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
2,813 ( 90)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Sutherland ... Calvin Jarrett
Mary Tyler Moore ... Beth Jarrett
Judd Hirsch ... Doctor Berger
Timothy Hutton ... Conrad
M. Emmet Walsh ... Salan - The Swim Coach
Elizabeth McGovern ... Jeannine Pratt
Dinah Manoff ... Karen
Fredric Lehne ... Joe Lazenby
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
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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:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It's ironic (maybe intentionally so) that Buck dies by drowning when he is a champion swimmer. Buck has won so many awards for his performance on the swim team over the years, and yet Lake Michigan ends up killing him in spite of this. It is also ironic that Conrad, the lesser swimmer, less awarded and lower on the totem pole with the swim team, survives the storm and makes it safely to shore with boat in tow. See more »

Goofs

When Conrad lies down on his bed before calling Jeannine, there is a bulletin board behind his head, on the wall above the bed. The bulletin board is missing in all other bedroom scenes, both before and after this scene. Also, taking these scenes at face value, Conrad's bedroom is maybe 5 or 6 yards wide with windows on opposite walls. None of the front or back exterior shots of the house show a space that could include this room configuration. See more »

Quotes

Conrad "Con" Jarrett: Anyway.
Jeannine: Hm, what?
Conrad "Con" Jarrett: Oh just anyway. It's a conversation starter.
Jeannine: Hm, catchy.
Conrad "Con" Jarrett: I knew you'd like it, I've been working on it all day.
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Soundtracks

Canon in D major
Composed by Johann Pachelbel
Arranged for mixed voices by Noel Goemanne
Additional arrangement by Jean-François Paillard (as Jean-Francois Paillard)
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User Reviews

 
TIMELESS MASTERPIECE
20 January 2020 | by RinoBortone91See all my reviews

Powerful film with a very delicate theme treated like a light feather. Ordinary People is the bearer of a strong message that scratches the minds of those who look with a different eye to this type of cinema, all due to the great Alvin Sargent. Film that succeeds both in the spectacular cast where a poignant and deep Timothy Hutton stands out; but also succeeds in the simple but effective direction of Robert Redford to tell an apparent simple story, with an almost disturbing intense psychology. Timeless masterpiece that inspired the cinema of the following generations.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 September 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ordinary People See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$170,335, 21 September 1980

Gross USA:

$54,766,923

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$54,766,923
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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