7.8/10
42,246
299 user 63 critic

Ordinary People (1980)

Trailer
2:26 | Trailer

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL
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)
Reviews
Popularity
3,760 ( 74)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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

Director: James L. Brooks
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew, and the other a devout Christian, compete in the 1924 Olympics.

Director: Hugh Hudson
Stars: Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Nicholas Farrell
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Ted Kramer's wife leaves him, allowing for a lost bond to be rediscovered between Ted and his son, Billy. But a heated custody battle ensues over the divorced couple's son, deepening the wounds left by the separation.

Director: Robert Benton
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexander
Out of Africa (1985)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 20th-century colonial Kenya, a Danish baroness/plantation owner has a passionate love affair with a free-spirited big-game hunter.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Klaus Maria Brandauer
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An old Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur in the American South have a relationship that grows and improves over the years.

Director: Bruce Beresford
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Jessica Tandy, Dan Aykroyd
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A naive hustler travels from Texas to New York City to seek personal fortune, finding a new friend in the process.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An African-American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story of the final Emperor of China.

Director: Bernardo Bertolucci
Stars: John Lone, Joan Chen, Peter O'Toole
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair.

Director: Anthony Minghella
Stars: Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe
Patton (1970)
Certificate: GP Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The World War II phase of the career of the controversial American general, George S. Patton.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The story of Sir Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarry.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Robert Shaw
Edit

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 ... Grandmother
Elizabeth Hubbard Elizabeth Hubbard ... Ruth
Adam Baldwin ... Stillman
Edit

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:

some films you watch, others you feel. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 February 1981 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Gente como uno See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Redford said there's a lot of Beth in Mary Tyler Moore. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the scene at the golf club, Calvin remarks how strange it is that there are no hills in Houston. Chicago and its surrounding area are extremely flat, so it's unlikely that a resident of that area would find lack of hills remarkable. Also, in the background in this scene are some significant hills that seem more scenic than any horizon one might have in Lake Forest. See more »

Quotes

Conrad "Con" Jarrett: [Berger is pretending to be Buck, Con's older brother] Bucky, I didn't mean it! Bucky, I didn't mean it!
Dr. Berger: What?
Conrad "Con" Jarrett: I said put the sail down, but you said keep it starboard, and then we go over! And you say "Hang on, Hang on!", but then you let go! Why'd you let go?
Dr. Berger: Because I was tired!
Conrad "Con" Jarrett: Oh yeah? Well, screw you, you jerk!
Dr. Berger: [Back in reality] It hurts to be mad at him, doesn't it?
Conrad "Con" Jarrett: God, I loved him. It's not fair. You just do one wrong thing, and...
Dr. Berger: And what was the one wrong thing you did? You know. You ...
[...]
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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
SHATTERING
22 October 2004 | by MISSMOOHERSELFSee all my reviews

The perfect life of the perfect family is destroyed when the older of 2 sons dies in a sailing accident, leaving the parents and his younger brother to grieve, pick up and carry on. But how they accomplish this makes this movie a shattering but ultimately uplifting (in parts) experience.

Buck Jarrett drowns after he and his younger brother, Conrad, go sailing on a questionable day. Later, Conrad, feeling the guilt of his brother's death, tries to commit suicide by slashing his wrists. This turns out to be a blessing in disguise because the true personalities of his parents, Cal and Beth, as well as his own ability to grow are revealed when Conrad returns from the psychiatric hospital after a 4-month stay.

Conrad is given the name of Dr. Tyrone Berger, a psychiatrist (marvelously played by Judd Hirsch) who is unconventional to say the least. He dresses casually, drinks coffee he makes in his office and smokes incessantly (this is pre anti-tobacco). And he doesn't buy into the psychobabble practiced by many psychiatrists. At first, Conrad tells Dr. Berger he wants to gain control but what he really wants is to not feel - not feel the pain of his brother's death and what he believes is his part in it. But that unravels through a series of experiences he endures as the movie proceeds. In choir practice, Conrad is smitten with Jeannine Pratt (beautifully played by Elizabeth McGovern), a fellow singer who has an ability to recognize Conrad's pain without being amazed, horrified or judgmental. And Conrad also has a friend, Karen, (played nicely by Dinah Manoff)whom he'd met in the hospital and who can relate to his experiences there.

Donald Sutherland as Cal, Mary Tyler Moore as Beth and Timothy Hutton as Conrad give outstanding, Oscar-caliber performances. Cal tries to keep his feelings hidden by wearing a mask of bravado, carrying on and functioning in a world that has taken his son away. He loves Conrad and also recognizes his pain and his alienation fom his mother though he realizes he can't "fix it." But it's Mary Tyler Moore's performance as Beth that is so amazing. She is plastic through and through and it gets to the point of being downright annoying and yet MTM's portrayal is perfect. Of all the characters, hers is really the most disturbed. She wants to have things exactly as they were even though she mourns the loss of her firstborn son. She can't love Conrad because he committed the one unforgivable sin - he survived while her favorite did not.

Timothy Hutton, sadly, has never had a movie to top "Ordinary People." He has done other work, of course, (most notably in my opinion, "Taps") and can be seen currently as Archie in "Nero Wolf" on A&E. But his role as the troubled surviving son who rises from the pain in "Ordinary People" is truly magnificent and shattering. He earned the Oscar and he truly deserved it. And as he accepted his Academy Award, he remembered his father, actor Jim Hutton, who had died from liver cancer shortly before Timothy got the award. That was a classy thing to do. I hope Mr. Hutton gets another plum role like this one; everything else he has done since pales in comparison.


126 of 150 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 299 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed