Ordinary People Poster

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

Ratings & Reviews

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  • 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

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

  • 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]

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Winner Writing (Screenplay - Based on Material From Another Medium)
Nominated Best Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Winner Best Picture
Winner Directing
Nominated Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
Nominated Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Nominated Actor in a Supporting Role
Winner Best Motion Picture - Drama
Winner Best Director - Motion Picture