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

User Rating:
7.8/10   33,968 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Judith Guest (novel)
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:
The epitome of the broken family genre. See more (281 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 (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)
 
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 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


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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 high school used for filming was Lake Forest High School, East Campus. The East Campus pool was not large enough to move the filming equipment into the balcony and bleachers. The pool used was from Lake Forest College. The East Campus has been remodeled and no longer looks as it did when the movie was made.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Conrad enters the elevator to Dr. Berger's office for the first time, his hair changes length and style between shots.See more »
Quotes:
Dr. Berger:So what are you thinking now?
Conrad "Con" Jarrett:That I jack off a lot.
Dr. Berger:So what else is new? Does it help?
Conrad "Con" Jarrett:For a minute.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Shrink (2009)See more »
Soundtrack:
Canon in D majorSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
28 out of 34 people found the following review useful.
The epitome of the broken family genre., 26 May 2006
Author: longislandjoe from United States

Ordinary People is an extraordinary motion picture for five reasons. The outstanding direction of Robert Redford, and the brilliant acting of Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Sutherland, Timothy Hutton and Judd Hirsch.

This movie is set in suburban Chicago. The family is an upper-middle class foursome, the parents and their two sons. The eldest son, Buck, is killed in a boating accident. The other son, Conrad, survives but is riddled with guilt. His mother, Beth, who idolized her deceased first born, is cold with her surviving son. She looks at him and is reminded of the pain. Instead of nurturing her surviving child she distances herself from him. Conrad attempts suicide and spends time in a mental hospital. Calvin, the understanding father, is torn between his wife and son.

Dr. Berger, a psychiatrist, is hired by the family to help the troubled young man. The scenes between Hutton and Hirsch are amongst the best in the movie. He helps Conrad understand his mother's pain and shortcomings and to stand on his own. Conrad tries to keep his family together and realizes, almost with relief, that the family's problems are caused by Beth's "burying all her love with Buck".

This is a fascinating motion picture. The direction and the performances are superb. It is an intelligent, moving and honest examination about a family torn by grief and pain. Don't miss it!

Was the above review useful to you?
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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
other films about dysfunctional families? FliptFlopt
Karen repeating herself IloveMuggy
Adam Baldwin daverindone
Why ??? mchnive
Where would Beth be today? BriGuy1211
I demand an honorary Oscar for Donald Sutherland! truepolo88
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