Terms of Endearment Poster

Release Date: 1983

DVD Release Date: April 10th, 2001

PG|2 hr 12 min

Plot Summary
Widow Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine) and her daughter, Emma (Debra Winger), have a strong bond, but Emma marries teacher Flap Horton (Jeff Daniels) against her mother's wishes. When the marriage grows sour due to Flap's cheating, Emma eventually splits from him, returning to her mother, who is involved with a former astronaut (Jack Nicholson). Soon, Emma learns that she has terminal cancer. In the hospital, supported by Aurora, she tries to make peace with Flap and her children.

Cast: Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson, Jeff Daniels, Danny DeVito, John Lithgow, Betty King, Lisa Hart Carroll

Director: James Brooks

Genres: Comedy drama

Production Co: Paramount Pictures

Keywords: Emotional, Touching, Growing up, Mother, Daughter, Small town, 1970s, Family, 1980s, Love

Ratings & Reviews

view all
  • This is a wonderful film. There isn't a thing that I would change. show more

  • Terms of Endearment is the rare commercial picture that sets audiences to laughing hysterically and crying unashamedly, sometimes within consecutive seconds, and then shoos them out of the theatre in contented emotional exhaustion. [23 Nov 1983]

  • It rates a resounding yes because it doesn't insult our emotional intelligence. [23 Nov 1983]

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Nominated Actress
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1984)
Nominated Actor in a Supporting Role
Winner Best Picture
Winner Best Motion Picture - Drama
Winner Writing (Screenplay - Based on Material From Another Medium)
Winner Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated Film Editing
Nominated Sound
Winner Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
Nominated Best Director - Motion Picture
Nominated Art Direction
Winner Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
Nominated Music (Original Score)
Winner Directing