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The World According to Garp (1982)

A struggling young writer finds his life and work dominated by his unfaithful wife and his radical feminist mother, whose best-selling manifesto turns her into a cultural icon.



(novel), (screenplay)

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


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Cast overview, first billed only:
James McCall ...
John Wolfe
George Ede ...
Michael Milton
Nathan Babcock ...
Ian MacGregor ...
Stew Percy
Susan Browning ...
Midge Percy


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


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


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 August 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El mundo según Garp  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$17,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


This picture was one three films providing four performances that were Oscar nominated for drag at the 1983 Academy Awards ceremony, an all-time record for any one year. The movies and actors were: Dustin Hoffman for Tootsie (1982); Julie Andrews and Robert Preston for Victor Victoria (1982) and John Lithgow for The World According to Garp (1982). See more »


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 »


Mrs. Fields: [first lines] Garp? Garp?
Jenny Fields: Yes, Garp.
Mr. Fields: Garp. Garp?
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Crazy Credits

The "co-starring" end credits state: "Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn Appear as a courtesy to The MacDowell Colony" See more »


When I'm Sixty-Four
Written by John Lennon (uncredited) and Paul McCartney (uncredited)
Performed by The Beatles
Courtesy of EMI Records, Limited
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A textbook example of how to adapt a novel for the screen
30 April 2000 | by See all my reviews

Adapting a novel to the screen is fraught with difficulties, and "The World According to Garp" meets those difficulties brilliantly. It is not slavishly faithful to the book as far as details go, but it omits those elements which will not translate well and makes whatever changes are needed to make the story work on film. Robin Williams is a fine Garp, Glenn Close is absolutely perfect as Jenny Garp (her performance was one of the few times I've seen the exact character I'd pictured in my head when I read the book up on the screen), and John Lithgow is funny and touching as transsexual Roberta Muldoon.

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