Terms of Endearment

Infobox Film
name = Terms of Endearment

caption = Theatrical release poster
director = James L. Brooks
producer = James L. Brooks
writer = James L. Brooks
Larry McMurtry
starring = Shirley MacLaine
Debra Winger
Jack Nicholson
Danny DeVito
Jeff Daniels
John Lithgow
music = Michael Gore
cinematography = Andrzej Bartkowiak
editing = Richard Marks
distributor = Paramount Pictures
released = November 23, 1983
runtime = 131 min.
country = USA
language = English
budget = $15 million
gross = $122,752,328
followed_by = "The Evening Star"
amg_id = 1:49104
imdb_id = 0086425

"Terms of Endearment" is a 1983 drama-romantic comedy film adapted by James L. Brooks from the novel by Larry McMurtry.


Aurora (Shirley MacLaine) and Emma Greenway Horton (Debra Winger) are mother and daughter searching for love. Beginning with Emma's marriage, Aurora reveals how difficult and caring she can be. The film centers around several years as they both find their reasons for going on living and finding joy. Aurora finds Garrett Breedlove (Jack Nicholson), the retired astronaut next door. The relationship between Emma and Aurora comes full circle when Emma is diagnosed with cancer that soon becomes terminal. At film's end, they all show different ways of expressing love.


Actor Jack Nicholson's character, astronaut Garrett Breedlove, does not appear in the novel. The part was created for Burt Reynolds, but he was already committed to another film, so it was handed to James Garner. Garner quarreled with the director over differing interpretations. The part then went to Harrison Ford who turned it down because he didn't like the age difference between himself and Shirley MacLaine. The role wound up going to Nicholson. Louise Fletcher and Sissy Spacek were the original choices for the mother and daughter roles. Shirley McLaine quit in mid-production saying "You can take the Oscar and shove it up your keister." She later returned to the film. The film was originally rated R for sexual content and language but re-rated PG on appeal.


The film is one of the few big Hollywood releases of the 1980s featuring a mono soundtrack, although it has been remixed in Dolby Surround for its DVD release.


*Shirley MacLaine as Aurora Greenway
*Debra Winger as Emma Greenway Horton
*Jack Nicholson as Garrett Breedlove
*Lisa Hart Caroll as Patsy Clark
*Danny DeVito as Vernon Dahlart
*Jeff Daniels as Flap Horton
*Betty King as Rosie Dunlop
*John Lithgow as Sam Burns
*Megan Morris as Melanie Horton
*F. William Parker as Doctor
*A. Brooks (voice) as Rudyard Greenway
*Mary Kay Place (voice) as Doris


In 1996, a sequel called "The Evening Star" was released, featuring MacLaine and Nicholson reprising their original roles. It was not a success with audiences or critics.

Critical response

"Terms of Endearment" was generally well regarded by critics, and maintains a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. [http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/terms_of_endearment/ 10 February 2008] It was an enormous box-office hit. Gene Siskel, who gave the film a highly enthusiastic review, predicted accurately upon its release that it would go on to win the Oscar for Best Picture of 1983. However, playwright Rebecca Gilman disparagingly mentioned "Terms of Endearment" when discussing dramatic shortcuts. "Look at "Terms of Endearment". We’re going along and going along, and there’s not really a plot. Then...oh, she gets cancer. You get it all the time when people don’t quite know what to do, and I think in those cases it is a shortcut to tragedy." [Gilman, Rebecca. Personal Interview. 3 March, 2007.]



*Academy Award for Best Picture
*Academy Award for Directing – (James L. Brooks)
*Academy Award for Best Actress – (Shirley MacLaine)
*Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor – (Jack Nicholson)
*Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay – (James L. Brooks)
*Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Drama
*Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama – (Shirley MacLaine)
*Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - (Jack Nicholson)
*Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay - Motion Picture – (James L. Brooks)
*DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures – (James L. Brooks)
*New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Film
*New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress - (Shirley MacLaine)
*New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor - (Jack Nicholson)


*Golden Globe Award for Best Director – (James L. Brooks)
*Academy Award for Best Actress – (Debra Winger)
*BAFTA Award for Best Actress – (Shirley MacLaine)
*Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama – (Debra Winger)
*Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor – (John Lithgow)
*Academy Award for Best Art Direction - (Polly Platt & Tom Pedigo)
*Academy Award for Film Editing – (Richard Marks)
*Academy Award for Original Music Score – (Michael Gore)
*Academy Award for Sound – (Donald O. Mitchell, Rick Kline, Kevin O'Connell, James R. Alexander)


Televison Interviews

External links


###@@@KEY@@@###s-achsuccession box
before = "Gandhi
after = "Amadeus
title = Academy Award for Best Picture
years = 1983|
succession box
before = "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial"
after = "Amadeus"
title = Golden Globe for Best Picture - Drama
years = 1984|

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Terms of Endearment — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel: Zeit der Zärtlichkeit Originaltitel: Terms of Endearment Produktionsland: USA Erscheinungsjahr: 1983 Länge: 132 Minuten Originalsprache: Englisch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Terms of Endearment —    Voir Tendres Passions …   Dictionnaire mondial des Films

  • Terms of Endearment (The X-Files) — Infobox Television episode | Title = Terms of Endearment Series = The X Files Season = 6 Episode = 6X07 Airdate = January 3, 1999 (Fox) Production = 6ABX07 Writer = David Amann Director = Rob Bowman Guests = Chris Owens as Agent Spender Prev =… …   Wikipedia

  • Terms of Endearment (Drawn Together episode) — Infobox Television episode Title=Terms of Endearment Series=Drawn Together Season=2 Episode=8 Airdate= January 25, 2006 (supposed to air December 8, 2004) Writer= Sam Freiberger and Bill Freiberger Caption = Foxxy as a minstrel show stereotype.… …   Wikipedia

  • Partial Terms of Endearment — Эпизод «Гриффинов» «Partial Terms of Endearment» Лоис на приёме у доктора Хартмана перед экстракорпоральным оплод …   Википедия

  • List of terms of endearment — This page aims to be a list of common terms of endearment. NOEDITSECTION A *mi Amante *mi Amor/ mon Amour *Amorcito *Angel B *Baby/Babe *Baby Buns *Bar Brady *Babycakes *Babycheeks *Baby doll *Baby girl *Bachyboo *Banana Cakes *Bear *Beau… …   Wikipedia

  • Term of endearment — A term of endearment is a word or phrase used to address and/or describe a person or animal for which the speaker feels love or affection. Terms of endearment are used for a variety of reasons, such as parents addressing their children and lovers …   Wikipedia

  • endearment — en|dear|ment [ınˈdıəmənt US ınˈdır ] n [U and C] actions or words that express your love for someone ▪ nicknames and other terms of endearment …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • endearment — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) Act of endearing Nouns 1. endearment, caress; fondling, billing and cooing, hand holding, nuzzling, embrace, kiss, buss, smack, peck, osculation. Informal, first base, noogie, French kiss, passion kiss,… …   English dictionary for students

  • National Board of Review Awards 1983 — 55th National Board of Review Awards December 14, 1983 The 55th National Board of Review Awards were announced on December 14, 1983. Contents 1 Top Ten Films …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”