IMDb > Ordinary People (1980)
Ordinary People
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Ordinary People (1980) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   29,017 votes »
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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Judith Guest (based on the novel by)
Alvin Sargent (screenplay)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Ordinary People on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 February 1981 (Australia) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
some films you watch, others you feel. See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 4 Oscars. Another 21 wins & 14 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
SHATTERING See more (269 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Donald Sutherland ... Calvin

Mary Tyler Moore ... Beth

Judd Hirsch ... Berger

Timothy Hutton ... Conrad

M. Emmet Walsh ... Swim Coach

Elizabeth McGovern ... Jeannine

Dinah Manoff ... Karen

Fredric Lehne ... Joe

James Sikking ... Ray (as James B. Sikking)

Basil Hoffman ... Sloan
Quinn K. Redeker ... Ward (as Quinn Redeker)

Mariclare Costello ... Audrey
Meg Mundy ... Grandmother
Elizabeth Hubbard ... Ruth

Adam Baldwin ... Stillman
Richard Whiting ... Grandfather
Scott Doebler ... Buck
Carl DiTomasso ... Van Buren
Tim Clarke ... Truan
Ken Dishner ... Genthe
Lisa Smyth ... Gail
Ann Eggert ... Mitzi
Randall Robbins ... Bryce
Cynthia Baker ... Ms. Mellon (as Cynthia Baker Johnson)
John Stimpson ... John
Liz Kinney ... Liz
Steven Hirsch ... Mack (as Steve Hirsch)
Rudy Hornish ... Ed
Clarissa Downey ... Chris
Cynthia Burke ... Annie
Jane Alderman ... Linda
Paul Preston ... Dennis
Gustave Lachenauer ... Gus
Marilyn Rockafellow ... Sarah
Don Billett ... Philip
Ronald Solomon ... Joel
Virginia Long ... Choir Director
Paula Segal ... Shopper
Estelle Meyers ... Saleslady
Stuart Shiff ... Waiter
Rose Wool ... Waitress
Douglas Kinney ... Actor
Constance Addington ... Actress
Edwin Bederman ... McDonald's Manager
Bobby Coyne ... Young Buck
Michael Creadon ... Young Conrad
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Allison Caine ... Additional Voice (uncredited)
Randy De Troit ... Man on Bridge (uncredited)

Michael T. Weiss ... Extra (uncredited)
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Directed by
Robert Redford 
 
Writing credits
Judith Guest (based on the novel by)

Alvin Sargent (screenplay)

Nancy Dowd  uncredited

Produced by
Ronald L. Schwary .... producer
 
Cinematography by
John Bailey (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Jeff Kanew (edited by)
 
Casting by
Penny Perry 
 
Art Direction by
Phillip Bennett 
J. Michael Riva 
 
Set Decoration by
William B. Fosser (set decorators) (as William Fosser)
Jerry Wunderlich (set decorators)
 
Costume Design by
Bernie Pollack (costumes designed by)
 
Makeup Department
Joel Israel .... hairstylist: Ms. Moore
Gary Liddiard .... makeup artist
Jean Burt Reilly .... hairstylist (as Jean Burke Reilly)
Kathe Swanson .... hairstylist
 
Production Management
Ronald L. Schwary .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael Britton .... second assistant director (as Michael L. Britton)
Steve Perry .... first assistant director (as Steven H. Perry)
Tom Seidman .... dga trainee
 
Art Department
Donald R. Abblett .... standby painter (as Donald Abblett)
Edward Aiona .... property master (as Eddie Aiona)
Richard Boris .... greensman
Herman Lowers .... construction coordinator (as Herman O. Lowers)
Willie Marceau .... head carpenter
William Powley .... construction painter
Chuck Stein .... construction foreman (as Charles J. Stein)
 
Sound Department
Kathleen Korth .... assistant sound editor (as Kathy Korth)
Gregg Landaker .... re-recording mixer
Steve Maslow .... re-recording mixer
Kay Rose .... supervising sound editor
Jerry Rosenthal .... sound editor (as Gerald Rosenthal)
Victoria Rose Sampson .... sound editor (as Victoria Sampson)
Kenneth Schwarz .... boom man (as Kenny Schwarz)
Bill Varney .... re-recording mixer
Charles M. Wilborn .... sound mixer (as Charles Wilborn)
John S. Coffey .... sound mixer: second unit (uncredited)
Ken Dufva .... foley artist (uncredited)
Harry Keramidas .... dialogue editor (uncredited)
Donald C. Rogers .... technical director of sound (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Richard Epper .... stunt double (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
John D. Crededio .... gaffer: Chicago (as John Credidio)
James Glennon .... camera operator
Clyde Hart .... key grip
Tommy Magglos .... second assistant cameraman
Robert McLain .... key grip: Chicago (as Bob McLean)
Ronald W. McLeish .... gaffer (as Ronald W. McLeisch)
Lou Noto .... first assistant cameraman (as Louis Noto)
Marcia Reed .... still photographer
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Robert M. Moore .... wardrobe: men (as Robert Moore)
Rita Salazar .... wardrobe: women
 
Editorial Department
Jay Friedkin .... apprentice editor
Carol Ann Jackson .... assistant editor
Marilyn Madderom .... assistant editor
Kathy Orloff .... apprentice editor
 
Music Department
Scott Grusin .... assistant music editor
Marvin Hamlisch .... music adaptor
Jack Hayes .... orchestrator
Dan Wallin .... music scoring mixer
Larry Blank .... choral conductor (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
James Hogan .... co-captain: Chicago (as James P. Hogan)
Michael McDuffee .... transportation captain (as Mike McDuffee)
Gerald R. Molen .... transportation coordinator (as Jerry Molen)
 
Other crew
Jack Hirshberg .... unit publicist
Mary Cay Hollander .... production coordinator
Patrick Markey .... location manager
Patricia Matzdorff .... secretary: to Mr. Schwary
Robbie Miller .... secretary: Mr. Redford (as Robbi Miller)
Robbie Miller .... secretary: to Mr. Redford (as Robbi Miller)
Patricia Newcomb .... publicity consultant
Phill Norman .... title design
Grant Olson .... craft service
Dennis Park .... assistant accountant
Julie Pitkanen .... script supervisor
Teresa Skinner .... associate: Wildwood
Bob Waits .... assistant: to Mr. Sutherland
Rusty Warren .... production accountant
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
124 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The scenes at Dr. Berger's office were filmed with increasingly darker lighting to recreate the effect of it getting dark progressively earlier through the autumn.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: The golf scene is set on the 18th hole of the golf course but they are seen leaving the practice green (multiple holes in the putting surface are visible).See more »
Quotes:
Jeannine:Can you ever break the ball?
Conrad "Con" Jarrett:You can't break the ball. Can't break the floor. Can't break anything in a bowling alley. And that's what I like about bowling alleys. Can't even break the record.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
For He's a Jolly Good FellowSee more »

FAQ

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95 out of 116 people found the following review useful.
SHATTERING, 22 October 2004
Author: MISSMOOHERSELF from Elberon, NJ

The perfect life of the perfect family is destroyed when the older of 2 sons dies in a sailing accident, leaving the parents and his younger brother to grieve, pick up and carry on. But how they accomplish this makes this movie a shattering but ultimately uplifting (in parts) experience.

Buck Jarrett drowns after he and his younger brother, Conrad, go sailing on a questionable day. Later, Conrad, feeling the guilt of his brother's death, tries to commit suicide by slashing his wrists. This turns out to be a blessing in disguise because the true personalities of his parents, Cal and Beth, as well as his own ability to grow are revealed when Conrad returns from the psychiatric hospital after a 4-month stay.

Conrad is given the name of Dr. Tyrone Berger, a psychiatrist (marvelously played by Judd Hirsch) who is unconventional to say the least. He dresses casually, drinks coffee he makes in his office and smokes incessantly (this is pre anti-tobacco). And he doesn't buy into the psychobabble practiced by many psychiatrists. At first, Conrad tells Dr. Berger he wants to gain control but what he really wants is to not feel - not feel the pain of his brother's death and what he believes is his part in it. But that unravels through a series of experiences he endures as the movie proceeds. In choir practice, Conrad is smitten with Jeannine Pratt (beautifully played by Elizabeth McGovern), a fellow singer who has an ability to recognize Conrad's pain without being amazed, horrified or judgmental. And Conrad also has a friend, Karen, (played nicely by Dinah Manoff)whom he'd met in the hospital and who can relate to his experiences there.

Donald Sutherland as Cal, Mary Tyler Moore as Beth and Timothy Hutton as Conrad give outstanding, Oscar-caliber performances. Cal tries to keep his feelings hidden by wearing a mask of bravado, carrying on and functioning in a world that has taken his son away. He loves Conrad and also recognizes his pain and his alienation fom his mother though he realizes he can't "fix it." But it's Mary Tyler Moore's performance as Beth that is so amazing. She is plastic through and through and it gets to the point of being downright annoying and yet MTM's portrayal is perfect. Of all the characters, hers is really the most disturbed. She wants to have things exactly as they were even though she mourns the loss of her firstborn son. She can't love Conrad because he committed the one unforgivable sin - he survived while her favorite did not.

Timothy Hutton, sadly, has never had a movie to top "Ordinary People." He has done other work, of course, (most notably in my opinion, "Taps") and can be seen currently as Archie in "Nero Wolf" on A&E. But his role as the troubled surviving son who rises from the pain in "Ordinary People" is truly magnificent and shattering. He earned the Oscar and he truly deserved it. And as he accepted his Academy Award, he remembered his father, actor Jim Hutton, who had died from liver cancer shortly before Timothy got the award. That was a classy thing to do. I hope Mr. Hutton gets another plum role like this one; everything else he has done since pales in comparison.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Ordinary People (1980)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Insights into Conrad's and Dr. Berger's Communication (SPOILERS) jbartelone
SCENE THAT'S CRINGE INDUCING Missyrocks
Most Underrated movie ever thomaswilliamboner
Mary Tyler Moore should have won the Oscar! Writerchamp13
Judd Hirsch is excellent in this buy_to_own
other films about dysfunctional families? FliptFlopt
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