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Terms of Endearment (1983)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  9 December 1983 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 37,467 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 150 user | 49 critic | 10 from Metacritic.com

Follows hard-to-please Aurora looking for love and her daughter's family problems.



(based on the novel by), (screenplay)
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Title: Terms of Endearment (1983)

Terms of Endearment (1983) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Won 5 Oscars. Another 26 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Betty King ...
Rosie Dunlop (as Betty R. King)
Shane Serwin ...
Megan Morris ...
Tara Yeakey ...
Baby Melanie
Norman Bennett ...
Edward Johnson
Jennifer Josey ...
Young Emma


Aurora and Emma are mother and daughter who march to different drummers. Beginning with Emma's marriage, Aurora shows how difficult and loving she can be. The movie covers several years of their lives as each finds different reasons to go on living and find joy. Aurora's interludes with Garrett Breedlove, retired astronaut and next door neighbor are quite striking. In the end, different people show their love in very different ways. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Come to Laugh, Come to Cry, Come to Care, Come to Terms.


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

9 December 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La fuerza del cariƱo  »

Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)


$108,423,489 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


While shooting the movie in Nebraska Debra Winger began dating the Governor Bob Kerrey; who told reporters, "she swept me off my foot," alluding to the fact that the lower part of one of his legs was amputated due to injuries sustained in his Medal of Honor action in Vietnam. See more »


When Emma and Patsy are talking outside after the lunch in New York with Patsy's friends, the clouds shrouding the World Trade Center towers in the background change between shots. See more »


Garrett Breedlove: I like the lights on.
Aurora Greenway: Then go home and turn them on.
See more »


Spoofed in Robot Chicken: Terms of Endaredevil (2011) See more »


Isn't It Romantic
(1932) (uncredited)
By Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

I laughed! I cried! I laughed! And then I starting sobbing!
11 November 2002 | by (NY) – See all my reviews

Exactly how in the world did I never see this movie before? I rented it on DVD the other night because I heard it was good, but I didn't expect it to be as good as it was. Incredible story, such powerful and passionate acting, it's just such a great film.

I don't think I need to say anything about the acting in it, if you've seen Terms of Endearment you know that Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, and Jack Nicholson bring their characters to a life rarely seen in movies. I just can't get over how great this movie was. The story is so good, it's so funny and at times among some of the saddest moments I've ever seen portrayed in the movies. I don't want to go any further for fear that I might spoil it for those who haven't seen this incredible story about life and love and laughter among family. Oh, and if you haven't seen one of the greatest movies ever made, go do so now.

Wrapping up, if you can't tell I loved Terms of Enderament. I guess I had always stayed away from it because it seemed like THE chick flick, but it's not. It's such a great story, great acting, everything of a great movie. 10 out of 10.

40 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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There is not a single movie that makes me cry more than this killmeifyoulike
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