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Ordinary People (1980)

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The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.

Director:

Robert Redford

Writers:

Judith Guest (novel), Alvin Sargent (screenplay)
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Popularity
2,909 ( 217)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Sutherland ... Calvin
Mary Tyler Moore ... Beth
Judd Hirsch ... Berger
Timothy Hutton ... Conrad
M. Emmet Walsh ... Swim Coach
Elizabeth McGovern ... Jeannine
Dinah Manoff ... Karen
Fredric Lehne ... Joe
James Sikking ... Ray (as James B. Sikking)
Basil Hoffman ... Sloan
Quinn K. Redeker ... Ward (as Quinn Redeker)
Mariclare Costello ... Audrey
Meg Mundy Meg Mundy ... Grandmother
Elizabeth Hubbard Elizabeth Hubbard ... Ruth
Adam Baldwin ... Stillman
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Storyline

Beth, Calvin, and their son Conrad are living in the aftermath of the death of the other son. Conrad is overcome by grief and misplaced guilt to the extent of a suicide attempt. He is in therapy. Beth had always preferred his brother and is having difficulty being supportive to Conrad. Calvin is trapped between the two trying to hold the family together. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Everything is in its proper place... Except the past. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 February 1981 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Gente como uno See more »

Filming Locations:

Apple Valley, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$54,800,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Redford was the third director to win an Academy Award for their directorial debut. Delbert Mann was the first for Marty (1955), whilst Jerome Robbins was the second for West Side Story (1961). Subsequent winners have been James L. Brooks for Terms of Endearment (1983), Kevin Costner for Dances with Wolves (1990), and Sam Mendes for American Beauty (1999). Coincidentally, all of the directors won for movies that also won the Best Picture Oscar. See more »

Goofs

The golf scene is set on the 18th hole of the golf course but they are seen leaving the practice green (multiple holes in the putting surface are visible). See more »

Quotes

Dr. Berger: Maybe you were stronger. Did it ever occur to you that you might have been stronger?
Conrad "Con" Jarrett: [realizes the implications of what Dr. Berger just said to him]
Dr. Berger: How long are you going to punish yourself? When are you going to quit?
Conrad "Con" Jarrett: Oh God, I'd like to quit...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in House M.D.: Under My Skin (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden
(1969) (uncredited)
Written by Joe South
Sung a cappella a bit by Judd Hirsch
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Impressive until the last minute.
16 February 2006 | by Paul BackusSee all my reviews

I saw this movie in a very old theatre in Maastricht, Netherlands. I was astonished by the beauty of the plot, the character played by Timothy Hutton and Donald Sutherland. The most impressive thing was at the end. Everybody left the theatre in complete silence. People were touched and had tears in their eyes. This movie moves people. It is a story so close to reality and so well played by the actors. One really hates Mary Tyler-Moore at the end for being a bitch first class, a mother with no feelings for her youngest son. Judd Hirsch is very funny in acting as a psychologist. He plays it so naturally as if he had seen one for several years. In my opinion Robert Redford directed his best movie ever in Ordinary People.


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