7.8/10
38,175
294 user 54 critic

Ordinary People (1980)

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
3,634 ( 662)

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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
...
Ward (as Quinn Redeker)
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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

In the novel, Buck's real name was Jordan, and Buck was just his nickname. In the movie they just call him Buck, but in early drafts of the screenplay his name was Jason. See more »

Goofs

While Conrad is watching the swim meet and fighting outside of school, he has a red plaid shirt under a gray sweater. When he arrives back at his grandmother's house and the subsequent scenes, he has a white with thin blue stripes shirt and a beige sweater. This second outfit is what he wore for his date with Jannine, so the sequence at his grandmother's may originally have been intended to occur in the film between the date and the swim meet but later was moved to occur after the swim meet. See more »

Quotes

Conrad "Con" Jarrett: [Berger is pretending to be Buck, Con's older brother] Bucky, I didn't mean it! Bucky, I didn't mean it!
Dr. Berger: What?
Conrad "Con" Jarrett: I said put the sail down, but you said keep it starboard, and then we go over! And you say "Hang on, Hang on!", but then you let go! Why'd you let go?
Dr. Berger: Because I was tired!
Conrad "Con" Jarrett: Oh yeah? Well, screw you, you jerk!
Dr. Berger: [Back in reality] It hurts to be mad at him, doesn't it?
Conrad "Con" Jarrett: God, I loved him. It's not fair. You just do one wrong thing, and...
Dr. Berger: And what was the one wrong thing you did? You know. You ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in House M.D.: Small Sacrifices (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Canon in D major
Composed by Johann Pachelbel
Arranged for mixed voices by Noel Goemanne
Additional arrangement by Jean-François Paillard (as Jean-Francois Paillard)
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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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