Views & Reviews MEDICAL CLASSICS

Ordinary People

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39114.443519.59 (Published 08 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:319
  1. Elaine Lockhart, consultant psychiatrist for children and young people, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow

    Robert Redford's directorial debut introduces us to a family that has lost a son, Buck, leaving both parents and the younger brother, Conrad, cast adrift. The film, unusually for a Hollywood production, focuses on a young person with psychiatric problems and also on the positive input of a psychiatrist. The underlying premise seems to be that a tragedy unleashes the demons lying within a typical affluent middle class family, as evoked in later films by directors David Lynch and Sam Mendes.

    Most of the story, based on the book by Judith Guest, is told from the perspective of Conrad, played by Timothy Hutton, who had always languished in the background …

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