Ordinary People (1980) Filming Locations

Location #1: The gazebo


East Center Avenue (near West Scranton Avenue), Lake Bluff, Illinois, United States

Location #2: The church


700 North Sheridan Road, Lake Forest, Illinois, United States

Location #3: School


Lake Forest High School, 1285 North McKinley Road, Lake Forest, Illinois, United States

Location #4: House of the family


1199 Lincoln Avenue South, Highland Park, Illinois, United States

Location #5: Psychiatrist’s office


Sheridan Road & Central Avenue, Highland Park, Illinois, United States

6 thoughts on “Ordinary People (1980) Filming Locations

  1. Jay J. Carley

    How about THE REST OF THE STORY of the filming of Ordinary People. There is no mention or credit given to Ft. Sheridan, Il were there were three sets and who constructed them. Look on the credits and there is no mention of carpenters, plumbers or electricians. I was there,I was the electrical led man, I wired the sets, I prepped the building and when filming was over I returned the building electrical to its origin. The local theatrical guild sent out personal that had little or no knowledge of the trades. The Government Employees from the Engineering yard worked after hours and on weekends to complete the tasks on hand. This was no small job. The instalation delivered on its promise to give the film crew the privacy they asked for and then when skilled labor was not available it allowed its work force to build the sets, assist with their expertise during filming and return the building to it origin. You can ask Ron Swore ( sorry Ron spelled your name wrong , its been a long time), the carpenter foreman, and even Robert, who was allowed to take his morning jogs around the post unharassed. So there is more to the story and so much credit that has and is not given. Jay J. Carley 608 797 5937. jaycarley@gmail.com

  2. Nat

    I saw this movie in my junior year in college, on my Thanksgiving break. I was so blown away by the acting and intensity and Redford’s directing that I sat in stunned silence for a long time after the credits rolled and continued to think about the movie for many days thereafter. This is my favorite movie of all time, and remains so to this day.

    Ordinary People has a special personal significance to me because my college neighbor was an extra in this film, and I could see him standing in the doorway, in partial silhouette, during Conrad’s fight with his former best friend outside the high school.

    I wish I could thank Robert Redford and the entire crew personally for this masterpiece. It’s just that special of a film.

  3. Tim Irish

    I was impressed when researching the film that select interiors were shot on sets constructed on a base outside of Chicago and far from the North Shore. These interiors were utterly convincing–so well-lit, so much of what they ought to be (two floors of the Jarrett house and the entirety of Berger’s office suite). The kitchen even had a plumbed sink with a working garbage disposal for that important shot when Beth efficiently tosses Conrad’s breakfast down the drain. This was outstanding work. When I look back at the film so many years later, I am still convinced by the authenticity of these interiors.

  4. Justin

    OMG, this blog post is amazing. Yes this film is like a very dear friend to me. I’m disappointed and amazed any of this was shot on a set. Disappointed because I’d like to think the acting happened in real houses but amazed because it looked so real. The other amazing thing about this film is the roles are flipped. It’s usually the father that’s the hard ass and the mother encouraging one. It just melts my heart when I see the scenes with Donald Sutherland. Whenever I need a good cry THIS is the film I go to. And every time I watch it I catch a new theme or angle. Such the sign of great art/literature. Thank you all for such a wonderful job.


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