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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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3,683 ( 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:

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the book and the first draft of the screenplay Berger coaches Conrad through his sexual relationship with Jeanine. See more »

Goofs

When Conrad enters the elevator to Dr. Berger's office for the first time, his hair changes length and style between shots. See more »

Quotes

Calvin "Cal" Jarrett: He just wants to know that you don't hate him.
Beth Jarrett: Hate him! How could I hate him? Mothers don't hate their sons! Is that what he told you? You see how you believe everything he tells you? And you can't do the same for me, you can't! GOD I DON'T KNOW WHAT ANYONE WANTS FROM ME ANYMORE!
Ward: Beth, we don't want anything from you; Audrey, Cal, Connie and Me, we just want you to be happy.
Beth Jarrett: Happy! Ward, you tell me the definition of happy. But first you better make sure your kids are good and safe, that they ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Shrink (2009) 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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