• 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

Similar Movies

American Beauty
American Beauty

Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) is a gainfully employed suburban husband and father. Fed up with his boring, stagnant existence, he quits his job and decides to reinvent himself as a pot-smoking, respon...

Stream Online
Kramer vs. Kramer
Kramer vs. Kramer

On the same day Manhattan advertising executive Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman) lands the biggest account of his career, he learns that his wife, Joanna (Meryl Streep), is leaving him and their young son,...

Stream Online
The Ice Storm
The Ice Storm

In the 1970s, an outwardly wholesome family begins cracking at the seams over the course of a tumultuous Thanksgiving break. Frustrated with his job, the father, Ben (Kevin Kline), seeks fulfillment b...

Stream Online

Awards

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)