7.4/10
47,797
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
1,950 ( 861)

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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 »

Director: Robert Harling
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Bill Paxton, Juliette Lewis
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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

James L. Brooks received a special gift at the end of production, to congratulate him for completing his first movie. This was a book of "Life in Hell" cartoons, drawn by Matt Groening. Brooks was so impressed with the comics that he asked Groening to create cartoon shorts for The Tracey Ullman Show (1987). This gave rise to The Simpsons (1989). See more »

Goofs

When talking with Garrett in the gazebo, Aurora says 'blah blah blah,' and her hand moves from her chin to her side. See more »

Quotes

Garrett Breedlove: You're just going to have to trust me about this one thing. You need a lot of drinks.
Aurora Greenway: To break the ice?
Garrett Breedlove: To kill the bug that you have up your ass.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Home Improvement: Some Like It Hot Rod (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody
(1918)
By Sam Lewis (as Sam M. Lewis), Joe Young, and Jean Schwartz
Performed by Judy Garland
Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Wow
8 October 2004 | by MJJLWolf72See all my reviews

Wow was my first reaction to seeing the film back in February 2003. I had bought it on a whim and watched it one night when I was bored. The rest is history. Terms remains one of my favorite films and I really can't say why. Reputation has made this out to be "the ultimate chick flick" upon which every other tear-jerker is judged. But it's definitely more of a character study than a weepy mushy movie. In fact, it's anything but mushy. Where it could of been over-sentimental, it was poignant. Where it could of been boring, it was insightful. And where it could of been corny, it was tongue-in-cheek.

Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger give career performances as mother and daughter. Both characters are polar opposites and in real life the actresses despised each other, but on screen their chemistry sizzles. Jack Nicholson is his usual suave self and John Lithgow is perfect as the wimpy banker. Danny Devito also has a quirky cameo.

James L. Brooks is definitely an "actor's director". To him, the performances are clearly more important than set pieces or flashy camera work. Each of the three main performances are brilliant (especially MacLaine's). It has been decades since a movie about illness has been made like this that is so achingly real. Two scenes to look for: Aurora walking across a seedy hotel (heat-breaking) and Emma telling her mother that she's pregnant (hilarious).

Terms of Endearment is a triumph!


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