerking performances. Standards from other cast members is also note worthy. Especially the interaction between Leonard and his mother, which is realistic and powerful. The setting of the hospital itself was perfect and seems right.

Beautiful and completely engrossing offering a great and moving ending, it's hard to find anything to fault with Awakenings (other than the lack of special features on the DVD). So if you haven't seen this film I strongly suggest that you purchase it...soon.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Acting and a Moving Script 15 July 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro yet again demonstrate why they are at the top of their profession. This moving, sometimes harrowing, but ever engrossing movie contains some of DeNiro's most sublte and moving work, with Williams complementing him to an equally high standard.
It offers some very poignant reminders about what life is and how even the little little things shouldn't be taken for granted.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awakenings 9 Mar 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
This film is absolutely awesome and tells the story of how the human spirit will always survive. If you are ever feeling a little low about your profession, this will definetely give you another spark to your endeavors and how important it is to be brave with ideas about patient care. In addition it reminds physicians to treat patients as humans for in the end that is what we all are.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awakenings- Flu epidemic influenza. 31 July 2009
Format:DVD
A brilliant heartwarming film, based on the work of a doctor, and the side effects of a flu pandemic. As this is a true story it is all the more realistic. Robin Williams plays an excellent part as Dr Sachs. It is a good film to watch over and over again...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There is no such thing as a simple miracle. 23 Jun 2007
By Jay
Format:DVD
Put in two great Hollywood actors; Robin Williams and Robert de Niro; A superb director, a great book by Oliver Sacks and the end product is a sure winner. Williams takes a break from being rebellious and wacky like the characters he played in Dead Poets Soceity, Good Morning Vietnam and PAtch Adams to play Dr Sayer a non- wacky doctor but rebellious anywhere due to jealous colleagues. De Niro plays Leonard Lowe his patient reduced to a catatonic state due to some condition known as encephalitis. His transformation to normality and back to his original state is one of his best performances ever. The ending is a tear jerker, and may make this film a one off viewing experience. Nevertheless, highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars no such thing as a simple miracle 21 July 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
An emotional roller coaster of a film based on a true story. A marvelous performance by Robin Williams who plays the lead performance as the brilliant Dr Malcolm Sayer, who takes up a new post at the Bainbridge Hospital and discovers a group of patients that have been in a semi-coma for several decades as a result of an epidemic many years earlier.

Using a new experimental drug he manages to awken Leonard Lowe (Robert DeNiro), who he befriends, and then all of the other patients. But is enough known about this wonder drug ?

Whilst trying to teach his patients the joys and pains of living, Dr Sawyer quickly learns that he is out of touch with his own emotions.

This is not an edge of your seat action film, but you will remained glued to the set. Yet another DeNiro gem and also one of Robin Williams finest roles. Very enjoyable, but might put a tear in the eye of some.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
The late 60s and post encephalitis patients are roused by various doses of the drug L-Dopa. But as the patients try to come to terms with the new and alien life they are brought into, side effects starts to rear its head.

I guess it depends on your emotional state how you absorb Awakenings as a motion picture. There are those that simply believe it's an exercise in currying sentimental favour, whilst others, such as myself, believe stories such as this need to be told. Based on the novel by Oliver Sacks {Malcom Sayer played by Robin Williams} the only real cause for grumble from myself is that sadly, the film fails to fully form the shock and terror these newly roused patients must have felt. The encephalitis epidemic occurred between 1917-1928, these people got old without knowing it. It's briefly touched on with a couple of tender moments, notably thru Alice Drummond's Lucy, but the main focus of the film, perhaps not surprisingly, is the relationship between Williams' Sayer and Robert DeNiro's Leonard Lowe.

DeNiro is on full Oscar baiting tilt here {nominated but lost out to Jeremy Irons for Reversal of Fortune} and it's a magnetic performance, tender and close to heart breaking at times. His interplay with Williams {suitably restrained} is what drives the film on, but as stated prior, at the expense of a fully formed whole. Still, director Penny Marshall and her team have gone the whole hog for the sentimental aspect, is it too forced? yes at times it is, but you would have to have been quarried from granite not to be affected by some scenes, re: a mother son reunion for example. So it's not quite the classic it not only threatened to be, but really should have been. But the central theme of learn and evolve is something that hopefully even the films detractors have taken on board.

Sweet and touching 8/10
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars mind blowing
was recommended this movie by a friend I was not sure how the movie was to my liking but could not take my eyes watch from the start to the finish it got you ingroused through it... Read more
Published 3 days ago by thomaskay
5.0 out of 5 stars "Awakenings" on BLU RAY - Compatibility Issues On This 'US' Disc For...
A bit of medical gem - "Awakenings" only showed how good both Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro could be. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mark Barry
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb film
An excellent film, the characters are brilliantly played and Robert DeNiro is at his best. He definitely deserved the Academy Award for this one.
Published 2 months ago by Katherine Sweeney
5.0 out of 5 stars Good film at a good price.
Good film at a good price. I have been looking for this for a while, but found it on amazon
Published 2 months ago by Tony Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film
Really enjoyed this film, moving and very emotional, based on a true story - have a box of tissues handy! Robbin Williams at his best.
Published 3 months ago by MISS R STANBROOK
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab
This is a old film seen it on T.V a few times but still love it, Would recommend you see it
Published 4 months ago by Carol
5.0 out of 5 stars bitter sweet
A bitter sweet tale based on true events. Hope this illness is no longer. Well acted and very interesting and sad too.
Published 4 months ago by kathryn
5.0 out of 5 stars Awakenings DVD
One of the best Robin Williams movies I have seen him in. Such a versatile, wonderful actor. Love his work.
Published 5 months ago by Quogirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this film
Saw this ages ago and I work with adults with mental health problems so it was very interesting to me. A real tear jerker.
Published 7 months ago by bargainlady
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting look at the complex world of disease and drug therapy.
Delivery prompt and packaging secure. Excellent DVD - very good depiction of a small part of the book with some fantastic acting.
Published 8 months ago by Sally Baker
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