IMDb > Housekeeping (1987)
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Housekeeping (1987) More at IMDbPro »

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Housekeeping -- Utterly offbeat and quirky, Bill Forsyth's funny and often touching film stars Christine Lahti as an eccentric aunt who comes out to the Pacific Northwest to live with her orphaned nieces. They soon discover she's no ordinary mom with her rich fantasy life and cluttered house filled knee-keep with newspapers and tin cans.
Housekeeping -- Open-ended Trailer from Columbia


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Popularity: ?
Down 19% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Marilynne Robinson (novel)
Bill Forsyth (screenplay)
View company contact information for Housekeeping on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
January 1988 (USA) See more »
The story of a woman slightly distracted by the possibilities of life. See more »
In the Pacific Northwest during the 1950's, two young sisters whose mother has abandoned them wind up living with their Aunt Sylvie... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
3 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
very close to the book See more (30 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Christine Lahti ... Sylvie
Sara Walker ... Ruth
Andrea Burchill ... Lucille
Anne Pitoniak ... Aunt Lily
Barbara Reese ... Aunt Nona
Margot Pinvidic ... Helen
Bill Smillie ... Sheriff

Wayne Robson ... Principal
Betty Phillips ... Mrs. Jardine
Karen Elizabeth Austin ... Mrs. Paterson
Dolores Drake ... Mrs. Walker (as Delores Drake)
Georgie Collins ... Grandmother
Tonya Tanner ... Young Ruth
Leah Penny ... Young Lucille
Brian Linds ... Deputy Sheriff
Clayton W. Okell ... Boy on Cliff
Clay Barton ... Boy on Cliff
Erik Richardson ... Sandy
Bob Hughes ... Charlie
Sheila Paterson ... Bernice
Judi Pustil ... Ice Cream Lady
Ron Koukal ... Gas Station Attendant
Bob Elsdon ... Grandmother's Friend
Hans 'Fritz' Farenholtz ... Grandmother's Friend (as Hans 'Fritz' Farenholtz)
Enid Saunders ... Etta
Mike Daley ... Hobo
Gunter Voight ... Hobo
Isobel Louie ... Woman on Train
Antony Holland ... Mr. Wallace
Elizabeth Strong ... Mrs. Dickson
Juli Bailey ... Georgette
Tiffany Ward ... Marie
Jeannette Grittani ... Miss Royce
Adrian Naqvi ... Grandpa as a Young Boy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Michael Davidoff ... Fisherman

Directed by
Bill Forsyth 
Writing credits
Marilynne Robinson (novel "Housekeeping")

Bill Forsyth (screenplay)

Produced by
Robert F. Colesberry .... producer
Original Music by
Michael Gibbs 
Cinematography by
Michael Coulter (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Michael Ellis 
Casting by
Lynne Carrow 
Production Design by
Adrienne Atkinson 
Art Direction by
John Willett 
Set Decoration by
Jim Erickson 
Costume Design by
Mary-Jane Reyner 
Makeup Department
Susan Boyd .... hair stylist
Sandy Cooper .... makeup artist
Thom MacIntyre .... assistant hair stylist (as Tom McIntyre)
Maurice Parkhurst .... makeup artist
Production Management
Wayne P. Black .... assistant production manager
Robert Frederick .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Richard Cowan .... third assistant director
Lee Knippelberg .... first assistant director
David Rollin Webb .... second assistant director (as David Webb)
Art Department
Gary Pembroke Allen .... stand-by scenic artist (as Gary Allen)
Dave Ball .... set dresser
Jim Birkel .... carpenter
Bob Bottieri .... head painter
Stephen Campbell .... painter: oil paintings (as Steven Campbell)
Doug Carnegie .... prop buyer
Graham Coutts .... property master
Nancy Ford .... art department assistant
Arthur A. Green .... assistant greensman (as Art Green)
David Hopkins .... painter
Philip Jean .... carpenter (as Phil Jean)
Della Mae Johnston .... assistant set decorator
David Lewis .... assistant greensman
Rob Moser .... stand-by carpenter
Victoria Olginsky .... painter
Brian Price .... carpenter
Mike Rennison .... carpenter
John Ridington .... draftsman
Jon Ringbom .... scenic artist
Phil Schmidt .... assistant prop master
Jenny Seinen .... painter
Michael J. Siver .... head greensman (as Mike J. Siver)
Randy Tan .... construction coordinator
Steve Wright .... carpenter
John G. Anderson .... construction buyer (uncredited)
John Blackie .... additional art director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Alan Bell .... sound editor
Christopher Cook .... assistant sound editor
Richard Dunford .... dialogue editor
Michael Feinberg .... assistant sound editor
John Harling .... boom operator (as John L. Harling)
Charles Ireland .... assistant sound editor
Jacques Leroide .... foley editor
Ralph Parker .... sound mixer
Clive Pendry .... sound re-recording mixer
Hugh Strain .... sound re-recording mixer
Special Effects by
Rory Cutler .... special effects best boy
John Thomas .... special effects coordinator
Visual Effects by
Tim Donahue .... special visual effects: Introvision
David Stump .... special visual effects: Introvision
William Mesa .... visual effects supervisor (uncredited)
David B. Sharp .... lead model maker (uncredited)
David Stump .... effects director of photography (uncredited)
Betty Thomas Quee .... stunt player (as Betty Thomas)
Camera and Electrical Department
David R. Anderson .... gaffer (as David P. Anderson)
Roberto Contreras .... second assistant camera
Bruno Engler .... still photographer
Glen Forrieter .... best boy grip
Dave Gordon .... key grip (as David B. Gordon)
Paul Guenette .... camera trainee
Ron MacLeay .... third grip (as Ron Macleay)
Blair McDonald .... electrician
Rod Pridy .... first assistant camera
Carrie Sasaratt .... second assistant camera
John W. Scott .... electrician (as John Scott)
Steve Vincent .... generator operator
Tony Westman .... camera operator
Al White .... dolly grip
Len Wolfe .... best boy electric
Kosto Zeviar .... electrician (as Kosta Zeviar)
Roberto W. Contreras D. .... assistant camera (uncredited)
John W. Scott .... lighting technician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Nancy B. Black .... extras casting (as Nancy Black)
Margery Simkin .... casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Abby Benjamin .... costumer (as Abbey Benjamin)
Glenne Campbell .... seamstress
Maureen Hiscox .... assistant costume designer
Linda Lee Langdon .... costume supervisor
Patricia Smith .... cutter
Editorial Department
Richard Martin .... first assistant editor: Canada
Debra Rurak .... second assistant editor: Canada
Anne Sopel .... first assistant editor
Tony Tromp .... second assistant editor (as Tony Trompetto)
Music Department
Paul Holderbaum .... orchestrator
Alan Snelling .... music mixer
Transportation Department
Elaine Barrett .... driver
Bob Dennett .... driver
Daryl Hadley .... driver
Glenn J. Harrison-Jones .... transportation co-captain (as Glenn Harrison Jones)
Ken 'KJ' Johnson .... transportation captain
Robert MacLean .... driver (as Bob McLean)
Carol McDonald .... transportation co-captain
Rory Moffatt .... driver
Robert Steeves .... driver (as Rob Steeves)
Ian 'Moss' Urquhart .... transportation coordinator
Other crew
Shelly Adams .... catering
Blue Angus .... catering (as Mark Blue Angus)
Lynn Barr .... assistant production coordinator
Julianne Berdrow .... assistant accountant (as Julie Anne Berdrow)
Lukia Czernin .... office production assistant
Elaine Fleming .... production coordinator
George Horie .... assistant location manager
Scott F. Mathers .... location manager
Jim Mathews .... production accountant
Chris B. Murray .... assistant animal trainer
Vince Nicholson .... animal trainer
Franco Pante .... production assistant
Brigitte Prochaska .... unit publicist
Pat Rambaut .... script supervisor
Joanne Ryan .... craft service
Joanne Ryan .... first aid
Leah Semenoff .... production assistant
N. John Smith .... boat coordinator (as John Smith)
Graham Thorne .... catering
Lisa Clarkson .... thanks
Louise Coulter .... special thanks
Patricia Freebury .... special thanks
Anthony Jones .... special thanks
Toni Kalem .... special thanks
Karen Levinson .... special thanks
Gabriella Martinelli .... special thanks
Bob Montgomery .... special thanks
Dianne Neufeld .... special thanks: Vancouver Film Commission
Nellie Nugiel .... special thanks
Bonita Pietila .... special thanks (as Bonnie Pietila)
Gerald Rotering .... special thanks (as Mayor Gerald Rotering)
Rita Ryack .... special thanks
Leonard Schien .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
116 min
Color (Rankcolor)
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Diane Keaton was originally cast as Sylvie but left due to creative differences.See more »
Ruth:It must be his boat.
Sylvie:That or he's some sort of lunatic. Either way, I'm not going back to find out.
See more »
Goodnight IreneSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
12 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
very close to the book, 20 April 2005
Author: garko-1 from United States

great film, but probably the most misrepresentative ad campaign i've ever seen for a movie. this is NOT a comedy. Christine Lahti's Sylvia is NOT a one dimensional free-spirit. she is disturbed, as is the entire family. this translates perfectly from the book, as does the film's look and emotional atmosphere.

as for the opinion that Sylvia is a Pied Piper, that's just wrong. she could care less if anyone follows in her path. it just so happens that her niece is seduced by virtue of what i would interpret as instinct. the family has a long history of breaking from the norm, much to its detriment. the niece is merely fulfilling her filial destiny.

to say that the story presents a polemic about nonconformity shortchanges the viewer from the complexity of emotions that it evokes. there is no argument. this is just the way things turn out for these folks. and in my opinion, the ending leaves us questioning, just as it does in the book, how much control we have over destiny.

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See more (30 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Housekeeping (1987)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
A note to All Who Love this Film READ THE BOOK too! mad19571
final scene ossetra
Trivia kagriver
HOUSEKEEPING is finally on dvd. bryanholwerda
Currently showing on Film 4 in the UK cpfjones
I emailed a request for this movie at the Criterion site. latte_artist
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