7.1/10
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13 user 11 critic

The Homecoming (1973)

PG | | Drama | 16 April 1977 (France)
In a dreary North London flat, the site of perpetual psychological warfare, a philosophy professor visits his family after a nine-year absence, and introduces the four men, father, uncle, and two brothers, to his wife.

Director:

Peter Hall

Writers:

Harold Pinter (play), Harold Pinter (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Paul Rogers ... Max
Ian Holm ... Lenny
Cyril Cusack ... Sam
Terence Rigby ... Joey
Michael Jayston ... Teddy
Vivien Merchant ... Ruth
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Storyline

Max is a surly pensioner who alternately venerates and vilifies his dead wife. Sam, his brother, is a supercilious chauffeur. Lenny is a smiling, snake-like pimp. Joey is a thick-witted, would-be boxer. These four men live together in a North London flat, the site of their perpetual sadomasochistic battle of words and sometimes physical violence. And then after nine years, Max's third son, Teddy, a philosophy professor living in California, comes back home for a visit. He brings his wife, Ruth. She is immediately drawn in to the family's ugly psychological games and quickly proves a worthy opponent. Soon, the game involves both of Teddy's brothers taking extreme liberties with Ruth, as the coiled Teddy obstinately refuses to spoil the malicious fun by objecting. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The share the house. They share the food. They share Teddy's wife. Such a nice happy family.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 April 1977 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Harold Pinter's The Homecoming See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

MGM first announced this in 1967, with John Frankenheimer as director. See more »

Quotes

Ruth: How many rooms would this flat have?
Lenny: Not many.
Ruth: I would want at least three rooms and a bathroom.
Lenny: You wouldn't need three rooms and a bathroom.
Max: She'd need a bathroom.
Lenny: But not three rooms.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jake's Progress (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

does it work as a film?
1 December 2003 | by Fiona-39See all my reviews

As the above comments reveal, this is a wonderful, deeply disturbing, but also riotously comic play. I did it for English 'A' level which was pure madness - difficult enough getting my head round it at my now considerably more advanced age. Having seen Ian Holm give a riveting performance in London as Max, I really leapt at the chance to see this as the local arts cinema and it was gripping. Ian Holm was fantastic, with more than a touch of the Del Boy about him (re-watch the play and see its Only Fools and Horses connections- the grotty flat, the brother-uncle-father dynamic, the dead worshipped prostitute mother etc) and Teddy was played with a wonderful swagger. The scene where all four of them stand in a corridor lighting their cigars was comic and tragic and menacing in the best way. But I really wonder how cinematic any of this was? You have the feeling of watching theatrical performance preserved in aspic rather than a film. The scene outside the flat was contrived and unnecessary and other than that pretty much all the action took place in one room. I feel we lost rather than gained from the live experience of watching a play. But, not having been alive when this film was made, it does mean I get to get a glimpse of a towering production of an amazing play. And that can't be a bad thing.


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