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The World According to Garp (1982)

Based on the John Irving novel, this film chronicles the life of T S Garp, and his mother, Jenny. Whilst Garp sees himself as a "serious" writer, Jenny writes a feminist manifesto at an ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Mr. Fields
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Mrs. Fields
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The Hooker
James McCall ...
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John Wolfe
George Ede ...
Dean Bodger
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Michael Milton
Nathan Babcock ...
Ian MacGregor ...
...
Stew Percy
Susan Browning ...
Midge Percy
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Storyline

Based on the John Irving novel, this film chronicles the life of T S Garp, and his mother, Jenny. Whilst Garp sees himself as a "serious" writer, Jenny writes a feminist manifesto at an opportune time, and finds herself as a magnet for all manner of distressed women. Written by Tony Bowden <t.bowden@qub.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Robin Williams is Garp. He's got a funny way of looking at life.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

13 August 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El mundo según Garp  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title of Garp's mother Jenny Field (Glenn Close)'s partially autobiographical book was "A Sexual Suspect", its dust-jacket title being "Sexual Suspect: An Autobiography". The title's of the books that T.S. Garp (Robin Williams) wrote in the film were "Procrastination" (his first); "Second Wind of the Cuckold" (his second); and "Ellen" (his third). The name of the novel that T.S. Garp wanted to write with the assistance of Walt and Duncan was "A Child's Christmas with a Whale" whilst the name of the short story that graduate student Michael Milton wrote in Helen's class was "Black Snow". In John Irving's source novel, the title's of T.S. Garp's novels were mostly different to the film's, they were "Procrastination"; "The Pension Grillparzer"; and "The World According to Bensenhaver". See more »

Goofs

When Garp and his mother are in New York, they walk past some prostitutes and his mother asks why they are dressed that way. Garp tells her that they are hookers, and she says "Hookers?" but her mouth doesn't move. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Fields: [first lines] Garp? Garp?
Jenny Fields: Yes, Garp.
Mr. Fields: Garp. Garp?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thomas Peter Daikos ....Flying Baby Garp See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Werewolf (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Long Way To Go
Written by Michael Bruce (uncredited)
Performed by Alice Cooper
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Slightly Twisted View of Our Own World
2 October 2001 | by (Los Angeles, Ca) – See all my reviews

"The World According to Garp" must have been a challenging film to make for all involved. The film spans nearly forty years and requires the actors to not only age four decades, but to emote four decades of their respective character's development. All involved do this astonishingly well, especially Robin Williams in his first dramatic part, and Glenn Close, who plays his mother despite actually being younger than Williams. Even the film itself grows in character - it starts in our own world, and then rapidly snowballs into a world wildly different from our own, but not unbeleivably different.

Close plays Jenny Fields, a woman who grows from being oddly independent to becoming the symbol of ultra-feminism over the next 30 years. She sets a world-changing series of events into place with the unorthodox conception of her son whom she names T.S. Garp after his father, Technical Sergeant Garp. The boy (known simply as Garp) is brought up in the fifties and sixties as the only child of a single mother - unheard of in those days. This unique childhood gives Garp an unusual view of the world, which inspires him ot become a writer. As the young Garp struggles to become a writer, his mother (inspired by his writings and her own warped world view) also decides to be a writer. Her first and only book,"Sexual Suspect", is a radical feminist manifesto and becomes an instant bestseller in the already unstable and turbulent 1960s...as if Garp's life wasn't wierd enough.

It gets wierder still as Garp courts and married his college sweetheart, becomes an author in his own right, and raises a family. Garp's own family life is quite normal with it's rewards, fights, wonders and tragedies, but it is played against the backdrop of a world wildly twisted in it's values by his own mother. Meanwhile, his mother has created a home for women who are unable to integrate into society - probably as a result of having read "Sexual Suspect". At the home, Garp makes several new aquaintences. Among them are the twisted Ellen Jamesians, women who have cut off their tongues in protest of the rape of a young girl named Ellen James - and Roberta Muldoon, a transsexual former tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles struggling with "being a hopeless romantic in a male chauvanist world".

If there is a message in "The World According to Garp", it might be that the world is a strange and wonderful place filled with both horror and delight. Garp's world makes you look at your own and realize how wierd it really is, and makes you appreciate the delights of your world a little more.

Glenn Close, Robin Williams, and Mary Beth Hurt (who plays Mrs. T.S. Garp) are all outstanding in their ability to create likeable characters, and to mellow and age them convincingly. The other standout role is John Lithgow, who plays Roberta Muldoon with touching hilarity and beleivability. There are no bad performances in this film: it is populated with characters that are as solid and quirky as those in real life. The only flaws in the film are that the second act has some draggy slow parts, and there is one gag involving an airplane that tries a little hard for laughs.

In an alternate universe, "The World According to Garp" might be a biographical documentary. It creates a world that is somehow familiar and completely distorted at the same time.


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