Ordinary People

Ordinary People

5.0 6
Director: Robert Redford

Cast: Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch

     
 

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The word "ordinary" could easily describe this Paramount DVD edition of the Oscar-winning film Ordinary People. Starring Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, and Timothy Hutton, the Academy Awards were much kinder to this family drama than Paramount is to this disc. Sporting a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, this title suffers from excessive grain,See more details below

Overview

The word "ordinary" could easily describe this Paramount DVD edition of the Oscar-winning film Ordinary People. Starring Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, and Timothy Hutton, the Academy Awards were much kinder to this family drama than Paramount is to this disc. Sporting a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, this title suffers from excessive grain, imperfections, and age. The images often look very flat and dull, with colors suffering from bleeding and fading. Considering this title is over 20 years old, some flaws can be forgiven, but this transfer could easily have been cleaned up to look more presentable. Most black levels are even, though some edge enhancement is noticeable. Audio for Ordinary People is presented in Dolby Digital Mono 1.0 (in both English and French) and is adequate, though definitely nothing impressive. Since this is a dialogue-driven film, the mono track suffices just fine. The dialogue, musical score, and minimal effects are usually clear and concise with no distortion present. Hiss is heard in some spots during the film, but once again age has more to do with this imperfection than the audio transfer. Also included on the disc are English subtitles. For a movie that won four coveted Oscars, it's baffling that Paramount has decided not to include any real substantial bonus material on the disc. Besides an anamorphic theatrical trailer, Ordinary People is as bare as they come. Someday down the road this acclaimed drama deserves better treatment than what Paramount has dished out this time around.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
There's nothing ordinary about Ordinary People, Robert Redford's powerful, Oscar-winning adaptation of Judith Guest's novel about the deterioration of an upper-middle-class family. For his first directorial effort, Redford chose a piece with sharply delineated characters, brought to life impeccably by a gifted cast. Timothy Hutton won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of a guilt-ridden teenager who attempts suicide after failing to save his brother from drowning. Erstwhile sitcom star Mary Tyler Moore has never equaled her performance as the stern, embittered mother who withholds love from her surviving son following the death of her firstborn. Also superb are Donald Sutherland, playing Hutton's sympathetic but ineffectual father, and "Taxi" star Judd Hirsch as the charismatic psychiatrist who attempts to rouse Hutton from his melancholia. Named 1980's Best Picture, Ordinary People hasn't dated a bit: 20 years later, it remains a compelling, emotionally powerful viewing experience.
All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
Ordinary People deals with the aftermath of a family tragedy. An upscale married couple (Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore) are overwhelmingly unhappy, though their social standing and repressed emotions dictate that they must not admit it to each other. They have lost one son in a boating accident, and the film focuses on their surviving teenage son (Oscar-winner Timothy Hutton) who himself is recovering from a suicide attempt. What distinguishes Ordinary People is the uncommonly convincing way in which it depicts its characters, and the superb performance of Moore. First-time director Robert Redford took home an Oscar, as did the film for Best Picture, as well as Hutton and screenwriter Alvin Sargent. Ordinary People won its Oscars over Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull, often voted the best film of the 1980s. As a result, Ordinary People has often been critically ignored despite its many outstanding qualities.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/14/2001
UPC:
0097360896442
Original Release:
1980
Rating:
R
Source:
Paramount
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, monaural]
Time:
2:04:00

Special Features

Widescreen version enhanced for 16x9 TVs; Dolby Digital: English mono; French mono; English subtitles; Interactive menus; Scene selection; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Donald Sutherland Calvin
Mary Tyler Moore Beth
Judd Hirsch Dr. Berger
Timothy Hutton Conrad
Elizabeth McGovern Jeannine
M. Emmet Walsh Swim Coach
Dinah Manoff Karen
Fredric Lehne Lazenby
James B. Sikking Ray
Basil Hoffman Sloan
Quinn K. Redeker Ward
Mariclare Costello Audrey
Meg Mundy Grandmother
Elizabeth Hubbard Ruth
Adam Baldwin Stillman
Richard Whiting Grandfather
Scott Doebter Bucky
Randall Robbins Bryce
Jane Alderman Linda
Marilyn Rockafellow Sarah
Don Billett Philip
Allison Caine Voice Only

Technical Credits
Robert Redford Director
John Bailey Cinematographer
Phillip Bennett Art Director
William Fosser Set Decoration/Design
James Glennon Cinematographer
Marvin Hamlisch Score Composer
Jeff Kanew Editor
Gary D. Liddiard Makeup
Patrick Markey Set Decoration/Design
Steve Maslow Sound/Sound Designer
Bernie Pollack Costumes/Costume Designer
J. Michael Riva Art Director
Kay Rose Sound Editor
Rita Salazar Costumes/Costume Designer
Alvin Sargent Screenwriter
Ronald L. Schwary Producer
Charles Wilborn Sound/Sound Designer
Jerry Wunderlich Set Decoration/Design

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selection
1. "Canon In D" [:12]
2. Passing Thoughts [3:28]
3. In Control [:05]
4. Friends [8:05]
5. Holding Back [3:20]
6. Mother & Son [4:35]
7. That Which Matters [8:10]
8. Vacancy And The Dead [7:31]
9. What To Do Without Love [:31]
10. Credits [4:47]

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