7.2/10
22,608
90 user 27 critic

The World According to Garp (1982)

A struggling young writer finds his life and work dominated by his unfaithful wife and his radical feminist mother, whose best-selling manifesto turns her into a cultural icon.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (HD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Garp
... Helen Holm
... Jenny Fields
... Roberta Muldoon
... Mr. Fields
... Mrs. Fields
... The Hooker
James McCall ... Young Garp
... John Wolfe
George Ede ... Dean Bodger
... Michael Milton
Nathan Babcock ... Duncan
Ian MacGregor ... Walt
... Stew Percy
Susan Browning ... Midge Percy
Edit

Storyline

Based on the John Irving novel, this film chronicles the life of T S Garp, and his mother, Jenny. Whilst Garp sees himself as a "serious" writer, Jenny writes a feminist manifesto at an opportune time, and finds herself as a magnet for all manner of distressed women. Written by Tony Bowden <t.bowden@qub.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Robin Williams is Garp. He's got a funny way of looking at life.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 August 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El mundo según Garp  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$29,712,172
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was made and released four years after the novel of the same name by John Irving was first published in 1978. The book was Irving's fourth novel, its original title being "Lunacy and Sorrow". The book was a 1979 finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction and in the next year won the 1980 National Book Award for Paperback General Fiction. The picture was the first filmed adaptation of an Irving book and was also the first of two Irving adaptations that were released in the early 1980s, the second being The Hotel New Hampshire (1984). In the latter, as in the book, a dog named "Sorrow" dies in a plane crash. See more »

Goofs

After young Garp tangles with Bonkers the dog, Jenny complains to Stew Percy that Bonkers bit Garp's earlobe off; and Garp's right ear is bandaged. At no time in the remainder of the film do we see any evidence of Garp's ear having been damaged. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Fields: [first lines] Garp? Garp?
Jenny Fields: Yes, Garp.
Mr. Fields: Garp. Garp?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The "co-starring" end credits state: "Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn Appear as a courtesy to The MacDowell Colony" See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

There Will Never Be Another You
Music by Harry Warren (uncredited)
Lyrics by Mack Gordon (uncredited)
Performed by Nat 'King' Cole
Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

A Slightly Twisted View of Our Own World
2 October 2001 | by See all my reviews

"The World According to Garp" must have been a challenging film to make for all involved. The film spans nearly forty years and requires the actors to not only age four decades, but to emote four decades of their respective character's development. All involved do this astonishingly well, especially Robin Williams in his first dramatic part, and Glenn Close, who plays his mother despite actually being younger than Williams. Even the film itself grows in character - it starts in our own world, and then rapidly snowballs into a world wildly different from our own, but not unbeleivably different.

Close plays Jenny Fields, a woman who grows from being oddly independent to becoming the symbol of ultra-feminism over the next 30 years. She sets a world-changing series of events into place with the unorthodox conception of her son whom she names T.S. Garp after his father, Technical Sergeant Garp. The boy (known simply as Garp) is brought up in the fifties and sixties as the only child of a single mother - unheard of in those days. This unique childhood gives Garp an unusual view of the world, which inspires him ot become a writer. As the young Garp struggles to become a writer, his mother (inspired by his writings and her own warped world view) also decides to be a writer. Her first and only book,"Sexual Suspect", is a radical feminist manifesto and becomes an instant bestseller in the already unstable and turbulent 1960s...as if Garp's life wasn't wierd enough.

It gets wierder still as Garp courts and married his college sweetheart, becomes an author in his own right, and raises a family. Garp's own family life is quite normal with it's rewards, fights, wonders and tragedies, but it is played against the backdrop of a world wildly twisted in it's values by his own mother. Meanwhile, his mother has created a home for women who are unable to integrate into society - probably as a result of having read "Sexual Suspect". At the home, Garp makes several new aquaintences. Among them are the twisted Ellen Jamesians, women who have cut off their tongues in protest of the rape of a young girl named Ellen James - and Roberta Muldoon, a transsexual former tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles struggling with "being a hopeless romantic in a male chauvanist world".

If there is a message in "The World According to Garp", it might be that the world is a strange and wonderful place filled with both horror and delight. Garp's world makes you look at your own and realize how wierd it really is, and makes you appreciate the delights of your world a little more.

Glenn Close, Robin Williams, and Mary Beth Hurt (who plays Mrs. T.S. Garp) are all outstanding in their ability to create likeable characters, and to mellow and age them convincingly. The other standout role is John Lithgow, who plays Roberta Muldoon with touching hilarity and beleivability. There are no bad performances in this film: it is populated with characters that are as solid and quirky as those in real life. The only flaws in the film are that the second act has some draggy slow parts, and there is one gag involving an airplane that tries a little hard for laughs.

In an alternate universe, "The World According to Garp" might be a biographical documentary. It creates a world that is somehow familiar and completely distorted at the same time.


31 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 90 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial