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Ordinary People

Still of Judd Hirsch in Ordinary PeopleStill of Timothy Hutton and Mary Tyler Moore in Ordinary PeopleStill of Timothy Hutton in Ordinary PeopleStill of Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore in Ordinary PeopleStill of Donald Sutherland in Ordinary People


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.

Release Year: 1980

Rating: 7.8/10 (20,315 voted)

Robert Redford

Stars: Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch

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.

Writers: Judith Guest, Alvin Sargent


Donald Sutherland

Calvin Jarrett

Mary Tyler Moore

Beth Jarrett

Judd Hirsch

Dr. Tyrone Berger

Timothy Hutton

Conrad Jarrett

M. Emmet Walsh


Elizabeth McGovern

Jeannine Pratt

Dinah Manoff

Karen Aldrich

Fredric Lehne

Joe Lazenby

James Sikking


(as James B. Sikking)

Basil Hoffman


Quinn K. Redeker


(as Quinn Redeker)

Mariclare Costello


Meg Mundy


Elizabeth Hubbard


Adam Baldwin


Everything is in its proper place… Except the past.

Release Date: 27 February 1981

Filming Locations: Apple Valley, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $6,000,000


Gross: $54,766,923

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


The Last film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture without a Best Film Editing nomination.


Revealing mistakes:
The boat Conrad and Buck are in is obviously stationary, and is being rocked rapidly back and forth, inconsistent with the way a vessel that size would behave during a real squall.


Conrad "Con" Jarrett:
You woulda visited Buck if he was in the hospital.

Beth Jarrett:
Buck would have never been in the hospital!

User Review

This movie saved my life

Rating: 10/10

I was 16 years old in 1984 when I first saw this movie. I was also
clinically depressed and suicidal. I had been on antidepressants for
about a year (in the pre-prozac days) and I happened to see this movie
on Showtime or HBO – almost by accident. Timothy Hutton perfectly
captures what it's like to be depressed as a teenager. And Judd Hirsch
and Hutton perfectly capture the patient/therapist relationship. There
are also a few perfect little scenes that capture the problems of a
family that can't communicate. Especially memorable is the scene where
Calvin tells Beth about the shoes he wore to Buck's funeral. This film
captures all of the important moments like this that truly demonstrate
the problems the family is having. After seeing it, I read the book and
I knew that if Conrad could go on, so could I. I watch this movie once
every few years. It really means a lot to me.