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

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Overview

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7.9/10   29,496 votes »
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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:
Ordinary is the Problem!!!!! See more (272 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:
Robert Redford decided to do the film because the story's family reminded him of his own in the way it talked around issues.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:[about Karen's suicide] I feel bad about this! I feel really, really bad about this! Just let me feel bad about this!
Dr. Berger:Okay. I feel bad about it, too.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "House M.D.: Remorse (#6.11)" (2010)See more »
Soundtrack:
For He's a Jolly Good FellowSee more »

FAQ

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130 out of 185 people found the following review useful.
Ordinary is the Problem!!!!!, 29 September 2005
Author: dataconflossmoor from United States

The setting for this movie is seemingly appropriate for characterizing frustrations...The North Shore!!...Chicago's sequestered citadel of professional and avaricious elitism...A three million dollar home, trips to Europe, your kids going off to the most expensive colleges in the country, remodeling your kitchen every couple of years, and, your work-less, socially active wife being a permanent fixture at Marshall Fields!! All of these trademarks of success are taken for granted, and, they are merely expectations for the ultimate definition of a quiet bedroom community!! Acquisition of status is no longer excitement, it is, in fact, a given...The only devastating misconception to this entire scenario is that people living in the North Shore are not superhuman, they are merely overburdened, socially, financially, physically, mentally and, as this film so brilliantly depicts, EMOTIONALLY!! There is a prevailing mentality of a mandated and bothersome agenda that all of the characters in this movie must adhere to!!...The Jarretts (Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore and Timothy Hutton) are a family who are shattered by perpetual tragedy and isolation, each one of them does not know what to do about the fact that the other son, Buck, has died, and Conrad (Timothy Hutton) has attempted to commit suicide!! So much of this film deals with how the misunderstanding of each other is the monster that will win out!!.. Perseverence is something that the mother thinks she can handle, but, in fact, she cannot!! The son, Conrad, lacks the necessary social stamina for the incredibly tedious task of sustaining! Finally, the father needs a bevy of facts to gather up in order for him to attain a pleasant resolve by which everyone in his family may live by!!.. This catastrophic dilemma is answered with social gatherings, vacations, an inordinate preoccupation with moral facades, and expensive therapy!! The bottom line is that a tragic undermining to every critical situation in this movie continuously prevails! Ultimately, this troublesome circumstance is such whereby Conrad and his parents need more time than this movie allows to heel all wounds even on a superficial level...Director, Robert Redford, has an incredible insight in this movie, and many white collar executive households share the exacerbations and misgivings of financial competition that this Lake Forest household had to endure!!..."Ordinary People" won for best picture in 1980, and, it is no wonder...The despondence the Jarretts faced was a horror story that could teach Stephen King a couple of tricks... The Mother feels as though she must create an illusion of contentment to the outside world, even if it is at the risk of neglecting her family's needs...Masquerading pretenses seems to have become her self-centered pet project...The father, while well intentioned, is meager and adolescent in his approach to coping with the household's turbulent consternation..It is almost as if he expects a resolution to his family's problems to be put in his stocking on Christmas morning...The son, Conrad, just resigns himself to misery and arctic desolation!! The overall predicament in this film has a frightening simplicity... The Jarret's aggregate plight is that they are alone, unhappy and confused!! Judd Hirsch is terrific as the shrink who feels sorry for this high school kid (Conrad). Conrad Jarrett is compelled to have therapy sessions with him,(Judd Hirsch). As a psychiatrist, he knows that he has to go through professionally therapeutic procedures to actually help him out...The greatest help he can offer Conrad is that he must convey to him that his problems can only be solved one step at a time. This psychiatrist (Judd Hirsch) cannot simply utter some miracle mumble jumble like Conrad's father expects him to do!! "Ordinary People" is about ordinary, well to do, upper middle class people, these are people who constantly admonish themselves for making mistakes!! They perennially imitate wealthy people, which means they are continuously fighting a losing battle! Genuine problems such as a son attempting suicide have to take a back seat to endeavors which are along the line of status games and pusillanimous charades of compulsory escalation into the realm of social register advancement!!.. Just another $250,000.00 yearly income household...ho hum!!...What is bothering you? "Everything!!" "Did we say that"..."We mean to say that nothing at all is bothering us"....The purpose of a two acre piece of property is not to be a voice in the wilderness.. Apocalyptic human pitfalls rest on apathetic shaky grounds in Chicago's North Shore Suburbia, and, they are indiscriminately shelved off into a dubious haven of callous anonymity!! Calvin Jarrett is plagued by the shattering realization of just how pitiful it is to have to attend your own son's funeral!! Tragedy fights dirty pool when it will not even allow the Jarretts to know exactly what the unanswered questions are in their dreadfully befuddled lives!! This situational dilemma manifests itself by pointing out several acrimonious facts: People who seem alright may not be. Household upheaval and family hardships will go quite awhile before they are even mollified. Also, the beautiful cinematography of the deciduous Lake Forrest autumn erupts as a polar opposite to what emotional ugliness lurks in the Jarrett's domicile!! This movie concludes at a glimmer of hope for Conrad, which symbolizes a demoralizing, and almost hopelessly rudimentary progress for the entire Jarrett Family, YES!! this is very, very, very, DEPRESSING!!! Unfortunately, this situation is extremely realistic! "Ordinary People" is an outstanding movie for a variety of reasons.. Mostly for the fact that it illustrates how clinical depression cannot be instantly cured just because there are only 18 minutes left to the movie!! I give it five stars out of five stars!!!

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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
SCENE THAT'S CRINGE INDUCING Missyrocks
Beth must be in the top ten bitches of all time luiza_giacchino
Asking for *spoilers* about Karen from anyone who's read the book? aircrftmec
Mary Tyler Moore should have won the Oscar! Writerchamp13
Insights into Conrad's and Dr. Berger's Communication (SPOILERS) jbartelone
Do You Notice This in The Movie? I Don't (Spoiler) jbartelone
See more »

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