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Ordinary People (1980)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 30,035 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 272 user | 55 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

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.

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(based on the novel by), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Ordinary People (1980)

Ordinary People (1980) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Won 4 Oscars. Another 20 wins & 9 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:

Everything is in its proper place... Except the past. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 February 1981 (Australia)  »

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first draft took a year and a half to write, and the second took another year, as it was very difficult to adapt a novel which featured very heavy dialogue with almost no descriptions of characters or settings. It was during this time that actor Robert Redford decided to direct the picture. See more »

Goofs

When Karen and Conrad are at the restaurant, a glass leaps across the table repeatedly between shots. See more »

Quotes

Conrad "Con" Jarrett: It's impossible after all the shit I've pulled.
Dr. Berger: What shit have you pulled?
[pause]
Dr. Berger: Hey, remember, I'm talking proportion here, now what shit?
[pause]
Dr. Berger: C'mon, you must be able to come up with at least one example.
[pause]
Dr. Berger: And don't give me, "I tried to kill myself." That's old turkey.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cheers: Any Friend of Diane's (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by all at the party
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This movie saved my life
8 October 2004 | by (Moscow, Idaho) – See all my reviews

I was 16 years old in 1984 when I first saw this movie. I was also clinically depressed and suicidal. I had been on antidepressants for about a year (in the pre-prozac days) and I happened to see this movie on Showtime or HBO - almost by accident. Timothy Hutton perfectly captures what it's like to be depressed as a teenager. And Judd Hirsch and Hutton perfectly capture the patient/therapist relationship. There are also a few perfect little scenes that capture the problems of a family that can't communicate. Especially memorable is the scene where Calvin tells Beth about the shoes he wore to Buck's funeral. This film captures all of the important moments like this that truly demonstrate the problems the family is having. After seeing it, I read the book and I knew that if Conrad could go on, so could I. I watch this movie once every few years. It really means a lot to me.


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SCENE THAT'S CRINGE INDUCING Missyrocks
Where would Beth be today? BriGuy1211
Mary Tyler Moore should have won the Oscar! Writerchamp13
Judd Hirsch is excellent in this buy_to_own
other films about dysfunctional families? FliptFlopt
The Coldness and Aloofness of Beth jbartelone
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