7.4/10
53,281
206 user 59 critic

Terms of Endearment (1983)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | 9 December 1983 (USA)
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
1,951 ( 612)
Won 5 Oscars. Another 27 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is one of only five films to receive two Academy Award nominations for Best Actress. In this instance, Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger. The other three films were All About Eve (1950), for which Anne Baxter and Bette Davis were nominated; Suddenly, Last Summer (1959), for which Katharine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor were nominated; The Turning Point (1977), for which Shirley MacLaine and Anne Bancroft were nominated; and Thelma & Louise (1991), for which Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon were nominated. Of the actresses in question, MacLaine is the only one to win the Academy Award for Best Actress for the relevant performance. See more »

Goofs

At about 20 minutes in the movie Jack Nicholson falls out of the car, drunk, on the right side of his face. When he gets up he has a wound at the left side of his face. See more »

Quotes

Sam Burns: You're a very rude young woman. I know Douglas from the Rotary and I can't believe he'd want you treating customers so badly.
Checkout Girl: I don't think I was treating her badly.
Sam Burns: Then you must be from New York.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Horror Story: Episode 100 (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

For Me and My Gal
(1942)
By Edgar Leslie, E. Ray Goetz, and George W. Meyer
Performed by Judy Garland
Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

 
Mother & Daughter
25 August 2019 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Terms Of Endearment is a story of what happens when life does not go as planned and how you deal with it. In one way or another we are flawed humans, but most of us can rise to the occasion if the situation calls for it. It gained an Oscar at last for Shirley MacLaine and a second for Jack Nicholson though in the Supporting character category.

The story stretches out over a 30 year period and it starts with the death of MacLaine's husband early on and she's left to raise her daughter on her own. As the daughter who grows up to be Debby Winger the two fight constantly. She really doesn't approve of her choice of husband Jeff Daniels who is a struggling academic who in the course of the movie has several teaching positions and rises slowly in his profession. Not fast enough for MacLaine. She reminds me of Madge Wallace the mother-in-law of Harry S. Truman who never thought her son-in-law would amount to anything. She died in the White House just before the Trumans left for Independence permanently.

Winger has three children, but she's beset by doubts about Daniels's infidelity as he does have nubile coeds all about. Both of them misread signals about each other and MacLaine's hectoring doesn't help.

As for Shirley, her neighbor is a retired astronaut Jack Nicholson who is still looking for space groupies. He's an unlikely candidate to thaw MacLaine out, but they find out they have more in common than they think. And Nicholson has more character than we first suspect.

Terms Of Endearment is a film that places people who are very much like the people who pay to see this film in real universal situations we can all understand. Not hard to understand how this became such a critical and popular hit.

Terms Of Endearment won for Best Picture in 1983 and Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for James Brooks. It got a flock more nominations as well. It's an enduring classic and will remain so.

The finale with MacLaine is sublimely beautiful.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 December 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Terms of Endearment See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,498,813, 27 November 1983

Gross USA:

$108,423,489

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$108,423,489
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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