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Temple Grandin

4.9 out of 5 stars 2,060 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Based on the writings by its title subject, HBO Films’ Temple Grandin is an engaging portrait of an autistic young woman who became, through timely mentoring and sheer force of will, one of America’s most remarkable success stories.

It doesn't take long to see that Temple Grandin, the main character in this eponymous HBO movie, is, well, different--she (in the person of Claire Danes, who plays her) tells us before the credits start that she's "not like other people." But "different" is not "less." Indeed, Grandin, who is now in her 60s, has accomplished a good deal more than a great many "normal" folks, let alone others afflicted with the autism that Grandin overcame on her way to earning a doctorate and becoming a bestselling author and a pioneer in the humane treatment of livestock. It wasn't easy. The doctor who diagnosed her at age 4 said she'd never talk and would have to be institutionalized. Only through the dogged efforts of her mother (Julia Ormond), who was told that "lack of bonding" with her child might have caused the autism, did Grandin learn to speak; to go to high school, college, and grad school; and to become a highly productive scientist, enduring the cruel taunts of her classmates and the resistance of many of the adults in her life (most of whom are shown as either narrow-minded prigs or macho, chauvinist jerks). Her lack of social skills and sometimes violent reactions to the overstimulation in her environment made it tough to fit in, to say the least. Danes, who is in nearly every scene of director Mick Jackson's film, is remarkable, embodying Grandin's various idiosyncrasies (such as talking, too loud, too fast, and too much) without resorting to caricature. Jackson does a marvelous job of depicting not only her actual accomplishments (among other things, she took the "squeeze machine" created to "gentle" upset cattle and adapted it for herself, using it to replace the hugs she never got as a child; later on, she revolutionized the systems used to prepare cows for slaughter, as well as the design of the slaughterhouses themselves), but also her more abstract talents, especially the extraordinary visual acuity that enables her to remember virtually everything she's ever seen. This is mostly Danes's film, but the whole cast is top-notch, especially Ormond, Catherine O'Hara as Temple's aunt, and David Strathairn as one of the few teachers who saw Grandin's potential. Captivating, compelling, and thoroughly entertaining, Temple Grandin is highly recommended. --Sam Graham

Special Features

Commentary by Dr. Temple Grandin, director Mick Jackson, and writer Christopher Monger
The Making of Temple Grandin

Product Details

  • Actors: Claire Danes, Julia Ormond, David Strathairn, Catherine O'Hara
  • Directors: Mick Jackson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: August 17, 2010
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,060 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0038M2AZA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,066 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Temple Grandin" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am autistic, high functioning, like Temple Grandin is, as well as being a visual thinker. It is often very hard to explain to people in words what it is like, or why it's hard for me to do somethings NTs (neurotypicals or nonautistics for those that don't know) have no issues with, or why somethings bother me severely. I usually get reactions that just being lazy or whining over nothing, when it's much more than that.

This film accurately captures what it is like for me, at least. (Autism is extremely diverse, and what's true for one autistic won't be true for all) And I finally have something I can show my friends and family and point to and say "This is what I've been trying to explain."

Beyond the fact that I can simply relate to much of experiences and difficulties (at least in relation to autism), this film is extremely well made, and highly recommended. It is highly enjoyable and entertaining to watch regardless of whether or not you you have any connection to autism. Temple's life and character is an inspiration to all, and the lessons of her life can apply to anyone across the board.

Do watch.
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My husband and I watched this movie last night for the first time. We are as different as night and day but this movie had both of us riveted from beginning to end. It opens up the door to a wealth of insight on autism. Once I finished the movie I did some internet research on Temple Grandin and was blown away at how one person's life experiences can have such an impact in the world. I am so excited to share this movie with my children. It will be one more teaching tool to show them how important it is to embrace all people simply because they are people. As Temple's mother is quoted in the movie as saying, "She is different, not less." What a great life lesson to pass on to both young and old in this world.
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I watched this movie last night on HBO. This was an outstanding movie at many levels. What struck me most intensely was the thought of what could have been. Temple is old enough where her life and contributions might have been diverted into a dark place of institutional placements. The movie did a wonderful job of showing her strengths and weaknesses (smacking a teasing bully who deserved it). Yet, that alone could have brought her significant, negative attention with a corresponding nasty outcome. It was clear that people who saw her gifts allowed Temple the thrills and satisfaction of self expression. Her ability to see things normal brains do not see is extraordinary to learn about. The changes in her chosen (cattle) industry were significant because she saw the world so differently. Things done a certain way for decades and decades take a very powerful force to cause change. As a society we stopped institutionalization for people with differences. One wonders how many Temple Grandin's did not escape that dehumanized fate. The movie makes you consider how many other systems we take for granted that could use a Temple Grandin approach to trying another way.
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This is an absolutely well done and quite inspiring movie. It isn't sentimental and Claire Danes does a superb job as Temple Grandin (in fact, I didn't even recognize her at first) as does David Strathairn as the integral teacher who helped Temple transition from home to school and also advocated for her when other teachers were skeptical.

It is worth noting, early on, that viewers can opt to hear the actual Temple Grandin, not the actress, describing her reaction to every scene of the movie. We watched it both ways and each has so much to offer. Temple's reaction to the movie is very engaging. Now more about the movie....

Claire Danes,in her role as Temple, shows how challenging every part of life could be for someone with autism,from childhood on. I hope this one goes far to help people understand the enigma that is autism and to stop fearing someone who looks and acts so differently. I am especially in awe of how the director and actors didn't sugar coat the realities of autism. I watched this with one son who asked, "What is wrong with her?" and came away from the movie with a new understanding of autism.

Every part of this movie reveals a new challenge for Temple and that makes it riveting. She has trouble adapting to the smallest changes. She doesn't like to be touched. Going through doors, especially automatic ones, is terrifying. Other students in college tease her. Again, Claire Danes shines in her role, never breaking character. This movie belongs in the library of anyone who has an autistic child, teachers of special ed students and anyone who wants to watch a superb film.

However (and I still believe this movie deserves a 5 star review), I have a few quibbles, minor ones.
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6 Comments 77 of 78 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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This is an exceptional movie! Temple Grandin has made it possible for me to actually understand why my son gets upset when there is a sudden or loud noise, or even when I am talking a bit loudly sitting next to him. It does cause extreme pain. The visual and increased sound the movie links together at different moments throughout the movie give us a clear understanding that I had not been able to reach on my own. Temple's mother shows us that people with autism/asperger's syndrome are indeed "different, but not less". Something I have been trying to get across to many people throughout the years. Seeing how Temple's mother would not give up made me realize I am not alone. The public school district psychologist told me my son would never have an IQ past 1st grade level. I would not accept that! I worked with him, got him into a Christian school that was open-minded and open-hearted. This year he will graduate from a christian college prep school with minor modifications and attend college next year. Temple and her mother are great examples that anything is possible......just don't give up. Those who have enjoyed this movie and have been inspired by it will also enjoy seeing a movie also released this year called, "Adam".
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Has anyone gotten scratched or otherwise defective discs of Temple Grandin?
I have a dic bought unopened and you play it 3/4 thru and it hangs up. Really need this it is going to be a gift to a special needs family. Any ideas?
Nov 19, 2011 by Karen Downing |  See all 3 posts
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