Terms of Endearment

  • 15
  • James L Brooks (1983)
  • US
  • 126 min
Terms of Endearment
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Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Showered with Oscars (it won five and was nominated for a further seven), this is American mainstream movie-making at its best. Director James L Brooks (Broadcast News) largely succeeds in keeping sentiment the right side of mawkish in this story (based on The Last Picture Show writer Larry McMurtry's novel) of the often strained mother-daughter relationship between Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger. Jack Nicholson delivers one of his effortless scene-stealing supporting roles, and other familiar faces include Danny DeVito, Jeff Daniels and John Lithgow.

Plot Summary

Oscar-winning melodrama starring Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger and Jack Nicholson. Aurora Greenway is an attractive widow whose main problems in life are fending off an alarming number of suitors and keeping her headstrong daughter Emma in check. But as the years pass by, Aurora's attitude to life and love, and her relationship with her daughter, begin to change.

Cast and crew


Aurora Greenway
Shirley MacLaine
Emma Horton
Debra Winger
Garrett Breedlove
Jack Nicholson
Vernon Dahlart
Danny DeVito
Flap Horton
Jeff Daniels
Sam Burns
John Lithgow
Patsy Clark
Lisa Hart Carroll
Rosie Dunlop
Betty R King
Teddy Horton
Huckleberry Fox
Tommy Horton
Troy Bishop
Younger Tommy Horton
Shane Serwin
Melanie Horton
Megan Morris


James L Brooks

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
U.I.P. (UK)
Drug abuse, edited for language.
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Certificate 15