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The Turning (1992)

R | | Drama | 2 May 1992 (USA)
A white supremacist returns to his hometown for the first time in years to try and save his parents' relationship.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Michael Dolan ...
...
...
Jim Simmons ...
Mayor
Madison Arnold ...
Mr. Cavanaugh
...
Vivian Sinott
John Newton ...
Mr. Creasy
William B. O'Boyle ...
Pete Tarosky (as Bill O'Boyle)
Murphy Larson ...
Rita Smithson
Michael P. Moran ...
Jim McCutcheon
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Storyline

After 4 years, Clifford Harnish returns to his hometown of Pocahontas, Virginia, hoping to save his family and make for himself the happy childhood he never had. Unfortunately, he has arrived just in time to see his parents' divorce made final. He also gets to watch his mother sink into an alcoholic depression while his father builds a new life with a new woman. Soon Cliff decides to take matters into his own hands, using the methods he learned while traipsing the country with Neo-Nazis. Adapted from the play "Home Fires Burning." Written by Chris Holland <stomptokyo@aol.com>

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Taglines:

Ruby Ridge... Waco... Oklahoma City... Now, he's coming home. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some terror and language, and for a scene of sexuality. | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

2 May 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Home Fires Burning  »

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(Technicolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Raymond J. Barry would work in The X Files, even he wouldn't ever shared any secuence with Gillian Anderson. See more »

Connections

References Modern Times (1936) See more »

Soundtracks

Make Up And Faded Blue Jeans
Written by Merle Haggard
Performed by Merle Haggard
Courtesy of MCA Records
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User Reviews

 
"Grab hold of that thing and give it a yank."
6 March 2001 | by (England) – See all my reviews

The Turning resulted in possibly the most exploitative advertising campaign in video retail history. Released in England during the peak of X-Files popularity, the video cover was a single shot of Gillian Anderson, her hands tentatively grasping her blouse. The implication was clear – it screamed out "this is a film where Scully goes topless."

As it turns out, Anderson, billed fifth, appears for less than eight minutes of the 88-minute running time, sporting a ludicrous "southern" accent. Her exposed breasts, never seen in full anyway, occupy less than ten seconds of screen time. Maybe really sad X-File fans would be satisfied with around half a minute of her bare back.

You might think that this served people right, that it was scores of masturbatory X-File fans getting their just desserts. But I think exploiting people in such a transparent way is very cruel, not to say dishonest. Her minor role, and the fact that her sexuality plays no real part in proceedings, even causes the cover to be questionably within the trade descriptions act.

So what of the film itself? Well, the story centres on Clifford, a character whom I couldn't decide whether he had learning difficulties or was just played that way. I don't mean that remark in bad taste, by the way – he really is portrayed like that. Questions over what kind of person he is are subtly built up by having him wearing a T-shirt with a swastika on it. Just in case you don't get the message, the incidental music helpfully contains a few "hails!" when he talks. That said, Michael Dolan does give a reasonable performance, much better than most of his co-stars, who were surely familiar with the words "TV" and "Movie" being in close proximity.

The dialogue often resorts to platitudes, though is generally inoffensively mediocre. One humorous moment is where Clifford describes "the three of us" (him, his mother and his father) and – whether intentionally or not I do not know – paraphrases Casablanca, with "don't add up to a stack o'cows**t." Humphrey would have been proud.

The adequate direction steals one or two riffs from Deliverance, though fails to build up any sense of tangible menace. The rather so-so domestic tale of a bunch of estranged rednecks; they could easily be guests on the Jerry Springer Show under the title "My Son Is A Nazi". Not bad, not great, this is a film that has "average" written all the way through it. Just one question – why is it called The Turning???


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