The Homecoming

Overview

In The Homecoming, adapted from the play by Harold Pinter, Michael Jayston brings his wife Vivien Merchant home to visit his long-estranged family. Jayston's father Paul Rogers is a washout, his uncle Cyril Cusack is on the edge of senility, and his brothers Ian Holm and Terence Rigby are, respectively, a slimy pimp and a brutish boxer. The sparser the dialogue, the thicker the tension in the air. Though British in origin, The Homecoming was presented as part of the American ...
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Overview

In The Homecoming, adapted from the play by Harold Pinter, Michael Jayston brings his wife Vivien Merchant home to visit his long-estranged family. Jayston's father Paul Rogers is a washout, his uncle Cyril Cusack is on the edge of senility, and his brothers Ian Holm and Terence Rigby are, respectively, a slimy pimp and a brutish boxer. The sparser the dialogue, the thicker the tension in the air. Though British in origin, The Homecoming was presented as part of the American Film Theatre series.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Probably the finest of the American Film Theatre productions of the '70s, The Homecoming is a bleakly comic, brutal, and undeniably powerful adaptation of the Harold Pinter stage classic. Pinter, of course, is essentially known for two things -- his famous pauses and his ambiguity of meaning. Both are present in Homecoming, but it's important to point out that "ambiguity of meaning" does not mean "ambiguity of emotion." The viewer may have to guess a bit at meaning (as he does in life), but the emotions that these characters feel are crystal clear and presented in all their roaring power. The family in Homecoming are all prisoners -- of their feelings, their relationships, their resentments and their pasts. They wail, they flail, they tear, they argue, they scream, they laugh, they mock, they suppress -- all in a vain attempt to escape, not realizing that they lack the one thing that would allow them to escape -- the will and the courage to face the unknown. Director Peter Hall has masterfully captured all of the pain and humor in the text, creating a claustrophobic cinematic prison that forces the viewer to be not only in the same room as these people but practically sitting on their laps. Hall's work is incredibly assured, with hardly a false step throughout. The same can be said of the incredible cast, each one of which mines every last inch of their characters and creates unforgettable portraits that make the viewer flinch and laugh at the same time. Homecoming is a textbook lesson in how to bring Pinter to the screen without diluting his effectiveness -- and perhaps even heightening it.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/22/2003
  • UPC: 738329043537
  • Original Release: 1973
  • Rating:

  • Source: Kino Video
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Cyril Cusack Sam
Ian Holm Lenny
Michael Jayston Teddy
Vivien Merchant Ruth
Terence Rigby Joey
Paul Rogers Max
Technical Credits
Peter Hall Director
Mort Abrahams Executive Producer
Joan Bridge Costumes/Costume Designer
John Bury Production Designer
Elizabeth Haffenden Costumes/Costume Designer
Ely Landau Producer
Rex Pike Editor
Harold Pinter Screenwriter
Otto Plaschkes Executive Producer, Producer
Jack Stephens Art Director
Jack Stevens Art Director
David Watkin Cinematographer
Henry T. Weinstein Producer
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