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The World According to Garp Details


The 1982 film version of the John Irving novel The World According to Garp attempts to captures the quirky spirit while condensing the Irving original. Robin Williams plays the title character, the son of unmarried, unorthodox feminist Jenny Fields (Glenn Close, in her film debut). Every effort made by Jenny to broaden Garp's outlook on life -- she even arranges for him to spend the night with a hooker (Swoosie Kurtz) -- crams more fears and phobias into his psyche. Aspiring to become a novelist, Garp succeeds in this goal at the same time that his mother publishes her first feminist manifesto. Though successful and happily married to college sweetheart Helen Holm (Mary Beth Hurt), Garp remains envious of his fearless mother, who has taken in the radical "Ellen Jamesians," a group named after a young woman who had her tongue cut out by a rapist. Mutilation, in fact, becomes something of a leitmotif in Garp's life, climaxing (in every sense of the word) in an auto accident brought about by Helen's tryst with Michael Milton (Mark Soper). There is, of course, much more to the story than this: standing out amongst the dozens of offbeat supporting characters is John Lithgow as Roberta Muldoon, a transexual ex-football jock. John Irving appears as a referee during a college wrestling match, while director George Roy Hill plays the pilot whose low-flying plane crashes into Garp's new home. The World According to Garp didn't attract as large an audience as other, more conventional Robin Williams vehicles, though Close and Lithgow would both be nominated for Best Supporting Actor statues. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Awarded by
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Glenn Close Best Supporting Actress 1982 Winner
National Board of Review Glenn Close Best Supporting Actress 1982 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Glenn Close Best Supporting Actress 1982 Nominee
Los Angeles Film Critics Association John Lithgow Best Supporting Actor 1982 Winner
New York Film Critics Circle John Lithgow Best Supporting Actor 1982 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences John Lithgow Best Supporting Actor 1982 Nominee


Robin Williams
as T.S. Garp
Mary Beth Hurt
as Helen Holm
Glenn Close
as Jenny Fields
John Lithgow
as Roberta Muldoon
Hume Cronyn
as Mr. Fields
Jessica Tandy
as Mrs. Fields
Swoosie Kurtz
as The Hooker
James McCall
as Young Garp
Peter Michael Goetz
as John Wolfe
Mark Soper
as Michael Milton
Nathan Babcock
as Duncan
Warren Berlinger
as Stew Percy
Amanda Plummer
as Ellen James
Brenda Currin
as Pooh
Ronald C. Frazier
as Stephen
Al Cerullo
as Helicopter Pilot
Vic Magnotta
as Coach
Laurie Robyn
as Young Pooh
Kaiulani Lee
as Chief Ellen Jamesian
Isabell Monk
as Woman with Book
Brandon Maggart
as Ernie Holm
Jillian Ross
as Young Cushie
Jean de Baer
as Speaker
Jenny Wright
as Cushie
Tim Gallin
as Fireman
Eve Gordon
as Marge Tallworth
George Ede
as Dean Badger
Kate McGregor-Stewart
as Real Estate Lady
Lori Shelle
as Laurel
Matthew Cowles
as Speeding Plumber
Danny Goldman
as Wrestling Opponent
Susan Browning
as Midge Percy
Katherine Borowitz
as Rachel
Bette Henritze
as Woman Candidate
George Roy Hill
as Pilot (uncredited)


George Roy Hill
George Roy Hill
Robert L. Crawford
John Irving
Book Author
Miroslav Ondrícek
David Shire
Musical Arrangement
David Shire
Composer (Music Score)
Stephen A. Rotter
Ronald Roose
Henry Bumstead
Production Designer
Woods Mackintosh
Art Director
Mary Malin
Costume Designer
Ann Roth
Costume Designer
Albert Griswold
Special Effects
John Canemaker
Tom Priestley Jr.
Camera Operator
Marion Dougherty
Michael Dennison
Costumes Supervisor
Bob Laden