• Ordinary People (1980)

Ordinary People

Release Date: 1980

DVD Release Date: August 14th, 2001

R |2 hr 3 min

Plot Summary

Tormented by guilt following the death of his older brother, Buck, in a sailing accident, alienated teenager Conrad Jarrett (Timothy Hutton) attempts suicide. Returning home following an extended stay in a psychiatric hospital, Conrad tries to deal with his mental anguish and also reconnect with his mother, Beth (Mary Tyler Moore), who has grown cold and angry, and his emotionally wounded father, Calvin (Donald Sutherland), with the help of his psychiatrist, Dr. Berger (Judd Hirsch).

Cast: Donald Sutherland, Timothy Hutton, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch, M. Emmet Walsh, Elizabeth McGovern, Dinah Manoff, James B. Sikking

Director: Robert Redford

Genres: Drama

Production Co: Paramount Pictures, Wildwood Enterprises

Keywords: Emotional, Dark, Family, Growing up, Transformation, Mother, Brooding, Father, 1980s

Ratings & Reviews

  • 88
    Boston Globe

    Moore's conception of the character is compelling. She rivets us. She's assisted by the superb performances Redford has elicited from her co- stars, Sutherland and Timothy Hutton, who plays Conrad, the guilt-ridden surviving brother of the dead boy. [26 Sep 1980]

  • 100
    Gene SiskelChicago Tribune

    Wonderful performances by Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, and Timothy Hutton. [19 Dec 1980, p.2-10]

  • 100
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    Each character in this movie is given the dramatic opportunity to look inside himself, to question his own motives as well as the motives of others, and to try to improve his own ways of dealing with a troubled situation. Two of the characters do learn how to adjust; the third doesn't. It's not often we get characters who face those kinds of challenges on the screen, nor directors who seek them out. Ordinary People is an intelligent, perceptive, and deeply moving film. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com

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Nominated Most Outstanding Newcomer to Leading Film Roles
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1981)
Winner Best Motion Picture - Drama
Winner Best Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Winner Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated Best Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Winner Best Director - Motion Picture
Winner Best Picture
Nominated Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
Winner Directing
Winner Writing (Screenplay - Based on Material From Another Medium)