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Terms of Endearment (1983)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  9 December 1983 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 37,466 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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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?


Louise Fletcher was considered for the role of Aurora. 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 »


Emma Horton: You don't know how lucky you are, you know. Everybody wants to go to Des Moines. People come from all over the world just to get one look at Des Moines before they die.
See more »


References West Side Story (1961) See more »


Stella by Starlight
(1946) (uncredited)
By Ned Washington and Victor Young
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of the best of all time
24 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What can I say about this film other than it is, in my opinion flawless. Every performance, every character, every scene... Debra Winger should have shared the Oscar with Shirley MacLaine. Few movies can make you laugh and cry OVER and OVER again, but this one does it for me. Even when I catch a scene on cable, I find myself drawn in emotionally and grabbing for my box of tissues. The mother-daughter relationship is so true-to-life and the chemistry between Debra and Shirley and Shirley and Jack is palpable. It is one of the greatest films ever made and should be required viewing for all mothers and daughters. This is an AMAZING and moving film!

50 of 81 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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