7.4/10
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162 user 51 critic

Terms of Endearment (1983)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | 9 December 1983 (USA)
Follows hard-to-please Aurora looking for love and her daughter's family problems.

Director:

Writers:

(based on the novel by), (screenplay)
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Won 5 Oscars. Another 27 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »
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Continuing the story of Aurora Greenway in her latter years. After the death of her daughter, Aurora struggled to keep her family together, but has one grandson in jail, a rebellious ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Harling
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Bill Paxton, Juliette Lewis
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Cast

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

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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 December 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La fuerza del cariño  »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,498,813 (USA) (27 November 1983)

Gross:

$108,423,489 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Production Designer on this movie was Polly Platt. She was Peter Bogdonovich's wife; her love triangle situation with Bogdonovich and Cybill Shepherd during this whole period was described in detail in the book "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls", and also fictionalized in a movie that came out just a year later called "Irreconcilable Differences" with Shelley Long, Drew Barrymore, Ryan O'Neal and Sharon Stone. See more »

Goofs

When Emma gives Flap a tie, there is a purple tag hanging from the sleeve of her blouse. See more »

Quotes

Garrett Breedlove: You're just going to have to trust me about this one thing. You need a lot of drinks.
Aurora Greenway: To break the ice?
Garrett Breedlove: To kill the bug that you have up your ass.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Biography: Jennifer Jones: Portrait of a Lady (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

That Old Black Magic
(1942) (uncredited)
By Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Quirky characters who eventually grow on you
30 November 2002 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

The shifty, funny/serious tone of "Terms Of Endearment" caught a lot of people off guard in 1983 and word-of-mouth about it being a seriously good tearjerker/comedy was strong (opening near Christmas probably didn't hurt it come Oscar time either!). But since then, TV sitcoms have been mining this kind of flippant, edgy, raw sense of dynamics ("Roseanne" comes to mind), and "Terms" doesn't seem as fresh. Watching it again the other night, I couldn't help feeling some of the juice was missing, or that Shirley MacLaine's Aurora Greenway was actually more of an irritant than a sympathetic harridan. But on closer inspection, the lives of these characters are quite endearing, and the tender music on the soundtrack always underlines a poignant scene at just the right moment. Vivid Debra Winger is incredible as MacLaine's daughter, as are John Lithgow, Jeff Daniels, Jack Nicholson and, in a small but telling part, Danny DeVito. As for MacLaine, I think she makes a few missteps in her characterization, and I didn't like the scene where she leaves her own birthday party in a huff and finds herself at Nicholson's door--it feels put on--or her famous scene with Jack driving on the beach, which is highly improbable. However, her determined will and loving possessiveness/detachment towards her daughter makes her a complicated and colorful bundle of nerves. The picture is flawed, yet has scenes of worth and love, many memorable lines of dialogue, and shows a real skill for balancing different moods. *** from ****


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