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.

Overview

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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 20 wins & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
One of the finest and most true to life movies ever See more (275 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)

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 final scene in the dining room between Calvin and Beth was originally shot with both Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore on location. However, during editing, Sutherland thought that he had Calvin crying too much, ruining the scene. So, he and director Robert Redford reshot his scenes on a partial set recreated to look like the dining room. Since Moore, who was doing theater work in New York, was unable to return for the reshoot, Redford read her lines off camera for Sutherland to respond to.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Karen and Conrad are at the restaurant and Karen is leaving, the Cokes have disappeared from the table.See more »
Quotes:
Conrad "Con" Jarrett:[seeing Beth set the table] Can I help?
Beth Jarrett:Help with what?
Conrad "Con" Jarrett:With... this?
Beth Jarrett:No. I'll tell you what you can do is go upstairs to that room of yours and clean out the closet.
Conrad "Con" Jarrett:[still desperately trying to talk with her] Mom?
Beth Jarrett:[sensing this, but is afraid] Okay? Because it really is a mess.
[they stare at each other in silence for a moment before the phone rings]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in American Beauty (1999)See more »
Soundtrack:
Canon in D majorSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
15 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
One of the finest and most true to life movies ever, 6 February 2006
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

I might consider putting this movie in my top 10 list of best movies. It's absolutely amazing that for his directorial debut, Robert Redford created such a masterpiece. Now it was not all due to him, as the story was so well-written and the acting is dead on for all the characters. Part of the reason I love it so much might be because I was a psychotherapist before becoming a school teacher (mid-life crisis, you know). And, having worked with dysfunctional families, this movie gets it right time and time again. Therapy is not a miracle cure that takes effect almost immediately (like in GOOD WILL HUNTING) and the parents BOTH have a strong role in keeping the family sickness alive. Donald Sutherland is the enabler who denies there is a problem--even after one son dies by accident and the other attempts suicide. He also cannot face that the family's dysfunction is mostly controlled and maintained by his very disturbed wife, played wonderfully by Mary Tyler Moore. She is not mentally ill but has a very sick personality, as she is cold as ice emotionally and deals with problems through massive amounts of denial as well as stuffing her anger WAY down deep. Timothy Hutton is, despite his being the patient, the healthiest one in the family, as his suicide attempt is a strong cry for help. Finally, Judd Hirsch plays the therapist--and one of the most realistically portrayed therapists on film. He has no miracle cure but tries his best to get Hutton, and later Sutherland, to work hard at uncovering their dysfunction. Again and again and again, the viewer is rewarded by a brutally honest script that is about people who would be real--not Hollywood's idea of "people". The film is neither manipulative nor condescending--this is the way more films SHOULD be.

In addition, as I have watched the film several times, I keep noticing just how perfect the direction was. How wonderfully framed the shots were, how wonderfully the music fit in and how unflinching the movie dealt with pain. In particular, I love the scene with Sutherland at the psychiatrist's office as he talks about his marriage....and his eyes keep looking away and avoiding the doctor as he says how much he loves her. And the great Christmas photo scene--it just screams out "this is real!!". For this to be Robert Redford's directorial debut is absolutely amazing and he surely earned that Best Director Oscar.

FYI--although this movie is rated R, it is only for language. There are a few REALLY CHOICE WORDS used here and there, but otherwise this is a great movie for teens. If filmed today, this would no doubt be a PG-13 film. I am a very conservative parent, and yet I found this to be totally acceptable for my 15 year-old. It's a great film to watch WITH your kids and discuss what you see.

I cannot recommend a film more highly.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (275 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Ordinary People (1980)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
The party scene newt_man2003
Why ??? mchnive
SCENE THAT'S CRINGE INDUCING Missyrocks
I demand an honorary Oscar for Donald Sutherland! truepolo88
Mary Tyler Moore should have won the Oscar! Writerchamp13
Karen's father IloveMuggy
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