7.4/10
47,753
176 user 55 critic

Terms of Endearment (1983)

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

Director:

James L. Brooks

Writers:

Larry McMurtry (based on the novel by), James L. Brooks (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
2,811 ( 100)

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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 »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shirley MacLaine ... Aurora Greenway
Debra Winger ... Emma Horton
Jack Nicholson ... Garrett Breedlove
Danny DeVito ... Vernon Dahlart
Jeff Daniels ... Flap Horton
John Lithgow ... Sam Burns
Lisa Hart Carroll ... Patsy Clark
Betty King Betty King ... Rosie Dunlop (as Betty R. King)
Huckleberry Fox ... Teddy Horton
Troy Bishop ... Tommy Horton
Shane Serwin Shane Serwin ... Younger Tommy Horton
Megan Morris Megan Morris ... Melanie Horton
Tara Yeakey Tara Yeakey ... Baby Melanie
Norman Bennett ... Edward Johnson
Jennifer Josey 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 December 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La fuerza del cariño See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,498,813, 27 November 1983, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$108,423,489
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Brooks cast Jack Nicholson in this movie and As Good as It Gets (1997), with Nicholson taking an Academy Award for each role. See more »

Goofs

When Emma and Patsy are talking outside after the lunch in New York with Patsy's friends, the clouds shrouding the World Trade Center towers in the background change between shots. See more »

Quotes

Garrett Breedlove: Breedlove at the helm! Just keep pumping that throttle! Keep giving it that gas! I see the Gulf of Mexico below me!
Aurora Greenway: I'm not enjoying this!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Blackrock (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

The Nearness of You
(1938) (uncredited)
By Ned Washington and Hoagy Carmichael
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Quirky characters who eventually grow on you
30 November 2002 | by moonspinner55See 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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