7.4/10
47,560
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
3,265 ( 490)

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Won 5 Oscars. Another 27 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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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

This is the second Best Picture Oscar winner, in which Jack Nicholson appeared. The first one was One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), for which he also won the Best Actor Award. It's also the second time he co-starred with Danny DeVito; DeVito appeared in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). This is the third time Shirley MacLaine has starred in a Best Picture Oscar winner. She appeared with David Niven in Around the World in 80 Days (1956) and opposite Jack Lemmon in The Apartment (1960). Nicholson starred in another Best Picture Oscar winner after this as well, The Departed (2006). 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

Operator: I have an emergency phone call from Mrs. Aurora Greenway in Houston, Texas for Mrs. Emma Horton.
Sam Burns: Oh no!
Emma Horton: No, she always does this when the lines busy. It's fine.
Operator: Will you release?
Sam Burns: Oh, uh, of course, operator... uh... it's alright... we were just talking.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Friends: The One Where Emma Cries (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

I Get Along Without You Very Well
(1939) (uncredited)
By Hoagy Carmichael
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Stop Trying To Pretend Like You Hate Me
6 March 2012 | by ChrysanthepopSee all my reviews

I've heard many good things about James L. Brooks's 'Terms of Endearment' and finally I decided to give it ago. Honestly speaking I was expecting a typical melodramatic tearjerker that's sole aim is to emotionally manipulate the viewer. I was wrong. 'Terms of Endearment' is a slice of life that centres around a mother, her daughter and their respective lives. The film looks very authentic. The sets, makeup, costumes and art direction look genuine.

This is very much a character driven film. The dialogues are full of humour and wit but what's also striking is how deeply layered the words are. While the visuals are quite simplistic it's the characters that shine especially through the actors' natural performances. Their excellent non-verbal gestures, spot on line delivery and restrained performances are superb.

A sassy Shirley Maclaine and bubbly Debra Winger are spellbinding. Both actresses beautifully carry the film and they are brilliantly supported by fine actors like Danny DeVito, Jack Nicholson, John Lithgow and Jeff Daniels.

What particularly appealed to me about 'Terms of Endearment' is the depiction of the mother-daughter relationship and the dynamic of it. It definitely has its ups and downs and it does not involve the use of clichéd lines like 'I love you' etc but at the same time the unconditional love between them is wonderfully conveyed.


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