7.7/10
46,143
319 user 73 critic

Ordinary People (1980)

Trailer
2:26 | Trailer
The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.

Director:

Robert Redford

Writers:

Judith Guest (novel), Alvin Sargent (screenplay)
Reviews
Popularity
2,845 ( 503)
Won 4 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Sutherland ... Calvin Jarrett
Mary Tyler Moore ... Beth Jarrett
Judd Hirsch ... Doctor Berger
Timothy Hutton ... Conrad
M. Emmet Walsh ... Salan - The Swim Coach
Elizabeth McGovern ... Jeannine Pratt
Dinah Manoff ... Karen
Fredric Lehne ... Joe Lazenby
James Sikking ... Ray (as James B. Sikking)
Basil Hoffman ... Sloan
Quinn K. Redeker ... Ward (as Quinn Redeker)
Mariclare Costello ... Audrey
Meg Mundy ... Grandmother
Elizabeth Hubbard Elizabeth Hubbard ... Ruth
Adam Baldwin ... Stillman
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Storyline

Beth, Calvin, and their son Conrad are living in the aftermath of the death of the other son. Conrad is overcome by grief and misplaced guilt to the extent of a suicide attempt. He is in therapy. Beth had always preferred his brother and is having difficulty being supportive to Conrad. Calvin is trapped between the two trying to hold the family together. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

some films you watch, others you feel. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mary Tyler Moore called Ordinary People "the Holy Grail of my Career". See more »

Goofs

When Conrad lies down on his bed before calling Jeannine, there is a bulletin board behind his head, on the wall above the bed. The bulletin board is missing in all other bedroom scenes, both before and after this scene. Also, taking these scenes at face value, Conrad's bedroom is maybe 5 or 6 yards wide with windows on opposite walls. None of the front or back exterior shots of the house show a space that could include this room configuration. See more »

Quotes

Calvin "Cal" Jarrett: I should have gotten a handle on it somehow.
Conrad "Con" Jarrett: You know I used to think you had a handle for everything. I really admire you for that sometimes.
Calvin "Cal" Jarrett: Well, don't admire people too much. They'll disappoint you sometimes.
Conrad "Con" Jarrett: I'm not disappointed. I love you.
Calvin "Cal" Jarrett: I love you too.
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Only You/Second Best/Pulp Fiction (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by all at the party
See more »

User Reviews

 
Unforgettable
12 December 2004 | by triple8See all my reviews

I saw Ordinary People when I was very young and had a very difficult time with the storyline.However, even then I think I knew I was watching something simply remarkable. Even after all these years, it's impact has not lessened, which I guess is a mark of an incredible movie. The movie is among the most disturbing I've ever viewed and the performances, at least to me, are among the best. I can't imagine viewing this movie without feeling absolutely drained afterwards and I think I may have been a bit to young to fully appreciate it, but I can't imagine giving this anything but a 10, it was absolutely flawless in it's storytelling.

I do think though, that a certain element of maturity is needed to view this, there are few I know who have not been touched or upset by the story and if one is to young or just not in the right mood to handle the heaviness(as I wasn't at the time),they may not be able to fully appreciate it. I still know people who cannot sit through this and I understand why but I hope this movie will be viewed by many who can handle it, it's impact is fierce, all the performances are incredible and Mary Tyler Moore's performance is among the best of any female lead ever.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 September 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ordinary People See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$170,335, 21 September 1980

Gross USA:

$54,766,923

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$54,766,923
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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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