Cassondra Milan

Written by Cassondra Milan

Modified & Updated: 04 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Get ready to dive into the fascinating world of cinematic storytelling with “The World According to Garp.” Released in 1982, this critically acclaimed film, based on the novel by John Irving, captured the hearts and minds of audiences and left a lasting impression. Directed by George Roy Hill and starring Robin Williams in one of his most memorable roles, “The World According to Garp” takes viewers on a roller coaster of emotions, blending drama, comedy, and social commentary in a stunning narrative.

In this article, we will delve into 42 facts about “The World According to Garp” that every movie enthusiast should know. From behind-the-scenes details to the film’s impact on popular culture, this comprehensive guide will provide a deeper understanding and appreciation for this beloved cinematic gem.

Key Takeaways:

  • The World According to Garp is a movie that explores deep themes like love, loss, and identity, while also blending in humor to create a unique and captivating viewing experience.
  • Through its powerful storytelling and memorable performances, The World According to Garp challenges societal norms, celebrates authenticity, and reminds us of the complexities of human existence.
Table of Contents

The World According to Garp was released in 1982.

The film adaptation of John Irving’s acclaimed novel hit theaters in 1982, captivating audiences with its quirky and thought-provoking storyline.

Robin Williams played the lead role.

The talented Robin Williams brought the character of T.S. Garp to life, showcasing his versatility as an actor through his memorable performance.

The movie explores themes of feminism and gender roles.

The World According to Garp delves into complex themes of feminism, challenging societal norms and questioning traditional gender roles.

Glenn Close received an Academy Award nomination for her role.

Glenn Close earned critical acclaim for her portrayal of Garp’s mother, Jenny Fields, which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

John Lithgow also garnered an Academy Award nomination.

Not only was John Lithgow praised for his portrayal of ex-football player Roberta Muldoon, but he also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

The movie marked the directorial debut of George Roy Hill’s son, Ted Hill.

Ted Hill, son of the renowned director George Roy Hill, made his directorial debut with The World According to Garp, showcasing his own unique perspective on the story.

The film features an ensemble cast.

Alongside Robin Williams and Glenn Close, The World According to Garp boasts an impressive ensemble cast including John Lithgow, Mary Beth Hurt, and Hume Cronyn.

The story spans several decades.

The World According to Garp chronicles the ups and downs in the life of T.S. Garp over the course of several decades, providing a rich and immersive narrative.

It explores themes of love, loss, and identity.

The movie delves into the complexities of human emotions, exploring themes of love, loss, and the search for identity in a world filled with unpredictability.

The film tackles sensitive topics with a touch of humor.

The World According to Garp skillfully blends serious subject matter with moments of levity, allowing viewers to connect with the story on multiple emotional levels.

The movie received mixed reviews from critics.

While some critics praised the film’s performances and thought-provoking themes, others felt that it didn’t fully capture the depth of the novel on which it was based.

The screenplay was adapted by Steve Tesich.

Steve Tesich skillfully adapted John Irving’s novel into a screenplay, capturing the essence of the story and bringing it to the big screen.

The World According to Garp is known for its memorable quotes.

The film features several memorable lines, including Garp’s famous quote, “We are all terminal cases.”

The movie explores the challenges of being a writer.

Garp’s journey as a writer serves as a central theme, highlighting the struggles and triumphs that come with pursuing a career in literature.

The World According to Garp explores the complexity of familial relationships.

The movie delves into the intricacies of family dynamics, examining the bonds and tensions that exist between parents, children, and siblings.

The film was shot on location in various parts of the United States.

The World According to Garp showcases stunning scenery as it takes viewers on a journey across different settings, capturing the essence of each location.

The movie’s soundtrack was composed by David Shire.

The captivating and evocative musical score of The World According to Garp was composed by the renowned David Shire, adding another layer of emotion to the film.

The World According to Garp explores the power of storytelling.

Through Garp’s experiences as a writer, the movie underscores the transformative power of storytelling in shaping both individual lives and society as a whole.

The film delves into the effects of tragedy and loss.

Garp’s journey is marked by moments of tragedy and loss, exploring the profound impact such experiences can have on an individual’s life.

The World According to Garp balances drama and comedy.

The movie seamlessly weaves together elements of drama and comedy, creating a unique and captivating viewing experience.

The film received two Golden Globe nominations.

The World According to Garp was recognized at the Golden Globe Awards, receiving nominations for Best Original Score and Best Supporting Actor (John Lithgow).

The movie highlights the importance of living authentically.

Garp’s quest for self-discovery and authenticity serves as a central theme, inspiring viewers to embrace their true selves and live life to the fullest.

The World According to Garp has achieved cult status.

Over the years, the movie has gained a dedicated fanbase, with many considering it a cult classic in the realm of independent cinema.

The film tackles societal issues.

The World According to Garp touches upon various societal issues such as sexual identity, feminism, and the complexities of human relationships.

The movie explores the blurred lines between fiction and reality.

Through Garp’s experiences as a writer, the film blurs the boundaries between fiction and reality, questioning the nature of storytelling and its impact on our perception of the world.

The World According to Garp features a memorable supporting cast.

From Mary Beth Hurt’s portrayal of Helen Holm to John Lithgow’s captivating performance as Roberta Muldoon, the movie is enriched by its talented supporting actors.

The film captures the essence of John Irving’s writing style.

The World According to Garp successfully translates John Irving’s distinct literary voice onto the screen, capturing the essence of his unique storytelling style.

The movie explores the concept of legacy.

Garp’s journey raises questions about the legacy we leave behind and the impact our actions have on future generations.

The World According to Garp received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score.

The film’s captivating musical score composed by David Shire earned it an Academy Award nomination in the Best Original Score category.

The movie remains a powerful reflection on the complexities of human existence.

The World According to Garp serves as a poignant reminder of the joys, sorrows, and paradoxes that shape our lives, offering a deep exploration of the human condition.

The film sparked renewed interest in John Irving’s novel.

Following the movie’s release, John Irving’s novel experienced a resurgence in popularity, with many viewers eager to delve deeper into the story.

The World According to Garp explores the boundaries of sexual identity.

The film portrays Garp’s complex journey of sexual exploration and identity, challenging societal notions and paving the way for important discussions surrounding gender and sexuality.

The movie features strong performances from its female cast.

Glenn Close and Mary Beth Hurt deliver powerhouse performances, showcasing the strength and complexity of their respective characters.

The World According to Garp delves into the impact of fame and success.

Garp’s journey from obscurity to fame explores the toll that success can take on one’s personal life and relationships.

The film explores the fragility of life.

Through moments of tragedy and loss, The World According to Garp reminds viewers of the delicate and unpredictable nature of life itself.

The movie draws attention to the often overlooked role of mothers.

Jenny Fields, Garp’s mother, takes on a central role in the story, challenging societal expectations and redefining the concept of motherhood.

The World According to Garp offers a satirical take on contemporary society.

The movie uses satire and wit to comment on various aspects of modern society, from politics to the media.

The film explores the pursuit of personal fulfillment.

Garp’s quest for personal fulfillment serves as a driving force in the film, inspiring viewers to reflect on their own desires and aspirations.

The World According to Garp features memorable and emotionally resonant scenes.

From moments of intense drama to heartwarming and poignant exchanges, the film is filled with scenes that stay with viewers long after the credits roll.

The movie challenges traditional notions of masculinity.

Through the character of Garp, The World According to Garp presents a nuanced exploration of masculinity, breaking away from stereotypes and embracing vulnerability.

The World According to Garp is a testament to the power of storytelling.

The film reinforces the idea that storytelling has the ability to touch hearts, provoke thoughts, and inspire change, both on an individual and societal level.

The movie offers a unique and thought-provoking viewing experience.

The World According to Garp stands as a testament to the power of cinema, inviting viewers to embark on a journey of self-discovery, reflection, and empathy.


The World According to Garp, directed by George Roy Hill and based on John Irving’s novel of the same name, is a captivating film that delves into the complexities of life and the human experience. With brilliant performances by Robin Williams, Glenn Close, and John Lithgow, the movie takes viewers on a journey filled with laughter, heartbreak, and thought-provoking moments.

The film explores various themes such as the pursuit of personal fulfillment, the complexities of relationships, and the unpredictable nature of life. It combines drama, comedy, and tragedy in a way that keeps audiences engaged from start to finish. The World According to Garp is a timeless classic that continues to resonate with viewers, reminding us of the power of storytelling and the universal struggles we all face.


1. Is “The World According to Garp” based on a true story?

No, the movie and the novel it is based on are works of fiction. However, author John Irving has drawn inspiration from his own life experiences to create the story.

2. Who plays the lead role in the film?

Robin Williams portrays the main character, T.S. Garp, in the movie. His performance is widely acclaimed and showcases his versatility as an actor.

3. What is the significance of the title “The World According to Garp”?

The title reflects the unique perspective of the protagonist, T.S. Garp, as he navigates through life’s challenges and tries to make sense of the world around him. It highlights the theme of individual perception and the subjective nature of reality.

4. Is the film suitable for all audiences?

The World According to Garp explores mature themes and contains explicit content. It is recommended for mature audiences due to its adult-oriented subject matter.

5. Did “The World According to Garp” receive any awards or nominations?

Yes, the film received two Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor (John Lithgow) and Best Supporting Actress (Glenn Close). It also received critical acclaim for its screenplay and performances.

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