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Awakenings is a 1990 fact-based film which tells the story of a doctor who in 1969 discovers beneficial effects of the then-new drug L-Dopa on patients who are comatose after surviving the 1917-1928 epidemic of encephalitis lethargica.

It stars Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Julie Kavner, Ruth Nelson , John Heard and Penelope Ann Miller, and was directed by Penny Marshall.

The movie was adapted by Steven Zaillian from the book of the same name by neurologist Oliver Sacks, in which he tells about his real-life experiences with similar patients. The book was also used by Harold Pinter as the basis of his one-act play A Kind of Alaska, performed in 1982.

The film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Robert De Niro), Best Picture and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.

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Last updated: 11-06-2004 16:36:07