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Eldergays, tell me about your fascination with Mary Tyler Moore's performance in "Ordinary People"

Is it because she reminds you of your own mothers?

by Anonymousreply 1503/21/2014

No...other reasons.

by Anonymousreply 103/19/2014

If your question is serious, OP, MTM's performance was so unlike anything we had ever seen her do before. She had been lovable Laura Petrie, then plucky Mary Richards. Beth Jarrett was a real departure for her.

If you were asking your question trying to sound clever or snarky, then fuck you.

by Anonymousreply 203/19/2014

Buck never would ASK such a question!

by Anonymousreply 303/19/2014

Because it shocked us, that's why. Who WAS this icy, cold, distant woman? It was NOT Laura Petrie or Mary Richards but yet seemed to inhabit the same body. We were riveted. And a little scared of her, too.

by Anonymousreply 403/19/2014

shreeeeeee eeeeeeeee eeeeeee eeeeeeee k

by Anonymousreply 503/19/2014

This is like the fourth Ordinary People thread this week for some reason. All of us middle-class gays of a certain age had families like that. (Joke) A lot of us did, though. Whether or not MTM portrayed a deeper side to herself in that movie as some people thought, she inhabited that role brilliantly through the direction of Robert Redford and it somehow resonated with me.

I had a similar life to that family. I didn't kill my brother in a boating accident but we spent a lot of time on boats and he and I had some scrapes together. I know what it's like to be scared out on the water, and I remember that scene in the movie so well.

The dead son was Beth's favorite, and my brother was my mother's favorite. I felt out of the circle in my family. I acted out but didn't go mental like Conrad did ... no suicide attempts. But I held a simmering anger at her coldness to me for many years. Then she married my stepfather who had a gay son my age. All of a sudden Mom became gay-friendly.

There was a wave of confession that swept all over the country around the time this movie came out.

In a way, middle-class gay guys were pioneers. We were out first. We came out to mothers like Beth and shocked them with our sexuality. There weren't particularly religious. And we knew they wouldn't overreact because, as WASPS, they never showed emotion.

So where's my medal?

by Anonymousreply 603/19/2014

I was Buck. Ask my brother (with whom I have never seen, and would never see, Ordinary People).

by Anonymousreply 703/19/2014

I found her sadly inept and never made it through the movie all in one sitting. Hutton looked like he needed an enema through the thing, too.

So hush up, OP, and don't assume.

by Anonymousreply 803/19/2014

Hadn't MTM lost a son in real life. I imagine she used a lot of the pain from that in the role.

by Anonymousreply 903/19/2014

I've known a number of gay men (of a certain age) who claimed their mothers are "exactly like Mary Tyler Moore in Ordinary People." I've met the majority of these women and spent time in their homes. I can't account for what goes on in private between mother and son, but all the women were warm and welcoming to me.

It reminds me of the episode of Will & Grace in which Jack claims his stepfather (played by Beau Bridges) is cold, distant and disapproving ...yet what we see on screen is anything but that.

by Anonymousreply 1003/19/2014

r10 - that's exactly the point. Those types of mothers treat everyone like they are a guest in their home. Including their own children. Crying, being angry, asking for emotional comfort -- those behaviors are seen as rude and are not tolerated.

by Anonymousreply 1103/19/2014

My father was just like the mothers R10 and R11 were talking about. At his funeral, my cousins were all getting up and waxing eloquent on what a great guy my father was. I'm sure he was salt of the earth outside the house, but when he came home, he was 100% Beth Jarrett.

My mother was nothing like that, at least not with me. My younger brother has a different story, however.

by Anonymousreply 1203/19/2014

She said she based the character on her distant father.

by Anonymousreply 1303/19/2014

R13, I wonder if MTM realized that she was cold and distant herself? Not sure how much self-awareness she has.

by Anonymousreply 1403/19/2014

Because she is the closest thing to my mother: rigid; frigid; humorless; control freak; holds a grudge for decades.

by Anonymousreply 1503/21/2014
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