Edit
Ordinary People (1980) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • Beth, Calvin, and their son Conrad are living in the aftermath of the death of the other son. Conrad is overcome by grief and misplaced guilt to the extent of a suicide attempt. He is in therapy. Beth had always preferred his brother and is having difficulty being supportive to Conrad. Calvin is trapped between the two trying to hold the family together.

    - Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>
  • Teen-aged brothers and best friends Buck and Conrad Jarrett were involved in a boating accident which claimed Buck's life. Shortly thereafter, Conrad tried to commit suicide. After a four month hospitalization, Conrad is back in his upper middle class suburban Chicago home with his parents, Calvin and Beth Jarrett. The Jarretts collectively are publicly trying to get on with their lives, Conrad who is back at high school in his senior year partaking in his old activities such as the swim team and choir. But things in the Jarrett household are not all right. Although stating he is unsure why he decides to do so, Conrad restarts his psychiatric therapy outside of the hospital with a Dr. Berger. This therapy may be able to uncover the reasons for the Jarrett's collective unhappiness, and leads each to examine not only the overall family dynamic but the individual relationships with each of the other two.

    - Written by Huggo
  • In Illinois, the upper-middle-class family Jarrett is living a trauma in their lives, with the loss of their beloved son Buck followed by the attempt of suicide of his younger brother Conrad. Conrad's father Calvin is a good man of few words and his mother Beth is a cold-hearted woman that loved Buck and has always been bitter and never supported Conrad, who is under therapy with Dr. Berger. The greatest concern of Beth is to live her perfect life, denying affection to her son. Conrad blames himself for the death of his brother since they were sailing in a bad weather and when one string jammed in the block, he was not able to release it, capsizing the boat. Conrad has difficulties to reestablish his relationship with his friend and quits the swimming team of his school. When Conrad meets Karen, who was interned with him in the same psychiatric clinic also for attempt suicide, he feels better. And when he dates the gorgeous student from the choir Jeannine, he begins to see the world with other eyes. But his problem of relationship with his mother associated to the death of Karen, who committed suicide, brings him back to the rock bottom and he runs to meet Dr. Berger. Will the psychiatrist succeed in helping Conrad?

  • In Illinois, the upper-middle-class family Jarrett is living a trauma in their lives, with the loss of their beloved son Buck followed by the attempt of suicide of his younger brother Conrad. Conrad's father Calvin is a good man of few words and his mother Beth is a cold-hearted woman that loved Buck and has always been bitter and never supported Conrad, who is under therapy with Dr. Berger. The greatest concern of Beth is to live her perfect life, denying affection to her son. Conrad blames himself for the death of his brother since they were sailing in a bad weather and when one string jammed in the block, he was not able to release it, capsizing the boat. Conrad has difficulties to reestablish his relationship with his friend and quits the swimming team of his school. When Conrad meets Karen, who was interned with him in the same psychiatric clinic also for attempt suicide, he feels better. And when he dates the gorgeous student from the choir Jeannine, he begins to see the world with other eyes. But his problem of relationship with his mother associated to the death of Karen, who committed suicide, brings him back to the rock bottom and he runs to meet Dr. Berger. Will the psychiatrist succeed in helping Conrad?

    - Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 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.

    - Written by LVJeff

Synopsis

On the surface this film tells the disintegration of an upper-middle class family in Lake Forest, Illinois...

See full synopsis » (Warning: contains spoilers!)

See also

Taglines | Synopsis | Plot Keywords | Parents Guide

Contribute to This Page