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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

True to the Novel's heart

Author: ladyillana from United States
5 August 2005

This is a good version of the Michelle Magorian novel, "Back Home". It stays focused on the novel's central premise of learning to understand one another particularly after changes wrought in difficult circumstances, and really lets the viewer see how a young girl who has spent 5 year in America is vilified and discouraged when she returns to Post WWII Britain and the unfriendly and strange environment of boarding school. The movie does "Disneyfy" the ending and glosses over the intense family strain that occurs in the last chapters of the novel, but all in all it is a nice version and well worth watching. Too bad it's out of print.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A girl is evacuated to America at the start of World WarII and returns to England after the war

Author: dnels from Dallas, Texas
21 March 1999

This is a wonderful film, which tells how a little girl who was exiled from England to Connecticut at the start of World War II returns to England after the war and is unable to adjust because she tries to apply what she learned in America and everything she does is misinterpreted. There are some delightful scenes such as the time when mother and daughter play hide and seek with their son, and the time when the only one who is kind to Rusty helps her with her Latin.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Home Sweet Home?

Author: lord woodburry ( from The Society NY
3 October 2005

Meet Virginia "Rusty" Dickinson (Hayley Carr) a preteen whose returned to England after spending the war years (World War II 1939-45) in Canada away from her mother Mrs. Peggy Dickinson (Hayley Carr). Her father has just been discharged from the Army. Rusty rather amiably greets her new born brother with a bright hello as the family tries to re-adjust to each other. The father is a rather harsh and moody sort winding down from his war time experiences. The mood can vary from unpleasant to terrifying.

Will the family explode into a more deadly type of war or will they settle into peaceful co-existence? Hayley Carr plays the role of Rusty with a sparkling innocence reminiscent of a young Hayley Mills and not unsurprisingly Hayley Carr also played Pollyanna.

The photography is hazy enough to impart the very feel of an early grainy color flick from the period, the 1940s or early 50s.

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Lifeless but also very Disney

Author: Jossgod (
18 November 2015

While no book has ever been made into an exact film, this Disney version of Michelle Magorian's book at least has the bones of the story down, but the body is quite listless and bloodless. The emotion, painful and joyful, has been drained out. While the book includes Rusty's inner thoughts here we get none of that and end up only skimming along the surface of the character and her story. Her extreme misery, to the point of a near suicide attempt, is glossed over or completely missing. The writers deleted outright a number of characters, greatly pared-down the ones left, and somehow manage to nearly delete an entire World War and the hardships is caused in England that were completely foreign to a girl who'd spent that time in America.

After reading "Back Home" watching the film makes me feel like I'm living through story and character rationing. I guess I'll just have to Keep Strong and Read The Book.

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2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

As close to the book as you can get!

Author: Darlawood80 from Southern New Jersey USA
12 December 2002

I saw this movie a couple of times and read the book too. The movie I would say is generally sad. It seems no one understands or listens to Virginia except for this one boy that she is not allowed to see because she is in boarding school, and I can entirely relate to her expieriences, though not during that time. To me the girl shouldn't of been sent to the states in the first place because back in 1940 there were plenty of resources for children besides sailing abroad. This movie is a real tear crying movie, unless you can bear with it.

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