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

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Ordinary People -- Ordinary People is an intense examination of a family being torn apart by tension and tragedy. Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore star as the upper-middle-class couple whose "ordinary" existence is irrevocably shattered by the death of their oldest son in a boating accident.


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Up 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Judith Guest (novel)
Alvin Sargent (screenplay)
View company contact information for Ordinary People on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 February 1981 (Australia) See more »
some films you watch, others you feel. See more »
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:
Won 4 Oscars. Another 20 wins & 9 nominations See more »
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User Reviews:
Impressive until the last minute. See more (281 total) »


  (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)

Directed by
Robert Redford 
Writing credits
Judith Guest (novel)

Alvin Sargent (screenplay)

Nancy Dowd  uncredited

Produced by
Ronald L. Schwary .... producer
Cinematography by
John Bailey (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Jeff Kanew 
Casting by
Penny Perry 
Art Direction by
Phillip Bennett 
J. Michael Riva 
Set Decoration by
William B. Fosser  (as William Fosser)
Jerry Wunderlich 
Costume Design by
Bernie Pollack 
Makeup Department
Joel Israel .... hair stylist: Ms. Moore
Gary Liddiard .... makeup artist
Jean Burt Reilly .... hair stylist (as Jean Burke Reilly)
Kathe Swanson .... hair stylist
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 .... sound re-recording mixer
Steve Maslow .... sound 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 .... sound 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)
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 camera
Robert McLain .... key grip: Chicago (as Bob McLean)
Ronald W. McLeish .... gaffer (as Ronald W. McLeisch)
Lou Noto .... first assistant camera (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: Mr. Schwary
Robbie Miller .... secretary: Mr. Redford (as Robbi Miller)
Patricia Newcomb .... publicity consultant
Phill Norman .... title designer
Grant Olson .... craft service
Dennis Park .... assistant accountant
Julie Pitkanen .... script supervisor
Teresa Skinner .... associate: Wildwood
Bob Waits .... assistant: Mr. Sutherland
Rusty Warren .... production accountant
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

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

Did You Know?

Dr. Tyrone C. Berger (Judd Hirsch) tells Conrad Jarrett (Timothy Hutton) that he looks like something out of "The Body Snatchers", referring to the 1955 science fiction novel by Jack Finney. Two years earlier, Donald Sutherland (Calvin Jarrett) played Dr. Matthew Bennell in Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), the second film adaptation of the novel.See more »
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 »
Conrad "Con" Jarrett:[Berger is pretending to be Buck, Con's older brother] Bucky, I didn't mean it! Bucky, I didn't meant 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.
Dr. Berger:And what was the one wrong thing you did?
Conrad "Con" Jarrett:I hung on. I stayed with the boat.
See more »
Movie Connections:
For He's a Jolly Good FellowSee more »


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34 out of 45 people found the following review useful.
Impressive until the last minute., 16 February 2006
Author: Paul Backus from Netherlands

I saw this movie in a very old theatre in Maastricht, Netherlands. I was astonished by the beauty of the plot, the character played by Timothy Hutton and Donald Sutherland. The most impressive thing was at the end. Everybody left the theatre in complete silence. People were touched and had tears in their eyes. This movie moves people. It is a story so close to reality and so well played by the actors. One really hates Mary Tyler-Moore at the end for being a bitch first class, a mother with no feelings for her youngest son. Judd Hirsch is very funny in acting as a psychologist. He plays it so naturally as if he had seen one for several years. In my opinion Robert Redford directed his best movie ever in Ordinary People.

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Most Underrated movie ever thomaswilliamboner
Adam Baldwin daverindone
Where would Beth be today? BriGuy1211
I demand an honorary Oscar for Donald Sutherland! truepolo88
Painful Rating = 7.0 richardrobins
What does the title mean? annulla
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