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While You Were Sleeping is a 1995 romantic comedy film directed by Jon Turteltaub and starring Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman and Peter Gallagher. The script was written by Daniel G. Sullivan and Frederic Lebow.


Sandra Bullock plays Lucy Eleanor Moderatz, a lonely fare collector on the Chicagomarker elevated railway. The highlight of her days is selling a token to a handsome commuter, Peter Callaghan (played by Peter Gallagher), on whom she has a secret crush. Working on Christmas, Lucy witnesses Peter being mugged and pushed onto the tracks, and she rescues him from an oncoming train. Peter falls into a coma and she accompanies him to the hospital, where she fantasizes aloud, "I was going to marry him". A nurse overhears her and, misinterpreting the situation, tells the head physician, a policeman and Callaghan's family that Lucy is his fiancée. At first Lucy is too caught up in the madness of everyone's panic to tell the truth, and after that she is too embarrassed to.

An orphan with few friends, she becomes so captivated with the quirky Callaghans and their unconditional love for her, that she cannot bring herself to hurt them by revealing that Peter doesn't even know her. She spends a delayed Christmas with the family so "they can get to know each other". Lucy then meets Peter's younger brother Jack (Bill Pullman), who has taken over his father's business and is always working. Jack is very suspicious at first, saying Peter never mentioned Lucy or a marriage, which is not like him. Later on, after spending some time together to get acquainted, Jack starts to realize that he himself has feelings for Lucy.

Then complications arise. Peter wakes up, not remembering Lucy at all, but by this time the rest of the Callaghan family has become so enamored with Lucy that they all naturally assume that Peter must have amnesia. Lucy confides in the kindly Saul (Peter and Jack's godfather), who believes that Lucy belongs in the family. Yet the elderly widower can't bring himself to tell the family about Lucy either. Forced by his family, Peter and Lucy spend time together, while Lucy doesn't know how to tell them the truth, especially now that she has fallen in love with Jack. Peter is convinced by Saul that Lucy must be his true love if he really proposed to her, so he does it "again". Lucy freaks out by the unexpected questions and agrees. Lucy forces herself to be happy; she's with the man she wanted to be with her whole life.

The day before the wedding, Jack visits her to give her a present - a snowglobe of Florencemarker, Italymarker, the place that she has always wanted to go to. As he leaves, Lucy asks him if he could give her any reason why she shouldn't marry Peter. Jack hesitates before saying that he cannot give a reason, and sadly leaves.

On the day of the wedding, Lucy starts to feel more and more guilty over her lie and her feelings for Jack, when it's actually Peter she's marrying. She walks down the aisle, where Peter is waiting with Jack, who is his best man. The priest begins, but during the words "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today...", Lucy suddenly objects. Jack is surprised and objects too. She tells the family who she is and what went wrong in the hospital. She tells the parents she's fallen in love with their son, but points out that it's not Peter, but Jack. Also showing up to object to the union is Ashley, Peter's real fiancée, whom the family learns also happens to be married. As the family argues, Lucy leaves, unsure of her future.

The final scene opens with Lucy on her last day of work at the station. As she accepts tokens from passengers, an engagement ring falls through the toll window. When Lucy looks up, she sees Jack and his family standing there. Jack walks into the collection booth and proposes to Lucy.

The film ends with the two happily married in wedding attire, on the back of a train departing from the station, complete with a sign reading "Just Married". Lucy narrates that she planned to marry Peter but married Jack instead and that he gave her the world by fulfilling her dream of getting her passport stamped and taking her to Florence for their honeymoon. She also explains that Peter once asked when she fell in love with Jack, and Lucy replied, "It was while you were sleeping."



Demi Moore originally had secured the part of Lucy, however Sandra Bullock expressed her own interest in the film, stating that she could relate to the character because she felt she had similarities. Moore was immediately replaced by Bullock.


Part of the movie was filmed at the Lake Point Towermarker building. State/Lake Stationmarker was used for exterior shots of the 'L'.Also in the suburb, La Grange.


The film performed very well and was a hit, grossing $9,288,915 on its opening weekend and a total of $182,057,016 internationally for its entire theatrical run. It was the fifteenth-highest grosser of 1995 in the United States. This film, along with Speed, are credited as having launched Sandra Bullock into stardom.

While You Were Sleeping was a critical success. Rotten Tomatoes reported that 85% of critics gave the film positive reviews.

Bullock received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical - Motion Picture.


When Lucy is going through Peter's personal effects, she finds a can of cat food, one that can only be opened by a can opener. Later when she feeds the cat, it is now a 'pull-open' can.

When Ashley visits Peter in the hospital, she asks him "Lucy who?" and he says he doesn't know Lucy's last name. Seconds later, Lucy arrives and he uses her full name when he asks her to marry him.


  1. While You Were Sleeping at
  2. 1995 Yearly Box Office Results

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