Terms of Endearment (1983)

Terms Of Endearment is one of my top ten films of all time.  The ultimate tearjerker, it was released in 1983 to critical and commercial acclaim. Shot in Texas and my home state of Nebraska, I remember hearing about them shooting a movie in Lincoln but I wasn't too familiar with the cast at the time.  Now I realize what a big deal it was, especially such a successful and long-loved film.  And yes, I know it is weird that it has taken me so long to do locations less than an hour from my house when I got to LA nearly four times year for the same thing!  Okay, let's get started.  

First up, we have the home of Aurora (Shirley MacLaine).  Located at 3060 Locke Lane in Houston, Texas, this was truly sacred ground for me.  I had been wanting to see this house for so long and finally got the chance when I was following Madonna on tour earlier in the year. It has barely changed at all, thankfully.

"Sure be nice to have a mother somebody liked."  Here we get a look at the house for Garrett (Jack Nicholson), located next door at 3068 Locke Lane in Houston.

A shot from across the street.  I didn't bring my camera crane to replicate the shot in the movie...

"You're my sweet ass gal."  Emma (Debra Winger) and Flap (Jeff Daniels) move into a garage apartment next to the house located at 1148 Heights Boulevard in Houston, however all the scenes take place on the 12th Street side of the house.

"Why should I, why should I be happy about being a grandmother!?!"   Aurora bolts out of the house to see Garrett coming home next door...

"The phone bill is going to be enormous, you know that."   Emma, Flap, and Tommy move from Houston...

"Pull away slow."  Flap takes off down the street.  You'll notice one of the trees has pink flowers that were tied onto it to add some color to the shot.

"I know you're kidding me, Texas is the best."  This shot is on I-80 between Lincoln and Omaha around exit 409.  I've been through here a hundred times, but never took a picture, so this is from Google streetview.

"We're going to see some terrific new things, we are."  The Texas state line is actually in Lincoln on Highway 2 near Pioneers Boulevard.

"There is something wrong with you." Garrett asks Aurora out on a date....

"Oh, Flap, it's great."  The family arrive at their new house in "Des Moines" which was actually in Lincoln, Nebraska.  The house is gone and has been replaced with apartments, located at 1340 F Street, but the house was actually on South 14th Street. You can see the red brick building in the background in a couple shots as well as the state capitol building.

"Stand up and follow me and don't make me hit you on the street!"   Emma finds the boys outside the St. Mary's Catholic Church at 1420 K Street in Lincoln.

"Wait over by the car, honey!"   The grocery store was located at 1265 South Cotner Boulevard in Lincoln. The circle signage is still there and the structure is intact, although the stores behind it have new awnings.

"12:30?"  "12:00"  Leaving her birthday party, Aurora finally accepts the lunch date invitation from Garrett....

"Grown women are prepared for life's little emergencies. " And they are off on their date!

"I am going to stop!"  I did not visit this location, but it is located in Galveston, Texas.

They arrive at the restaurant, Brennan's at 3300 Smith Street in Houston, Texas.  The awning across the street is still there.  The outer set of doors were open or non-existent during filming, and the interior doors are slightly different now, but I did my best to replicate the shot.

"Impatient boys sometimes miss dessert!"  The host at the restaurant was super nice and took me back to what they call the "Terms of Endearment" room where Aurora and Garrett eat lunch on their date. This was an unexpected bonus for this visit as I wasn't expecting to get any interior shots of the restaurant.

"I guess we shouldn't talk about Dotty."  Emma and Sam (John Lithgow) are driving to a farmhouse.  Another location that I should have easily gotten already, but I haven't, this is the road surrounding the Lincoln airport.  I have found the farmhouse and will hopefully go visit it soon!

"You parked in my driveway, you're breaking the law."   Aurora and Garrett arrive home from their first date.

"Flap you're such a...."  "Incredible asshole!"  Back to the Iowa campus, which is actually the University of Nebraska Lincoln . This is another spot I walked past hundreds of times when I went to school there, but never took a picture. The greenhouses are long gone, but the other buildings are the same.  Emma walks past Bessey Hall and see Flap in front of Oldfather Hall.

Flap chases Emma through the campus, the large white building in the background is Hamilton Hall on the UNL campus.

"Stop jiggling her like that, she's going to throw up!"  The follow shots are a few buildings away.  The Tempe Theatre building with the pillars can be seen in the background, but with the extension of the College of Business Administration on the right, it can no longer be seen like it was in the movie.

"Dr. Horton, can I speak to you about my grades?"   They finally stop in front of Love Library on the UNL campus, where I actually worked a semester or two. This same area was also used when Jack Nicholson visits his old fraternity in About Schmidt.

"It's like looking in a mirror!"  Emma and the kids arrive back home...

"I think being uprooted with my kids without my consent is at least worth a pout, don't you?" Another shot of the "Des Moines" house.  Here you can the brick building behind the house in the alley a bit better.

"Excuse me, miss?  Miss?" Now we are at "Kearney State College" which is played by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as well.  Here is Architecture Hall.  I had taken classes here and do remember the hallways looking the same, but when I went back years later, I couldn't find anything on the interior that matched up.

"I don't think there's an emotion that you're having that I couldn't.... validate" Back in front of Architecture Hall, everything is mostly same.

"Give my daughter the shot!!!!"  The hospital is Bryan Medical Center at 2300 South 16th Street in Lincoln. The production used a whole floor of the hospital for interiors.

"Hi granny."  Aurora arrives back at the hotel.  Our family actually stayed here about a year after the movie came out and everything was exactly the same at that point.  During my visit, they were going through major renovations, but they still have a game room and the tables might be the same too!  It is located at 5250 Cornhusker Highway in Lincoln, Nebraska.

"Who would've expected you to be a nice guy?"  Garrett shows up to be with Aurora. Unfortunately, they have gotten rid of the original railing so I couldn't replicate the shots exactly, but it is basically the same with the same room numbers.

"I love you, too, kid."  Aurora says farewell to Garrett at the Lincoln Airport at 2400 West Adams Street. The airport was also briefly seen in Yes Man.

"Our mother was too lazy to check it out."  Back at the hospital.  The entry way and part of the building has changed quite a bit, so I wasn't able to screen match the shots, but I think there is an original bench or two left over.

"I'm sorry but I can't have you criticizing your mother around me." The building adjacent to the main entrance has changed very little since filming. 

"I'm so stupid.  I'm so stupid, somehow I thought that when she finally went, that it would be a relief."  This film and that line gets me every time, no matter how many times I've seen it...


Below are a couple publicity shots taken from Aurora's driveway at the Houston location.  You can also check out the locations for the sequel, The Evening Star.

As a special treat for fans, I was able to find the movie premiere booklet which has some great behind the scenes photos.  

Some of you may not know that Troy Bishop, whose first role was in Terms of Endearment, has a cameo as one of the expelled students in Scream.  He turned into quite the hunk!