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Home Movies (1979)

PG | | Comedy | 10 April 1980 (Italy)
Keith Gordon is a creative young man who films the oddball doings of his family and peers. "The Maestro" appears frequently to give him pointers on his techniques. It's almost a film about ... See full summary »

Director:

Brian De Palma

Writers:

Kim Ambler, Brian De Palma (story) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nancy Allen ... Kristina
Mary Davenport Mary Davenport ... Mrs. Byrd
Kirk Douglas ... Dr. Tuttle 'The Maestro'
Vincent Gardenia ... Doctor Byrd
Keith Gordon ... Denis Byrd
Gerrit Graham ... James Byrd
Loretta Tupper Loretta Tupper ... Grandma
Captain Haggerty ... Policeman
Theresa Saldana ... Judy
Kari Borg Kari Borg ... Swedish Nurse
Constance Ilowitz Constance Ilowitz ... Lawyer's Secretary
Kim Herbert Kim Herbert ... Biker
Ross Barnes Ross Barnes ... Mark
Stephen Le May Stephen Le May ... Matthew
Charlie Loventhal Charlie Loventhal ... Thomas (as Charles Loventhal)
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Storyline

Keith Gordon is a creative young man who films the oddball doings of his family and peers. "The Maestro" appears frequently to give him pointers on his techniques. It's almost a film about a young man making the film. Written by David Spalding <http://korova.com/film>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

filmmaking | independent film | See All (2) »

Taglines:

Brian de Palma's comedy that catches every body in the act!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 April 1980 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Maestro See more »

Filming Locations:

Bronxville, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$400,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$89,134, 31 December 1980
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

SLC See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kirk Douglas was brought on after much debate, mostly concerning costs, but Douglas ended up becoming an investor in the film as well. See more »

Quotes

James Byrd: Ordinarily I'd masticate these vegetables, but I had a little accident with my jaw.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
a fun trifle from Mr. De Palma that takes advantage of inexperience
24 February 2008 | by MisterWhiplashSee all my reviews

The bulk of the crew on Brian De Palma's Home Movies were his college students, but if you asked me where it looks it the most it's hard to say. De Palma decided to make it a challenge in as much that he thrusted these kids (one of whom Mark Romanek) into their first real foray into film-making, but he also lessened some of the possible stress on the situation in two ways: he took some of the same freewheeling, seemingly improvisational approach that he took with his early satires (the great Hi, Mom and the decent Greetings), and he also made it a silly comedy based around his obsessions and personal history. It's a send-up of self-made stardom, adultery, male dominant control, and the craftiness in the craft of film-making, and it's very funny.

But to say how funny it is or why would have to reveal too much of the plot, which I'd rather leave open ended for those who might find this in their local video store's obscure picks. All I'll say is that Kirk Douglas plays the Maestro (introduced by a hilarious lot of egotistical opening titles), teaching a class about how he faltered in getting a young man, Dennis Bird (Keith Gordon) to move on from being just an "extra" in his life to being the star of his own making. Gordon's Dennis is the youngest in the Bird family, which includes an adulterous doctor father, a weepy and half-crazy (and half all-for-attention) mother, and a brother, James (the scene stealing meat-head played by Gerrit Graham with the same tenacity as in Phantom of Paradise), who teaches a summer class on Spartanism to a bunch of impressionable youths. He's also getting engaged to Kristina (always gorgeous Nancy Allen), but there's some trouble and friction in their possible "socio-economic contract".

Meanwhile, Dennis meets the Maestro while acting as a Peeping Tom up in a tree, and becomes an amateur filmmaker. Now, as this all sounds, it's a little stuck together in cheap style and rough edges, which adds to its charm. It's made almost as if De Palma knows it's something of a fluke, and just wants to get his students as enthusiastic as possible about the process; it wouldn't be as much fun having them on, for example, Casualtues of War. And as one of De Palma's experimental comedies, it provides for the director, through a better than expected script from his pupils, to express some of his nuttiest scenes, including some scenes where Kristina has to unleash the "rabbit", and the running gag with Gordon dressed in black face and an afro sneaking around at night. It's not anywhere near a great comedy, but for what De Palma was after it's a success.

In short, it's a low-key hoot, and De Palma fans looking for some ridiculous and crazy gags and character development won't be disappointed.


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