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Awakenings

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(1990) Directed Penny Marshall and Nick Murphy. Dr. Malcolm Sayer (Robin Williams) takes a job at a Bronx psychiatric hospital in 1969. Here he's put in charge of several seemingly catatonic patients who, under Sayer's painstaking guidance, begin responding to certain stimulants. Apprised of the efficacy of a new drug called L-DOPA in treating degenerative-disease victims, Sayer is given permission to test the drug on one of his patients: Leonard Lowe (Robert De Niro), who has not communicated with anyone since lapsing into catatonia as a child. Gradually, Lowe comes out of his shell, encouraging Sayers to administer L-DOPA to the other patients under his care. [Drama]

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