Terms of Endearment

Last updated

Terms of Endearment
Terms of Endearment, 1983 film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by James L. Brooks
Screenplay byJames L. Brooks
Based onTerms of Endearment
by Larry McMurtry
Produced byJames L. Brooks
Starring
Cinematography Andrzej Bartkowiak
Edited by Richard Marks
Music by Michael Gore
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • November 23, 1983 (1983-11-23)(US: limited)
  • December 9, 1983 (1983-12-09)(US: wide)
Running time
132 minutes [1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$8 million
Box office$165 million [2]

Terms of Endearment is a 1983 American family comedy-drama film directed, written, and produced by James L. Brooks, adapted from Larry McMurtry's 1975 novel of the same name. It stars Debra Winger, Shirley MacLaine, Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Jeff Daniels, and John Lithgow. The film covers 30 years of the relationship between Aurora Greenway (MacLaine) and her daughter Emma (Winger).

Contents

Terms of Endearment was theatrically released in limited theatres on November 23, 1983, and to a wider release on December 9 by Paramount Pictures. The film received critical acclaim and was a major commercial success, grossing $165 million at the box office, becoming the second-highest-grossing film of 1983. At the 56th Academy Awards, the film received a leading 11 nominations, and won a leading five awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (for MacLaine), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor (for Nicholson). A sequel, The Evening Star , was released in 1996.

Plot

Widowed Aurora Greenway keeps several suitors at arm's length in River Oaks, Houston, focusing instead on her close, but controlling, relationship with daughter Emma. Anxious to escape her mother, Emma marries callow young college professor Flap Horton over her mother's objections. Despite their frequent spats and difficulty getting along with each other, Emma and Aurora have very close ties and keep in touch by telephone.

Emma and Flap move to Iowa in order for him to pursue a career as an English professor, but they run into financial difficulties. Emma has three children, and over the course of the next few years the marriage begins to fray. While at the grocery store, Emma does not have the money to pay for her groceries and meets Sam Burns, who pays for them. They strike up a friendship and quickly an affair as Sam's wife refuses to have sex with him and Emma suspects Flap of infidelity.

Meanwhile, the lonely Aurora overcomes her repression and begins a whirlwind romance with her next-door neighbor, retired astronaut Garrett Breedlove. Emma catches Flap flirting with one of his students and drives back to Texas immediately. There, Garrett develops cold feet about his relationship with Aurora and breaks it off. While Emma is gone, Flap decides to take a promotion in Nebraska; Emma and the children return to Iowa, and they move to Nebraska.

Emma finds out Flap moved them to Nebraska so he could work with his girlfriend. Emma is diagnosed with cancer, which becomes terminal. Aurora and Flap stay by Emma's side through her treatment and hospitalization. Garrett flies to Nebraska to be with Aurora and the family during this. The dying Emma shows her love for her mother by entrusting her children to Aurora's care.

Cast

Production

Brooks wrote the supporting role of Garrett Breedlove for Burt Reynolds, who turned down the role because of a verbal commitment he had made to appear in Stroker Ace . "There are no awards in Hollywood for being an idiot", Reynolds later said of the decision. [3] Harrison Ford and Paul Newman also turned down the role. [4] [5]

The exterior shots of Aurora Greenway's home were filmed at 3060 Locke Lane, Houston, Texas. The exterior shots of locations intended to be in Des Moines, Iowa and Kearney, Nebraska were instead filmed in Lincoln, Nebraska. Many scenes were filmed on, or near, the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. [6] While filming in Lincoln, the state capital, Winger met then-governor of Nebraska Bob Kerrey; the two wound up dating for two years. [7]

MacLaine and Winger reportedly did not get along with each other during production. [8] [9] [10] [11] MacLaine confirmed in an interview that "it was a very tough shoot ... Chaotic...(Jim) likes working with tension on the set." [12]

On working with Nicholson, MacLaine said, "Working with Jack Nicholson was crazy", [13] but that his spontaneity may have contributed to her performance. [14] She also said,

We're like old smoothies working together. You know the old smoothies they used to show whenever you went to the Ice Follies. They would have this elderly man and woman – who at that time were 40 – and they had a little bit too much weight around the waist and were moving a little slower. But they danced so elegantly and so in synch with each other that the audience just laid back and sort of sighed. That's the way it is working with Jack. We both know what the other is going to do. And we don't socialize, or anything. It's an amazing chemistry – a wonderful, wonderful feeling. [11]

MacLaine also confirmed in an interview with USA Today that Nicholson improvised when he put his hand down her dress in the beach scene. [15]

Reception

Box office

Terms of Endearment was commercially successful at the box office. On its opening weekend, it grossed $3.4 million, ranking number two at the US box office, until its second weekend, when it grossed $3.1 million, ranking number one at the box office. Three weekends later, it arrived number one again, with $9,000,000, having wide release. For four weekends, it remained number one at the box office, and it slipped to number two on its tenth weekend. On the film's 11th weekend, it arrived number one (for the sixth and final time), grossing $3 million. [16] The film grossed $108,423,489 in the United States and Canada and $165 million worldwide. [17] [2]

Critical reception

Terms of Endearment received critical acclaim at the time of its release. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an 82% approval rating based on 109 reviews, with a weighted average of 7.9/10. The site's consensus reads: "A classic tearjerker, Terms of Endearment isn't shy about reaching for the heartstrings – but is so well-acted and smartly scripted that it's almost impossible to resist." [18] Metacritic reports a score of 79 out of 100 based on reviews from ten critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". [19]

Roger Ebert gave the film a four-out-of-four star rating, calling it "a wonderful film" and stating, "There isn't a thing that I would change, and I was exhilarated by the freedom it gives itself to move from the high comedy of Nicholson's best moments to the acting of Debra Winger in the closing scenes." [20] Gene Siskel, who also gave the film a highly enthusiastic review, correctly predicted upon its release that it would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1983.

In his movie guide, Leonard Maltin awarded the film a rare four-star rating, calling it a "Wonderful mix of humor and heartache", and concluded the film was "Consistently offbeat and unpredictable, with exceptional performances by all three stars". [21]

Awards and nominations

As of July 2022, Nicholson is one of the few supporting actors to ever sweep "The Big Four" critics awards (Los Angeles Film Critics Association, National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Circle, National Society of Film Critics) for his performance of Garrett Breedlove.

AwardCategoryNominee(s)Result
Academy Awards [22] [23] Best Picture James L. Brooks Won
Best Director Won
Best Screenplay – Based on Material from Another Medium Won
Best Actress Debra Winger Nominated
Shirley MacLaine Won
Best Supporting Actor Jack Nicholson Won
John Lithgow Nominated
Best Art Direction Art Direction: Polly Platt and Harold Michelson;
Set Decoration: Tom Pedigo and Anthony Mondell
Nominated
Best Film Editing Richard Marks Nominated
Best Original Score Michael Gore Nominated
Best Sound James R. Alexander, Rick Kline, Donald O. Mitchell and Kevin O'Connell Nominated
Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Best Film Won
Best Supporting Actor Jack NicholsonWon
British Academy Film Awards Best Actress in a Leading Role Shirley MacLaineNominated
David di Donatello Awards Best Foreign Film Nominated
Best Foreign Actress Debra WingerNominated
Shirley MacLaineWon
Directors Guild of America Awards Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures James L. BrooksWon
Golden Globe Awards Best Motion Picture – Drama Won
Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama Debra WingerNominated
Shirley MacLaineWon
Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Jack NicholsonWon
Best Director – Motion Picture James L. BrooksNominated
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture Won
Japan Academy Film Prize Outstanding Foreign Language Film Nominated
Kansas City Film Critics Circle AwardsBest FilmWon [lower-alpha 1]
Best Supporting ActorJack NicholsonWon
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards Best Film Won
Best Director James L. BrooksWon
Best Actress Shirley MacLaineWon
Best Supporting Actor John LithgowRunner-up
Jack NicholsonWon
Best Screenplay James L. BrooksWon
National Board of Review Awards Best Film Won [lower-alpha 2]
Top Ten Films Won
Best Director James L. BrooksWon
Best Actress Shirley MacLaineWon
Best Supporting Actor Jack NicholsonWon
National Society of Film Critics Awards Best Actress Shirley MacLaine3rd Place
Debra WingerWon
Best Supporting Actor Jack NicholsonWon
Best Screenplay James L. BrooksNominated
New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Film Won
Best Actress Shirley MacLaineWon
Debra WingerRunner-up
Best Supporting Actor John LithgowNominated
Jack NicholsonWon
Best Screenplay James L. BrooksNominated
Online Film & Television Association AwardsHall of Fame – Motion PictureInducted
Writers Guild of America Awards Best Comedy – Adapted from Another Medium James L. BrooksWon

American Film Institute (nominations):

Sequel and stage adaptions

The sequel The Evening Star (1996), in which MacLaine and Nicholson reprised their roles, was a critical and commercial failure. A stage play of the same name, based on the novel, was written by Dan Gordon.

Notes

  1. Tied with Tender Mercies .
  2. Tied with Betrayal .

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shirley MacLaine</span> American actress, and author (born 1934)

Shirley MacLaine is an American actress and author. Known for her portrayals of quirky, strong-willed and eccentric women, she has received numerous accolades over her eight-decade career, including an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, two BAFTA Awards, six Golden Globe Awards, two Volpi Cups and two Silver Bears. She has been honored with the Film Society of Lincoln Center Tribute in 1995, the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1998, the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2012, and the Kennedy Center Honor in 2013.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Debra Winger</span> American actress (born 1955)

Debra Lynn Winger is an American actress. She starred in the films An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), Terms of Endearment (1983), and Shadowlands (1993), each of which earned her a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Winger won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress for Terms of Endearment, and the Tokyo International Film Festival Award for Best Actress for A Dangerous Woman (1993).

<i>Two for the Seesaw</i> (film) 1962 film by Robert Wise

Two for the Seesaw is a 1962 American romantic-drama film directed by Robert Wise and starring Robert Mitchum and Shirley MacLaine. It was adapted from the 1958 Broadway play written by William Gibson with Henry Fonda and Anne Bancroft in the lead roles.

<i>The Evening Star</i> 1996 American film

The Evening Star is a 1996 American comedy-drama film. It is a sequel to the Academy Award-winning 1983 film Terms of Endearment starring Shirley MacLaine, who reprises the role of Aurora Greenway, for which she won an Oscar in the original film. Based on the 1992 novel by Larry McMurtry, the screenplay is by Robert Harling, who also served as director.

<i>In Her Shoes</i> (film) 2005 American film

In Her Shoes is a 2005 American romantic comedy-drama film directed by Curtis Hanson and written by Susannah Grant, based on the 2002 novel of the same name by Jennifer Weiner. It stars Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, and Shirley MacLaine. The film focuses on the relationship between two sisters and their grandmother.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">56th Academy Awards</span> Award ceremony for films of 1983

The 56th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films of 1983 and took place on April 9, 1984, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, beginning at 6:00 p.m. PST / 9:00 p.m. EST. During the ceremony, AMPAS presented Academy Awards in 22 categories. The ceremony, televised in the United States by ABC, was produced by Jack Haley Jr. and was directed by Marty Pasetta. Comedian and talk show emcee Johnny Carson hosted the show for the fifth time. He first presided over the 51st ceremony held in 1979, and had last hosted the 54th ceremony held in 1982. Nine days earlier, in a ceremony held at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on March 31, the Academy Scientific and Technical Awards were presented by hosts Joan Collins and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The 9th Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, honoring the best filmmaking of 1983, were announced on 17 December 1983.

The 49th New York Film Critics Circle Awards honored the best filmmaking of 1983. The winners were announced on 21 December 1983 and the awards were given on 29 January 1984.

The 55th National Board of Review Awards were announced on December 14, 1983.

Michael Gore is an American composer. He is the younger brother of singer-songwriter Lesley Gore.

<i>A Change of Seasons</i> (film) 1980 film by Richard Lang

A Change of Seasons is a 1980 American comedy-drama film directed by Richard Lang. It stars Anthony Hopkins, Shirley MacLaine and Bo Derek. The film was a critical and commercial failure, grossing $7.2 million against its $6 million budget and receiving three nominations at the 1st Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst Actor (Hopkins) and Worst Screenplay.

<i>Loving Couples</i> (1980 film) 1980 film by Jack Smight

Loving Couples is a 1980 American romantic comedy film written by Martin Donovan and directed by Jack Smight. It stars Shirley MacLaine, James Coburn, Susan Sarandon and Stephen Collins.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jack Nicholson</span> American actor and filmmaker (born 1937)

John Joseph Nicholson is an American retired actor and filmmaker. Nicholson is widely regarded as one of the greatest actors of his generation. Throughout his five-decade career he received numerous accolades, including three Academy Awards, three BAFTA Film Awards, six Golden Globe Awards, and a Grammy Award. He also received the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award in 1994 and the Kennedy Center Honor in 2001. In many of his films, he played rebels against the social structure.

<i>Postcards from the Edge</i> (film) 1990 film by Mike Nichols

Postcards from the Edge is a 1990 American comedy-drama film directed by Mike Nichols. The screenplay by Carrie Fisher is based on her 1987 semi-autobiographical novel of the same title. The film stars Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, and Dennis Quaid.

The 18th National Society of Film Critics Awards, given on 4 January 1984, honored the best filmmaking of 1983.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">David di Donatello for Best Foreign Actress</span> Former annual Italian film award

The David di Donatello for Best Foreign Actress is a category in the David di Donatello Awards, described as "Italy's answer to the Oscars". It was awarded by the Accademia del Cinema Italiano to recognize outstanding efforts on the part of non-Italian film actresses during the year preceding the ceremony. The award was created during the second edition of the ceremony, in 1957, and cancelled after the 1996 event. The award was not granted in 1958.

<i>The Last Word</i> (2017 film) 2017 American film

The Last Word is a 2017 American comedy-drama film directed by Mark Pellington, from a screenplay by Stuart Ross Fink. It stars Amanda Seyfried and Shirley MacLaine.

<i>Waiting for the Light</i> 1990 American film

Waiting for the Light is a 1990 American comedy film written and directed by Christopher Monger and starring Shirley MacLaine, Teri Garr, Clancy Brown, Vincent Schiavelli, John Bedford Lloyd, Colin Baumgartner and Hillary Wolf. It was released on November 2, 1990, by Triumph Films.

Terms of Endearment is a dramatic stage play written by American playwright Dan Gordon, adapted from the novel by Larry McMurtry. The play tells the fictional story of mother and daughter Aurora Greenway and Emma Greenway-Horton as they face challenges in life and have their relationship tested, showing resilience and strength in the face of adversity.

References

  1. "Terms of Endearment (15)". British Board of Film Classification . December 6, 1983. Archived from the original on February 2, 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  2. 1 2 D'Alessandro, Anthony (July 15, 2002). "Top 50 worldwide grossers". Variety . p. 52, Paramount at 90 supplement.
  3. "Larry King Live:Burt Reynolds Discusses His Career in Showbiz". February 23, 2000. Archived from the original on April 4, 2013. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  4. Duke, Brad (July 2008). Harrison Ford: The Films. McFarland. ISBN   9780786440481.
  5. Mell, Eila (January 24, 2015). Casting Might-Have-Beens: A Film by Film Directory of Actors Considered for Roles Given to Others. McFarland. ISBN   9781476609768.
  6. Reeves, Tony. "Filming Locations for Oscar-winner Terms Of Endearment (1983), around Texas and Nebraska". movie-locations.com. Archived from the original on April 25, 2018. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  7. "SHORT TAKES: Debra Winger Is Not for Politics". Los Angeles Times . September 12, 1990. Archived from the original on October 24, 2013. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  8. Graham, Mark (September 6, 2008). "After All These Years, Debra Winger Still Can't Stand Shirley MacLaine's Guts". Gawker. Archived from the original on June 7, 2015. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  9. Brew, Simon (September 27, 2013). "14 Co-stars Who Really Didn't Get Along". Dennis Publishing. Archived from the original on June 7, 2015. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  10. "Debra Winger: The return of a class act". The Independent . October 24, 2008. Archived from the original on June 7, 2015. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  11. 1 2 Quin, Eleanor. "TERMS OF ENDEARMENT". Turner Classic Movies. Archived from the original on June 7, 2015. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  12. hudsonunionsociety (November 30, 2013). "Shirley MacLaine On Working With Tension On The Set". Archived from the original on November 28, 2015. Retrieved June 6, 2015 via YouTube.
  13. Ouzuonian, Richard (May 1, 2015). "The present life of Shirley MacLaine". Toronto Star . Archived from the original on June 28, 2017. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  14. "Shirley MacLaine on Jack Nicholson: He showed up to set practically nude". Fox News Channel. October 30, 2014. Archived from the original on October 17, 2015. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
  15. Alexander, Bryan (March 2, 2017). "Shirley MacLaine tries to bring Jack Nicholson on board "with every script"". USA Today . Archived from the original on July 3, 2017. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  16. "Terms of Endearment (1983) – Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on November 2, 2009. Retrieved December 5, 2008.
  17. "Terms of Endearment (1983)". Box Office Mojo . Archived from the original on December 17, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  18. "Terms of Endearment (1983)". Rotten Tomatoes . Fandango Media. Archived from the original on May 11, 2019. Retrieved November 19, 2023.
  19. "Terms of Endearment Reviews". Metacritic . CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on November 3, 2020. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
  20. Ebert, Roger (November 23, 1983). "Terms of Endearment". Chicago Sun-Times . Archived from the original on April 24, 2013. Retrieved April 22, 2013.
  21. Maltin, Leonard (2012). 2013 Movie Guide. Penguin Books. p. 1386. ISBN   978-0-451-23774-3.
  22. "The 56th Academy Awards (1984) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Archived from the original on November 2, 2017. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
  23. "Terms of Endearment - Awards". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times . 2009. Archived from the original on October 22, 2009. Retrieved January 1, 2009.