The World According to Garp (1982)


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this filmization of the John Irving novel, Robin Williams plays the title character, the son of unmarried, unorthodox feminist Jenny Fields. Jenny's efforts to broaden Garp's outlook on life cram more phobias into his psyche. Though successful and happily married, Garp remains envious of his fearless mother

Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity, violence)
Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Steve Tesich
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 3, 2001
Warner Home Video


as Jenny Fields

as Helen Holm

as Roberta Muldoon

as Hooker

as Mr. Fields

as Mrs. Fields

as Young Garp

as Dean Bodger

as Michael Milton

as Stew Percy

as Midge Percy

as Young Garp

as Ernie Holm

as Cushie

as Young Cushie

as Young Pooh

as 1st Coach

as Opposing Coach

as Referee

as Wrestler

as Zipper Boy

as Infant Garp

as Baby Sitter

as Helicopter

as Ellen James

as Candidate

as Speaker

as Stephen

as Woman with Book

as Man in Tree

as Freman

as Real Estate Lady

as Pilot (uncredited)

as Baby Sitter

as Speeding Plumber

as Infant Duncan

as Duncan at Age 2

as Chief Ellen Jamesian
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Critic Reviews for The World According to Garp

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Robin Williams displays the acting chops that would later win him an Oscar

March 24, 2005
Juicy Cerebellum

Good effort, sometimes nearly great

August 26, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for The World According to Garp

A very strange and unabashed tale of the eccentric, John Irving's novel of the same name has been adapted into the story of T.S. Garp, a man whose life has never been normal. Raised by a nurse who raped a dying soldier, and works in a boys' dormitory, Garp finds his footing amongst writers, falls in love, and has an entire lifetime of adventures along the way. This film is bigger than life and contains strange incidents that make up Garp's life, including marital stress, death, assassination, heartbreak, and a gaggle of Ellen James' admirers. Supported in his life is his professor wife (Hurt), children, transsexual friend Roberta (Lithgow), mother, and other friends. The story is very strange, and by the end you will think so too, and yet it's also exquisite in its weirdness, its ability to shift and change as it adapts to new characters, new challenges, and new ways of thinking. It's simply a beautiful film that feels like a novel in poetic repose.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

Scattershot cutaway look at John Irving's involving work ain't too bad, but the large source material refuses to be simply condensed into movie form and what suffers is the work's emotive impact. Mom sleeping with a dying guy, potent sure, but given short shrift in the film, and so most of the other climatic moments. Still, a different Williams film, Glenn Close's debut (and she's not too shabby, eh?), and overall interesting viewing.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


Drama, comedy and romance. A wonderful film, full of surprises, showing delicate theme, how: bastard sons, homosexuality, feminism, adultery and infantile sexuality. All this recounted by the protagonist, T.S. Garp. A great black romantic comedy, that commotion your spectator.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

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