7.4/10
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Terms of Endearment (1983)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | 9 December 1983 (USA)
Follows hard-to-please Aurora looking for love and her daughter's family problems.

Director:

Writers:

(based on the novel by), (screenplay)
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2,104 ( 26)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Betty King ...
Rosie Dunlop (as Betty R. King)
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Shane Serwin ...
Megan Morris ...
Tara Yeakey ...
Baby Melanie
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Edward Johnson
Jennifer Josey ...
Young Emma
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Storyline

Aurora and Emma are mother and daughter who march to different drummers. Beginning with Emma's marriage, Aurora shows how difficult and loving she can be. The movie covers several years of their lives as each finds different reasons to go on living and find joy. Aurora's interludes with Garrett Breedlove, retired astronaut and next door neighbor are quite striking. In the end, different people show their love in very different ways. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Come to Laugh, Come to Cry, Come to Care, Come to Terms.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 December 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La fuerza del cariño  »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$108,423,489 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While shooting the movie in Nebraska, Debra Winger began dating the Governor Bob Kerrey; who told reporters, "She swept me off my foot," alluding to the fact that the lower part of one of his legs was amputated due to injuries sustained in his Medal of Honor action in Vietnam. See more »

Goofs

When Garrett and Aurora are going to have a lunch at the restaurant, Aurora sits down the chair twice. See more »

Quotes

Flap Horton: I'm thinking about my identity, and not having one anymore. I mean, who am I, if I'm not the man who's failing Emma?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Roseanne: Terms of Estrangement: Part 2 (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

For Me and My Gal
(1942)
By Edgar Leslie, E. Ray Goetz, and George W. Meyer
Performed by Judy Garland
Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Wow
8 October 2004 | by (Garnerland) – See all my reviews

Wow was my first reaction to seeing the film back in February 2003. I had bought it on a whim and watched it one night when I was bored. The rest is history. Terms remains one of my favorite films and I really can't say why. Reputation has made this out to be "the ultimate chick flick" upon which every other tear-jerker is judged. But it's definitely more of a character study than a weepy mushy movie. In fact, it's anything but mushy. Where it could of been over-sentimental, it was poignant. Where it could of been boring, it was insightful. And where it could of been corny, it was tongue-in-cheek.

Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger give career performances as mother and daughter. Both characters are polar opposites and in real life the actresses despised each other, but on screen their chemistry sizzles. Jack Nicholson is his usual suave self and John Lithgow is perfect as the wimpy banker. Danny Devito also has a quirky cameo.

James L. Brooks is definitely an "actor's director". To him, the performances are clearly more important than set pieces or flashy camera work. Each of the three main performances are brilliant (especially MacLaine's). It has been decades since a movie about illness has been made like this that is so achingly real. Two scenes to look for: Aurora walking across a seedy hotel (heat-breaking) and Emma telling her mother that she's pregnant (hilarious).

Terms of Endearment is a triumph!


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