7.8/10
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Ordinary People (1980)

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The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,202 ( 306)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Swim Coach
...
...
Karen
...
Joe
...
Ray (as James B. Sikking)
...
Sloan
Quinn K. Redeker ...
Ward (as Quinn Redeker)
...
Audrey
Meg Mundy ...
Grandmother
Elizabeth Hubbard ...
Ruth
...
Stillman
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Storyline

Beth, Calvin, and their son Conrad are living in the aftermath of the death of the other son. Conrad is overcome by grief and misplaced guilt to the extent of a suicide attempt. He is in therapy. Beth had always preferred his brother and is having difficulty being supportive to Conrad. Calvin is trapped between the two trying to hold the family together. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

some films you watch, others you feel. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 February 1981 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Gente como uno  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$54,800,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dr. Berger's first name is never mentioned in the movie: it's Tyrone, which is an unusual first name for a Caucasian character. Except it does underscore Berger's role in both the movie and the book: to be an ethnic outsider in this world full of WASPs, and to be someone who confronts the white anglo characters in this repressed world; who shakes them up and forces them to see the truth about themselves. See more »

Goofs

When Conrad lies down on his bed before calling Jeannine, there is a bulletin board behind his head, on the wall above the bed. The bulletin board is missing in all other bedroom scenes. See more »

Quotes

Calvin "Cal" Jarrett: [Inside his garage,Calvin Jarrett is just getting out of his car after a counseling session with his son Conrad's psychiatrist, Dr. Berger] What I'm... gonna say... will sound strange.
Beth Jarrett: What happened? Come inside.
Calvin "Cal" Jarrett: Could we talk about Buck's funeral?
Beth Jarrett: Whaaaat?
Calvin "Cal" Jarrett: It'll seem trivial. But, it's on my mind and I'd like to talk about it. When I was getting dressed for Buck's funeral...
Beth Jarrett: Calvin, what's the matter with you?
Calvin "Cal" Jarrett: Just let me get it off my chest,OK?
Beth Jarrett: What could getting dressed for Buck's funeral... ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in House M.D.: The Confession (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden
(1969) (uncredited)
Written by Joe South
Sung a cappella a bit by Judd Hirsch
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User Reviews

 
Unforgettable
12 December 2004 | by (Conn) – See all my reviews

I saw Ordinary People when I was very young and had a very difficult time with the storyline.However, even then I think I knew I was watching something simply remarkable. Even after all these years, it's impact has not lessened, which I guess is a mark of an incredible movie. The movie is among the most disturbing I've ever viewed and the performances, at least to me, are among the best. I can't imagine viewing this movie without feeling absolutely drained afterwards and I think I may have been a bit to young to fully appreciate it, but I can't imagine giving this anything but a 10, it was absolutely flawless in it's storytelling.

I do think though, that a certain element of maturity is needed to view this, there are few I know who have not been touched or upset by the story and if one is to young or just not in the right mood to handle the heaviness(as I wasn't at the time),they may not be able to fully appreciate it. I still know people who cannot sit through this and I understand why but I hope this movie will be viewed by many who can handle it, it's impact is fierce, all the performances are incredible and Mary Tyler Moore's performance is among the best of any female lead ever.


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
so,it was all beth's fault,huh? sandrakoivs
Karen repeating herself IloveMuggy
Two People Who Didn't Cry At Buck's Funeral - Beth and Conrad FilmSpectator
Why ??? mchnive
Mary Tyler Moore should have won the Oscar! Writerchamp13
The party scene newt_man2003
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