Inspired by Sacks

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Feature Films


Feature film starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro, Julie Kavner and John Heard. Produced by Walter Parkes and Larry Lasker, directed by Penny Marshall, screenplay by Steven Zaillian. Released December 1990 by Columbia Pictures. Nominated for three Academy Awards. Received the 1991 Scriptor Award.
More info from IMDB »

At First Sight

A feature film based on To See or Not See, a clinical tale in An Anthropologist on Mars. Starring Val Kilmer, Mira Sorvino, Bruce Davidson, Nathan Lane, Kelly McGillis, and Steven Weber. Screenplay by Steve Leavitt and Rob Cowan. Produced by Rob Cowan. Directed and Produced by Irwin Winkler. Released by MGM, January 1999.
More info from IMDB »

The Music Never Stopped

An independent feature film based on The Last Hippie, a story in An Anthropologist on Mars. Starring Lou Taylor Pucci, Julia Ormond, J.K. Simmons, and Cara Seymour. Directed by Jim Kohlberg, from a script by Gwyn Lurie and Gary Marks. Chosen to premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin Film Festival. Opening in theaters in March 2011. More info here .

Musical Minds

One-hour NOVA documentary on music therapy, produced by Ryan Murdock. Originally broadcast June, 23 2009 on PBS stations. Based on the 2008 BBC documentary by Alan Yentob and Louise Lockwood. This version has additional footage, including fMRI images of Dr. Sacks s brain as he listens to music. Available from PBS: shop PBS

Oliver Sacks: Tales of Music and the Brain

One-hour BBC One documentary on music therapy as part of Alan Yentob s Imagine series. Produced by Louise Lockwood and originally broadcast June 3, 2008.


A documentary about the post-encephalitic patients described in Oliver Sacks book, Awakenings. Produced by Duncan Dallas, Yorkshire Television, and first shown in England in 1974 as the initial segment of the Discovery television series. Red ribbon, 1978 American Film Festival; first prize, 1978 International Rehabilitation Film Festival.
See this NY Times article for more info. Info on ordering this film.

The Mind Traveler

(US broadcast). Four-part PBS series by Rosetta Pictures. Christopher Rawlence, producer and director; Emma Crichton-Miller, co-producer. Episodes on The Ragin Cajun (on a deaf-blind community in Seattle); Island of the Colorblind (on color and colorblindness in a small Pacific atoll); Rage for Order (on an autistic artist, Jessy Park); and Don t be Shy, Mr. Sacks (on Williams syndrome), September 1998. (These films are not currently available.)

The Mind Traveller

(U.K. Broadcast). Six-part BBC series by Rosetta Pictures. Christopher Rawlence, producer and director; Emma Crichton-Miller, co-producer. September 1996. In addition to the episodes listed above, the U.K. broadcast included Poison in Paradise (a mysterious neurological disease on the island of Guam) and Shane (an artist withTourette Syndrome). (These films are not currently available.)

A Glorious Accident

A documentary for VPRO by Wim Kayzer, first aired in the Netherlands in 1993 and on PBS stations in the United States in 1994. Info. More info. (These films are not currently available.)

Featuring Oliver Sacks, Stephen Jay Gould, Freeman Dyson, Rupert Sheldrake, Steven Toulmin and Daniel Dennett. From the New York Times: Holland has only 15 million people, and one million of them watched some or all of A Glorious Accident, a rating usually reserved for sitcoms and dramas. A book based on the series was No. 1 on the Dutch best-seller list for months. For the final episode, 12 percent of the adult population tuned in, and the next day some universities closed to give people time to ponder the experience.

In Search of Lucy Doe

One-hour documentary on languagelessness, produced for Arte TV, France by Rosetta Pictures. Produced and directed by Christopher Rawlence; co-producer by Emma Crichton-Miller. First broadcast by Arte TV, November 1996. (This film is not currently available.)

A Change in Mind

A documentary about a man with Tourette s Syndrome. Produced by Duncan Dallas, Yorkshire Television, 1978. (This film is not currently available.)

Stage Adaptations

A Kind of Alaska

A one-act play by Harold Pinter, based on Awakenings. Performed in Other Places at National Theatre (Cottesloe), London, Oct. 1982 with Judi Dench, Paul Rogers, Anna Massey. Directed by Peter Hall.

US Premiere at The Manhattan Theatre Club, New York City, April 1984 with Dianne Wiest, Henderson Forsythe, Caroline Lagerfelt. Directed by Alan Schneider.


Adapted by Arnold Aprill for a stage reading at City Lit Theater Company, Chicago, Sept. 10, 1987.


Adapted by John Reeves for a dramatic reading, CBC Radio, 1986.


A one-act play by Peter Barnes, adapted from Witty Ticcy Ray.

The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat

A one-act opera adapted by Michael Morris, music by Michael Nyman. Produced and libretto by Christopher Rawlence.

First performed at the Inst. of Contemporary Arts, London, Oct. 30, 1986.

U.S. Premiere at the American Music Theater Festival, Philadelphia, Sept. 30, 1987. Performed at Lincoln Center Theater, New York City, July 14, 1988.

The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat

Filmed version of the opera.

L homme Qui…

Theatrical production by Peter Brook, inspired by The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat. First production at the Theatre des Bouffes du Nord in Paris, 1993; English version, The Man Who…, first performed at the National Theatre, 1994 and 1995; Brooklyn Academy of Music, 1995; and elsewhere.

Molly Sweeney

A play by Brian Friel inspired in part by To See and Not See, a clinical tale in An Anthropologist on Mars. World premiere Gate Theatre, Dublin, August 1994, with Catherine Byrne, Mark Lambert, and T. P. McKenna; U.S. debut January 1996, Roundabout Theater, with Catherine Byrne, Jason Robards, and Alfred Molina.

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