Robert Redford chose to adapt Judith Guest's novel as his first directorial effort, with impressive results. Timothy Hutton (son of actor Jim Hutton) also debuts here, as Conrad, a potentially suicidal teen who is consumed with guilt over the drowning death of his brother (Doebler),
compounded by the resentment his mother (Moore, in an astounding performance that made a dramatic departure from her clean-cut image) directs at him for having survived. As tensions mount, Conrad's father (Sutherland) becomes increasingly distanced from his wife and depressed by his inability to
communicate with, let alone restore, his family. After a friend (Manoff) kills herself, Conr...