Awakenings (1990) Script

Tag. You're it. You're it.

No, I tagged you last. Uh-uh.

Wanna go fishing? No fish. They're frozen.

No, they don't freeze. What do they do? Just die?

No. Hey, look at this car. Wow. A beauty.

Isn't that neat? It's a Ford. It's not a Ford.

Yeah, it is. Then what is it?

I don't know, but it's not a Ford. I've been in one.

Hey, Leonard, what are you doing? What's it look like?

Somebody might be coming.

Keep a lookout, James.

No one's here. No one's coming.

My turn's next. Uh-uh. Uh-uh.

What's wrong, Leonard?

Leonard, honey.

What? Better get dressed.

Your breakfast is just about ready.

Come on. We'll be late. Hi, Albert. James.

Hurry up.

Hi, Mr. Dylan. Morning.

They won't let me play with them.

You always study. Of course he does.

I'm a natural at this stuff. Let's see you pass the test.

We're going to begin today with a history test.

Keep your eyes on your own papers and at the recess bell bring your composition books up to my desk.

So, what are we gonna do today? I don't know.

Oh, hello, boys.

Hi, Mrs. Lowe. Can Leonard come and play today?

Oh, no, I'm sorry. Better not today.

Well, how about tomorrow?

I'm afraid he won't be well by then either.

When will he be well? I don't know.

Thanks for coming by.

Good morning, Bainbridge Hospital, may I help you?

One moment, please.

Excuse me... You gotta ask her.

Good morning, Bainbridge Hospital, may I help you?

Oh, Dr. Horowitz, can you hold the line?

Bainbridge Hospital, can I help you?

Yes. Dr. Franklin and Dr. Tyler are in a board meeting.

Can I take a message, or would you like...? Bye.


Yes, I'm Dr. Malcolm Sayer. I have an appointment.

Take a seat, please.

Bainbridge Hospital, may I help you?

Thank you. Bainbridge Hospital, may I help you?

I can connect you to the cafeteria but they will have to page him.

Thank you. Bainbridge Hospital, may I help you?

Dr. Franklin and Dr. Tyler are in the boardroom.

I can take messages, or you can call back in about 45 minutes.

When you say "people," you mean living people?


Well, I'm here to apply for a research position in your neurology lab.

Neurology lab?

We have an x-ray room.

This is a chronic hospital, doctor. The position is for staff neurologist.

You will be working with patients, people. Yes.

A "doctor" doctor. Doctor.

Carmel Institute? Tell me about that. Anything with patients there?

Earthworms. I'm sorry?

It was an immense project.

I was to extract one decagram of myelin from 4 tons of earthworms.

Really? Yes.

I was on that project for five years.

I was the only one who believed in it. Everyone said it couldn't be done.

It can't. I know that now. I proved it.

Maybe before, at St. Thomas?

All research? Oh, yes.

This isn't going to work. Ben, we're totally understaffed.

He's never worked with human beings.

His research talents would be wasted here.

If it wasn't a state law... Excuse me. But, uh...

You're clearly looking for someone with more of a clinical background.

As much as I need a job, there must be more applicants suitable for this position.

Thank you, anyway. Dr. Sayer, back in medical school.

You couldn't have graduated without some clinical experience.

You took a pulse, you took a temperature. You did diagnosis.

Oh. Well, there you have it then.

You do want the job, don't you?

Hey, it's this way, doc.

You spend much time at chronic hospitals?

I, um...

You'd remember. Guess not then.

Hi. Hey, Christina.

You see, doc, we got MS, Tourette syndrome, Parkinson's disease.

Some of them, we ain't even got a name for.

How are you?

What are all these people waiting for?


How do they get well? They don't, they're chronic.

We call this place the Garden. Why?

Because all we do is feed and water them.

Thanks, man.

Mr. Kean, I would like to ask...

I was born in 1911 in Kingsbridge, New York.

I came here in July 1955.

Prior to July 1955, I resided at the Brooklyn Psychiatric Center, Brooklyn, New York. Prior to that, I was a person.

No, I'm not gonna hurt you.

Gets easier.

You don't think it will, but it does.

Oh, no, Buttercup. Oh, good.

No, go to your house. Go. Go.

Go home.


Good morning, doctor.

I have a new arrival for you.

She was brought in late last night. Here's her file.

Hello. I'm Dr. Sayer.

Do you know where you are?

Can you hear me?


"Medical insurance." Hm.

Oh, God.

Her name is Lucy Fishman.

She was found by neighbors with her sister several days after her sister died.

She has no other living relatives and they say she has always been as she is now, with no response or comprehension.

And yet...

A reflex.

If she batted it away, I might call it a reflex.

But she didn't. She caught it.

It's still a reflex, doctor.

I'm sorry. If you were right, I would agree with you.

It's as if, having lost all will of her own to act, she borrows the will of the ball.

The will of the ball?

Excuse me.

This is ridiculous.

Trying to make a good impression, right?

A good impression. That's it, isn't it?

You're still settling in.

Miss Costello, will you see to it that Dr. Sayer's patients that are waiting outside are rescheduled for tomorrow. Yes, sir.

Borrows the will of the ball.

That's great.

Okay. Thanks. Thank you. Okay.

Let us know if she catches anything else.

I'll be fired.

It's all right. I'll go back to school.

Did I forget something? No.

I just wanted to say to you I preferred your explanation and that I'll look after things for you until you've settled in.

Good night, doctor.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.

Hello. Hi.

I'm Dr. Sayer. I'm Waheedah.

Waheedah. How are you today? I'm fine, thank you.

Yes. Oh, sorry. What form?

Yes, I'll hold.


Oh. Okay. Three, two.

Oh, thank you.



Contact. Roger.

Yippee! We made it, Orville. We're in orbit.

Oh, goody. Now we can try being weightless.

Let's celebrate with delicious Nestlé's Quik.

Nothing makes chocolatey milk like Quik, you know?

That great Nestlé's chocolate flavor is out of this world.

Out of this world.

Hello, up there. Time to recharge with delicious Nestlé's Quik.

Lucy. Um...

You're out of the hole.

Um, could...? Anthony.


Could you help me move this?

Excuse me.

Lucy, you're almost there.

Come on.


Here's the water, Lucy.

Here it is, Lucy.

The water is...

I don't know why your nails grow so fast.

It must be all that Jell-O they give you.

Jell-O, Jell-O. Day after day.

Red Jell-O, yellow Jell-O. Every day, Jell-O.

Hurry up. You don't wanna miss the laundry truck.

I forgot to tell you, Mrs. Cooper passed away.

Remember her? She was nice.

Always a kind word.

Her dog I could have done without.

Excuse me.


Does he ever speak to you?

Of course not. Not in words.

He speaks to you in other ways?

How do you mean?

You don't have children.


If you did, you would know.

This is "atypical schizophrenia."

"Atypical hysteria," this one.

"Atypical nerve impairment."

"No change since last examination."

"No change or therapy recommended."

That's very nice.

This one is "no change," dated 9-11-44.


That's 25 years.

You'd think, at a certain point, all these atypical somethings would amount to a typical something.

Uh-huh. But a typical what?

Doctor? Yes?

Wanna go for a cup of coffee somewhere or something?


Oh, normally, I would say yes.

I made other plans.

Right, right, right.

Well, some other time. All right. Oh, yes.

I'm over here. Good night. I'm right there. Night.

"Encephalitis lethargica."

Where is it? Where is it?

"Encephalitis lethargica."

Oh, I'm sorry, doctor. I thought someone left the lights on.

I found it. I found the connection.

They all survived encephalitis.

Years before they came here. See? In the 1920s.

That's very nice. Yes. Isn't it wonderful?

I'll come back later. Please.

How many have you found there?

Five, and I believe there are more.

How are they?

Just as you described them back then, "insubstantial as ghosts."

Only I guess many of them were children then.

Yes. Children who fell asleep.

Most died during the acute stage of the illness.

Those who survived, who awoke, seemed fine, as though nothing had happened.

We just didn't realize how much the infection had damaged the brain.

Years went by, five, 10, 15, before these strange neurological symptoms would appear.

But they did.

I began to see them in the early 1930s.

Old people brought in by their children.

Young people brought in by their parents.

They could no longer dress themselves or feed themselves.

They could no longer speak in most cases.

Some families went mad.

People who were normal were now...


What's it like to be them?

What are they thinking?

They're not.

The virus didn't spare their higher faculties.

We know that for a fact? Yes.


Because the alternative is unthinkable.

He has a crush on you. Oh, stop.

He does. No, he doesn't.

He asked for your number. Come on.

He did.


I'm all for fixing this place up, but what are we doing?

I have a hunch.

Oh, excuse me. Sorry. Excuse me. Sorry.

What's stopping Lucy from crossing to the fountain?

Nothing. Exactly.

The visual field just stops.

There's a void. There's no pattern. No visual rhythm.

Nothing to compel her to keep going.

So we're making something.


All right, Lucy.

She's... Yes.

She's looking out the...

Where's that article? Where is it?

This the right issue?

This is last year's. I can't find it.

I'd like to know more about your son. Certainly.

Something was wrong, they said, with his hands.

He couldn't write anymore.

He couldn't do the work.

I should take him out of school, they said.

He was 11.

Slowly, he got worse.

He'd call me and I'd come in.

And he'd be sitting at his desk in a trance.

One hour, two hours.

Then he'd be okay again.

One day I came home from work, found him in his bed.

He kept saying, "Mom. Mom."

His arm like this, reaching.

"What do you want, Leonard?"

He never spoke again.

It was like he disappeared.

Later that year, I took him to Bainbridge.

It was November 14th, 1939.

He was 20 years old.

What did he do for those nine years he was in this room, Mrs. Lowe?

He read.

He loved to read.

He read all the time.


Well, that's all he could do.

That's enough.


All right, Leonard, we're finished.

Nothing, nothing, nothing and nothing.

Don't tell me. It's one of your statues. Exactly.

How did I guess that?

Pass the salt, will you?

But what about this?

Heh, heh. What do you mean "this"? It's a strobe.

You're wrong.

All of this before is the strobe. This is me saying his name to him.

Excuse me.

What does that mean?

Hey! Sorry.

Right down the middle. Hum it in there. Hum it in there.

Home run. Home run.

I can catch a ball.

Hey, doc, throw me the ball.

Throw me the ball. Throw me the ball.

Get back. Hey, I can catch a ball.

Doc. Hey. I said, get back.

Is this all of them? Yes.

Bring them in here with the others.

I should have given David his divorce.

I just thought he really would want to be a father to his son.

Excuse me.

The patients have been given their morning medication.

That's good.

Dr. Sayer was hoping you'd have some free time. Wanna come with me, please.

Beth? Yeah.

One of the most beautiful arias ever written.

Watch them closely for any reactions.

"Call me Ishmael.

Years ago, never mind how long precisely, having little or no money and nothing particular to interest me on shore..."

Leonard, I know you can hear me.

I want you to try and respond when I speak your name.

See, it's not just any music.

It has to be the music that's right for them.

It's like they're only moved by music that moves them.

I haven't found anything that moves Bert yet.

They'll sit like that all day if I let them.

I have to play the first card.




This is Frank.

If you could just me help me get him to his feet.

There's something else that reaches him.

What? Human contact.

If you could just stand over there for a minute.

He can't walk without me. If I let go of him, he'll fall.

I'm not gonna let you fall.

But... he'll walk with me anywhere.

It's like the ball, only it's my will he's borrowing.

The will of another human being.

Just let it glide.

Gentle. Gentle.

I'll begin by moving the pointer to L, for Leonard.

When you begin to move the pointer, I'll stop and you take over.

Do you understand?

All right. I'm beginning.

Very good.

No, maybe I didn't make myself clear.

My fault. I, uh...


L. Oh, good, good.

Now the E.



E. Good, good.



You're spelling something else.


His gaze From staring through the bars Has grown so weary That it can take in nothing more For him, it is as though There were a thousand bars And behind the thousand bars No world As he paces in cramped circles Over and over His powerful strides Are like a ritual dance Around a center Where a great will stands paralyzed At times, the curtains of the eye Lift without a sound And a shape enters Slips through the tightened silence Of the shoulders Reaches the heart, and dies

Have you heard of the drug L-dopa?

What? It's a synthetic dopamine.

Oh, yes, I did. For Parkinson's patients, yeah. Why?


Sign the petition now. Thousands of young men are dying every day. Sorry.

Help us get out of this illegal war. Sign up now.

A hundred years would pass before modern neuropathology would even allow us to actually locate the damage in the Parkinsonian brain.


With our development of the drug L-dopa, we can, for the first time, promise the Parkinsonian patient a more normal life.

By administering L...

Thank you. Yes, um...

I'm very curious about this drug, and I wonder if you've come across anyone who might have...

Excuse me, doctor?

Sayer. I'm curious if you've come across any patients with encephalitis?

After I'm through, Dr. Sayer. If you wouldn't mind.

Excuse me. As I was saying, by administering L-dopa...

Do you think a Parkinsonian tremor taken to its extreme, would appear as no tremor at all?

You talking to me? Oh, yes.

Imagine you accelerated a Parkinsonian hand tremor to the point of immobility in the...

Suppose there's a patient with Parkinsonian compulsions accelerated:

The hand tremor, the head bobbing, ticking, quickening of speech.

Might they not all cave in on themselves and, in effect, turn a person into stone?

I don't know. Maybe.

Well, do you think L-dopa would help the situation?

Dr. Sayers, right? Heh, heh.

I'm just a chemist, doctor. You're the physician.

I'll leave it to you to do the damage.

You know, Freud believed in miracles, prescribing cocaine like candy.

We all believed in cortisone, till our patients went psychotic on it.

And now it's L-dopa?

With all due respect, it's rather too soon to say that.

Well, with all due respect, I think it's rather way too soon to say that.

Let the chemists do the damage, doctor.

But I...

Dr. Kaufman? Yeah.

Did you read this case?

"New drug lets shaking palsy patients eat Jell-O."

Yes, I read them, doctor. I read them all. Dutifully, soberly.

All 30 cases had Parkinson's. Mild Parkinson's.

Your Parkies, if that's what they are, haven't moved in decades.

Look at it again, sir.

Now, you know better than to make a leap like that.

You want there to be a connection. That doesn't mean there is one.

What I believe, what I know, is these people are alive inside.

How do you know that, doctor? Because they catch tennis balls?

I know it.

How many did you think I'd let you put on it?

All of them.

Some. One.

One. With the family's consent, signed.

Leonard has Parkinson's disease?

No. Um...

Well, his symptoms are like Parkinson's, but then again, they're not.

Then what will this medicine do for him?

I don't know what it will do for him, if anything at all.

What do you think it'll do?

I'm not sure, because it was designed for a totally different disorder.

What do you hope it'll do?

I hope it'll bring him back from wherever he is.

To what?

To the world.

What's there here for him after all these years?


You're here.

All of it, please.

At 200 milligrams, he showed no response.

Maybe the acid in the juice neutralized it.

Maybe he needs more. Maybe he needs less.

I'll try it in milk.

Five hundred milligrams.

Mets 2, Giants 2. Bottom half...

I'll call if there's any change.


Here's the pitch, on the way.

It's swung on. A high fly ball.

Thank you.

Night, Sara. Good night.

It's quiet.

It's late.

Everyone's asleep.

I'm not asleep.

No. You're awake.

May I?



There's someone here to see you.

Ma. Ma.


Oh, my baby.

My name is Eleanor.


It's a pleasure to meet you. It's a pleasure to meet you.

Ladies? Please. Oh, now what did I do?

Oh, my goodness.

How do you do, sir?

My name is Margaret.


Beth. Beth.


Anthony, how are you?

Great, man. How are you?

Great too. Ha, ha, ha.

All right, man.

You meet him? Didn't he look good?


Don't eat so fast. He's doing fine.

I mean, he's starving, right? He was starving.

I don't think I could deal with losing 30 years of my life. Could you?

I can't even imagine it.

Potatoes? Hey.

Come on, try something else. He does realize it, doesn't he?

Now, Leonard, turn this way, please.

It's a camera called a Polaroid.

Thank you.

Takes a picture in less than a minute.


Now, if you could try this.

Splendid, that's wonderful.

I'd like you to walk now to the end of the room.

Good. Ready?


Very good.

And back now.

Dr. Sheck to X-ray. Dr. Sheck to the X-ray.

That was very quick, really. Let me get some more film.

You have to at least lay down.

You need the rest.

I'm afraid to close my eyes.

If I close my eyes, I'll... You'll sleep.

When you wake up in the morning, it'll be the next morning.

I promise.

Happiest day, man. Far out.

Yes, I...

Look out. Poison.

What a wonderful place the Bronx has become.

That's my school. Really?

Is that classical? You pick any type of music you want.

What's that? It's rock 'n' roll.

Come on. No.

Come on. Go get it, boy. Go get it.

Attaboy. Come on, give it back.

Come on in. No, no.

Come back in. Something happened while you've been away.

Pollution. I don't think this is wise.

Leonard, that's not wading, that's swimming. Come on, Leonard.

Leonard, I don't know if the hospital is covered for this.


Come on. No, no. Not...

Come on in.

Leonard, the tide's coming in.

That's the periodic table of elements.

I can date my introduction to science by that.

It's wonderful, really. It's...

It's the universe at its essence.

You see, you have your alkaline metals.

You have your halogens, your inert gases.

Every element has its place in that order.

You can't change that.

They're secure, no matter what.

You're not married?



I'm not very good with people.

I, um...

I never have been, Leonard.

I like them.

I wish I could say I had more than a rudimentary understanding of them.

Maybe if they were less unpredictable.

Eleanor would disagree with you.

Eleanor? Miss Costello.

Oh, of course.

She's spoken to you about me?

What did she say?

That you are a kind man.

That you care very much for people.

I'd like to put the rest of the group on the drug.

I realize this may be somewhat expensive.

When you say expensive, you have any idea how much money?

Yes, I talked to Ray. I have an estimate, um...

Thank you. The pharmacist says to put the others on the same dosage as Mr. Lowe would be, um, 12,000.

How much? $12,000.

A month? Yes.

I can't go before the board with that, doctor.

I was thinking of speaking directly to the patrons.

The few patrons this hospital has already give what they can.

We'll convince them to give more than they're accustomed to giving.

Perhaps if they see Mr. Lowe. I think you overestimate the effect that Mr. Lowe has on people, doctor. We're talking about money.

There was an extreme rigidity of the axial musculature.

A gross impairment of the postural reflexes.

An autonomic dysfunction. It is a brain stem type of rigidity.

A meningismus.

What's most striking is the profound facial masking, or deafferentation, which we now know should not to be confused with apathy or catatonia.

Some things could reach him, though.

The mention of his name, notes of a particular piece of music.

Or the touch of another human being.

But awakenings were rare and transient, lasting only a moment or two.

The rest of the time, he remained, as you see him here, in a metaphorical, if not physiological, equivalent of sleep, or even death.

This was his condition when found by me in a remote bay of this hospital, and the quality of his life for the last 30 years.

Now? SAYER... Whenever you're ready.

My name is Leonard Lowe.

It has been explained to me that I have been away for quite some time.

I'm back.

Okay, here we go.

Take her away. Okay.

Thank you very much. Sure.

Thank you.

In the United States, antiwar protesters organized a national moratorium to demonstrate opposition...

Dr. Sayer.

What is it? It's a fucking miracle.

Where are my glasses? On your face.

Oh. Thank you.

I just feel so...

Beth, close the door.

I'm talking.


I'm loose.

I'm scared.


Where is this? Don't worry.

I'm walking.

Who are you?

Get up, get up.

Thank you for coming. Things are different.

Miriam. Miriam.

Miriam. Good morning.

Look at that. Come on, Miriam.

Miriam. Miriam. I'm so excited.

Come on, Miriam.

If you don't eat this food, I'm gonna be in trouble.



I had the strangest dream.

I have to take your blood pressure.

I've been sitting for 25 years, you missed your chance.

Are you okay?

I need some makeup.

Okay. I think we can take care of that.

And I need some dye for my hair. Black.

Black? Rose, are you sure?

Yes. It's always been black.

Dr. Sayer, something about fruit trees.

Prune the fruit trees.

I will.

I want a steak, rare. Ah.

Mashed potatoes and gravy. String beans.

I was aware of things, but nothing meant anything to me.

There was no connection to me.

There was a war or two.

This morning, I went to the bathroom all by myself.

Do it, do it, do it. Heh, heh, heh.

I liked them better the other way.

Protesters marched from a meeting...

Where did they go?

Rolando, can you speak to me?

It's Miss Costello.

Do you understand me?

Lucy... what year is it?

What year is it?

It's '26, silly.


Miriam. Come on, Miriam, be a sport.

It will only take a second. Don't touch.

Miriam. Don't.

Oh, jeez, I'm getting tired of this.

Come on, Miriam.

I'm convinced. I really am.

"Like crowds storming the Bastille, the mighty Mets stormed their locker room shortly after 9:00 on their night to remember and touched off one of the loudest, wildest, wettest victory celebrations in baseball history.

Released from bondage and ridicule after seven destitute seasons, they raised the roof...

Lolly, Lolly, Lolly...

Of Shea Stadium."

Lolly, Lolly, Lolly.


Hi, Sidney.


Are we gonna go to the same place?

I don't know. Stay together.

Stop. Pay attention. Stay together. Bring up the back.

Everybody stay together, come on.

Bye. Bye. Here.

Bring Leonard. Anthony, get Leonard. It's all right.

Wait. Leonard. Len.

Len, come on, come on, come on.

Please, stay with the group. Hurry up.

Come on now. Stay together.

Hurry up.

Okay, everybody get in. Back here.

Okay, no pushing, no pushing. Just hop.

Hey, doctor, I wanted to ask you how my father is. The same.

Try and make room. Ma, maybe you shouldn't go.

Oh, no. Of course I wanna go. Don't be ridiculous.

I'm gonna take the stairs.

It's crowded. We'll go another time.

You can't be there, Leonard, or the door won't close. Thank you.

Bert, stop jumping!

Sidney's going. He's a patient, Mom.

He's not the same kind of patient. But he's still a patient, you're not.

I'm your mother.

Are there any other mothers going?


Wait a minute.

Now, what have you done to your hair?

Yes, Bert. That's a tire. I know it's a tire, I'm not an idiot.

There's your bus, Ma. There, go.

Have fun.

Don't you worry about it.

They treat me like an asshole. We'll take care of that.

See you guys.

There. All right?

Bye-bye. Come on.

Rolando. Rolando. You go in the back.

Now, move on back, please. Right here.

You ready, Leonard? I decided not to go. I'm gonna stay.

Why? What's wrong? I'm okay, just...

Bye, Leonard.



Doctor, come on already.

I'm... All right. Leonard, are you sure? Are you all right?

I'm fine, I'm fine. I'll see you later. Have a good time.

We... Come on.

Have a good time. I'm coming.

Bert. Bye, you guys. Have a good time.

Bye-bye Bert, sit down.

Fish sticks, please. Okay.

Got those french fries. Okay, here you go.

Hi. Um...

Meatloaf, please.

Here you go. Thank you.

Meatloaf. Meatloaf too.

Thank you.

There you go. Okay?

Next. I'd like fish sticks.

Are you following me?

Oh, I'm sorry, I was only kidding.

I saw you upstairs just now.

Are you visiting someone?

Uh, no.

You work here.

I live here.

You're a patient?

That's a dollar 80, baby.

You don't look like a patient. Heh, heh.

I don't?

Can I help you?

I've always loved Carnegiea, haven't you?

Dr. Sayer.

What is it, Anthony? Did you choose this place?


I always come here.

Why? I mean, don't get me wrong, doc.

This is a nice place.

But after the first hour, it loses something.

Anthony seems to think the group is bored.

They are.

I thought about taking them to the opera house.

The opera?

The Museum of Natural History... Oh, no, no. I don't think so.

Just a lot of dead stuffed things. You know:

Oh, well, um...

Where else is there?

Is it legal again? Yes, for some time.

What can I get you? Well...

A Rob Roy on the rocks. A what?

Could you make that a virgin Rob Roy?

I work the night shifts at this diner.

So sometimes before work, I'll come see my father.

He used to go to all the games, so I like to read him the sports pages.

I don't even know if he knows I visit him or not.

My mother doesn't think so.

But you do.

Well, sometimes I think I see something.

You know, I think I see a change.

And for a moment, I see him like he was.

You know, before the stroke.

And then it's gone.

I don't even know if I saw anything.

Does that make any sense?

Yeah. Yes.

Okay, my troop, back to the ward.

Come on. Danny.

Bill, Deon. Come on. Put your fork down. Let's go.

So why are you here?

Come on, hurry up.

I receive medication.

For what?

Let's go, come on.

Without it, I'm sort of like your father.

But I'm okay now.

That's good. Heh, heh.

Please. No. No.

I agree.

Thank you, Rose. Ay!

And I was so sure he was over-easy with bacon, wheat toast and black coffee, I brought him his food without taking his order.

Know what he says? "You forgot the tomato."

Did you bring it? No. We were out of them.

That's why I didn't get it in the first place.

Visiting hours are from 3 to 6 every day.

Good afternoon. Bainbridge Hospital.

Well... it was really nice talking to you, Leonard.

It was nice talking to you too.

Bye-bye. Bye.

Paula? Yeah?

He knows.

Your father.

He knows you visit him.

Bainbridge Hospital.

See you.

Well, I could interrupt.

One moment, please.

Come on. I want you to meet a wonderful man.

Can you believe this? Doctor, these are my friends.

Hello. He's my doctor.

Isn't he the cat's meow?

I wanna show you the sunroom.

Miriam, I don't know how to tell you this, so I'm just going to say it.

Your husband...

He was granted a divorce from you in 1953.

Thank God.

Whoa. Look at that. Pontiac Firebird 400 engine.

Firebird. Oh, now, that's a car.

Morning, Lucy, may I have your hand?

Take me away from this place.

Rum. Right here.

I guess I lose. Well, I guess your luck is changing.

Very nice.

How's it going? How's it going?

Yeah. How do you feel?

Well, my parents are dead, my wife is in an institution, my son has disappeared out West somewhere.

I feel old and I feel swindled.

That's how I feel.

I stopped by the hobby shop.

I got more pencils.

And I got this.

A small T-square.

That's Good. Oh, I can use that.

Oh, good, okay. Good.

Let's start a new room. Hi, Leonard.


That's really nice.

I'll be right back.


He never talked about girls before.

He certainly never had anything to do with them.

It's a bit ridiculous, all this girl business.

Don't you think? He's a grown man, Mrs. Lowe.

You know what he said to me?

I should take a vacation.

I should go away for a few days and relax.

I'm sure he meant you deserve a vacation, which you do.

I can't leave him alone in this place.

He'd die without me.


Hello? Hello?

Dr. Sayer?

Dr. Sayer, I've gotta talk to you.

Leonard? Yes. I think it's important...

I think it's important some things were said that...

Well, I just gotta talk to you.

What kind of things?

Things that matter, that have happened to me, things that I've come to understand. Things.

Where are you calling from, Leonard?

Your office.

It's very late.

Is it? Leonard.

You stay there, I'll be right over. Good.

Leonard? Leonard?

Dr. Sayer, sit down. Sit down.

Why? What's wrong?

We've got to tell everybody. We've got to remind them.

Remind them how good it is. How good what is, Leonard?

Read the newspaper. What does it say? All bad.

It's all bad.

People have forgotten what life's about. Forgotten what it is to be alive.

They need to be reminded.

Reminded of what they have and what they can lose.

And what I feel is the joy of life, the gift of life, the freedom of life, the wonderment of life.

He kept saying that people don't appreciate the simple things.

Work, play, friendship, family. It's...

And he was so excited, he talked till 5:00 in the morning.

I don't know whether this is liberation, mania...

Or love? Yes.

What he's saying is right though. We don't really know how to live.

But at 5 in the morning...

Waheedah. How are you?

I'm fine. Very good.

Mr. Lowe? Are you all right? Yeah.

What is it that you want now? The simplest thing.

And that is?

To have the choice to go for a walk if I want to, like any normal person.

You are free to go for a walk.

I am? Alone?

What difference would that make?

Look, I'm not a criminal.

I've committed no crime, I'm not a danger to myself or to others.

And yet, I'm still not allowed to go for a walk on my own by myself.

You didn't wake a thing, you woke a person.

I am a person.

Mr. Lowe, are you at all aware of the unconscious hostility you're exhibiting toward us right now?

How can I be aware if it's unconscious?

Nora, please.

I'm curious. What would you do if you went out?

I'd go for a walk, I'd look at things, I'd talk to people.

I'd decide if I wanna go in this direction, or that direction, or straight ahead.

I would do all the things that you take for granted.

And that's it? That's it.

All right, then, we'll certainly take this into consideration, and we'll let you know.

Thank you. Thank you.

Dr. Sayer.

Are you all right? Yeah. I was aware of that.

It was nothing. I was nervous. What did they say?

They said there was insufficient data at this time.

That continued observation was necessary for a complete diagnosis.

They said it's a different world out there and you may not be prepared for it.

They couldn't be held responsible for what might happen to you.

They said no.

And what did you say?

They don't have to listen to me. Did you agree with them?


Leonard, I don't think we're out of the woods yet.

I'm not sure that this is nothing.

It's an experimental drug.

We need time to evaluate things before...

Bye. Leonard.


Leonard, where are you going?

For a walk.

Leonard. Leonard.

This is Dr. Sayer.

Dorquez, please call the pharmacy.

Miss Dorquez, call the pharmacy, please.

Where are you going? I'm going outside.

No. Patients not allowed beyond this point.

I'm going for a walk. No, no. I'm sorry.

Please, don't make it hard on yourself.

I got him. I got him. Leonard, stop.

I just wanna go for a walk. He's not a mental patient.

This is unnecessary. Let him go. Please, he's not violent.

He's not violent. He is not a mental patient.

Will you let go? You will hurt him. Will you let go of him?

Will you stop, please? Let go of him.

I don't understand it. He was never any trouble before.

He was quiet and polite and respectful.

He never demanded anything.

He was never disobedient.

Because he was catatonic, Mrs. Lowe.

I'm speaking of when he was a boy.

I'm sorry.

I don't know who that is up there.

I don't think he knows.

You've turned Leonard into something he's not.

It's not us that's defective, it's them. We're not in crisis, they are.

Yeah. They are.

We've been through the worst and survived. They haven't.

They fear it. They fear it. Right.

Because they know. They know. They know.

They know. They know.

They know, they know because we remind them...

We remind them that there's a problem...

There's a problem that they don't have an answer to.

And they'll never be healers until they realize this, until they start to see the problem, until they admit there is a problem.

And that the problem isn't us. We're not the problem.

It's them. They're the problem!

It's them! They're the problem.

They're the problem.

They're the problem! They're the problem! It's them!

They're the problem!

He's lived 30 years without the ability to release anger.

As have the others.

I think his behavior is more natural than the others.

Oh, really? His tics, his paranoia, these are signs of normal behavior?

Yeah, because he's in that place. Oh, is that it?

Yes, we wake him up and then lock him up in a cage.

That's not paranoia, that's a fact.

The fact is, I've got 20 psychotics up there refusing to eat.

Now, they have no idea why they're refusing to eat.

How long should I let that go on? He knows why. He wants out.

Dr. Sayer, Mr. Lowe is not the messiah of Ward 5.

He's a man in trouble.

He wasn't resurrected, he was administered a drug by you.

A drug that's fallen short of its miraculous reputation.

The others are fine. They show no signs...

He's been on it longer, doctor.

Now, I sympathize with him, I've tried to accommodate him.

But I will not let him endanger the health of the rest of the patients.

It will help if you wait for me out there.

Thank you.

Excuse me.

Excuse me. We can't allow it.

He's all right.

He's all right.

How are you today?

I'm all right. How are you?

Never better.

What's the purpose of these gentlemen?

Oh, these gentlemen protect me.

I wish I didn't need them. Someone's trying to hurt you?

Who? Who? Heh, heh.

That's the thing, isn't it? Who?

One never knows. Someone I least expect, I expect.

Look at history.

Leonard, every patient on this ward thinks there's a plot against him.

They're mistaken, they're crazy.

You've gotten worse.

The drug's not working.

All these things you're experiencing are side effects.

They're making you behave this way.

I appreciate you coming to see me, but I have things to do.

Leonard, Leonard, please, look at yourself.

No, look at yourself. I have a sickness.

Sickness took me out of the world, and I fought to come back.

I fought for 30 years, 30 years, and I'm still fighting.

But you have no excuse. Me?

Nothing to do with me. You have no excuse.

You're just a scared and lonely man with nothing.

No life, nothing. You're the one that's asleep.

Your medicine could be taken away. They can do that.

You could wake up in the morning and it won't be there.


Get away from me!

I'm all right. Thank you.

I just fell. I'm fine.


Help me.

Can you walk?

I won't let them take the medicine away, Leonard.

We'll work together with it.

All we're saying is you're taking an unnecessary risk.

He's had a reaction to the drug. He has acquired some tics.

But he's not as concerned with his appearance as the affect it may have upon the other patients.

We'll be working with his dosage.

He's aware, and he's prepared for any effects.

But he wants the others to be prepared as well.

You've gotta help me with this. Yes, doctor. Okay.

Hey, Len.

Welcome back. Thanks.

Hi, Leonard. How you doing?

How you feeling? You all right?

Gee, it's swell to see you. What's up, Bert?

It got so quiet around here. Ha, ha. Because we're waiting for you.

That's wonderful, Miriam.

You're looking good, Len. You're looking better every day.


What if he's just had enough of it?

What if it's just a matter of time for all of us?

There's no reason to think what's happening to Leonard will happen to you.

Why not?

Well, you're all individuals.

And you're well.

Aren't you? Yes.

That was lovely, Lucy.

I learned that song a long, long time ago.

I know what year it is.

I just can't imagine being older than 22.

I've no experience at it.

I know it's not 1926.

I just need it to be.

How are you, Leonard?

Never better.

How are the others? Are they talking about me?

They're scared.

Well, they should be.

Can you stop this?

I'm not sure, but I'm trying.

Don't give up on me. I won't.

Four twenty-five, yes. Four twenty-five. Okay.

Here we go, 425.

I got a postcard from my son.

I'm all right, and then everything stops.

Look at this, I got a postcard from my son.

No warning, it's like a light switch going off.

It happens that fast.

Something has to happen to bring me back.

A sound or a touch.

And then I can move again, I'm okay again.


It's not that it feels bad, it's just that it's nothing.

I feel nothing, like I'm dead.


Gets to be like I'm not a person anymore.

Just a collection of tics.

Not that I mind them necessarily.

Sometimes they make life kind of interesting.

Though I'm not sure who's in control, me or them.

What I do mind is knowing that they shouldn't be there.

Back to 5.

Okay. Five. Five.

Just a little more. Just... Okay, all right.

It feels good when I'm working. I feel good here.

Book list is coming along well. I'd love to see it.

It's here somewhere.

That's all right, some other time.

Leonard. Leonard. Ugh!

What's happening? You're having an oculogyric crisis.

Get the camera.

Get the camera. Get the camera.

Oh, God.

I can't do this. I'm turning the camera off.

No, no. Watch, watch, watch.

Watch, watch, watch.

Learn, learn, learn.

Learn for me. Learn.

Let's see this Six twenty-five. All right, 625.

Six seventy-five, if... Just... Six seventy-five.

Okay. Thank you.

I can't read anymore.

I can't keep my eyes in one place.

I keep going back to the beginning, beginning, beginning, beginning, beginning...

I've let everybody down. I have. No.

I've let you down. No, you have not.

I have, I have. I'm grotesque. You are not. It's not true.

I won't listen to you talk like this. I'm grotesque. Look at me.

Look, and tell me I am not. Tell me I'm not.

You're not. Well, this isn't me.

This is... This isn't me.

When my son was born healthy, I never asked why.

Why was I so lucky?

What did I do to deserve this perfect child?

This perfect life?

But when he got sick, you can bet I asked why, I demanded to know why.

Why was this happening?

There was nothing I could do about it. No one I could go to and say:

"Stop this. Please, stop this. Can't you see my son is in pain?"

My son is in pain. Please, stop this.

He's fighting, Mrs. Lowe. He's losing.

Here you go.

Uh, I worked, had friends over, went dancing.

That's about it, not much.

That's great, you know.

I've never done any of those things. You will.

They'll never let me out of this place.

And they shouldn't.

I am still not well, as you can see.

You know, I feel well when I see you.


I won't see you anymore.

I just wanted to say goodbye.


Isn't that sweet?

Now? SAYER... Whenever you're ready.

My name is Leonard Lowe.

It has been explained to me that I have been away for quite some time.

I'm back.

What's it like to be back?

I thought it was a dream at first.

What made you realize it wasn't a dream?

When I spoke and you understood me.

You told him I was a kind man.

How kind is it to give life only to take it away again?

It's given and taken away from all of us.

Why doesn't that comfort me?

Because you are a kind man.

Because he's your friend.

The summer was extraordinary.

It was a season of rebirth and innocence.

A miracle for 15 patients and for us, their caretakers.

But now we have to adjust to the realities of miracles.

We can hide behind the veil of science and say the drug failed.

Or that the illness itself had returned.

Or that the patients were unable to cope with losing decades of their lives.

But the reality is we don't know what went wrong any more than we know what went right.

What we do know is, as the chemical window closed, another awakening took place.

That the human spirit is more powerful than any drug.

And that is what needs to be nourished.

With work, play, friendship, family.

These are the things that matter.

This is what we'd forgotten.

The simplest things.

Well, ahem, good night.

Good night.

Eleanor! Yes?


Eleanor? Um...

What's wrong?

I was wondering, what are you doing tonight?

If you have other plans, I...

No, I was... Because I was wondering...

You have no plans? No, I have no, uh...

Because I was wondering if you...

We... Well, you and I could, um...

If we could, um, go for a cup of coffee.


I'd love to.

My car is over here.

What do you say we just walk?


Let's begin.