7.2/10
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31 user 26 critic

Housekeeping (1987)

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After their mother commits suicide, two sisters end up living with their kind but peculiar aunt in their grandmother's old house in a small 1950s town.

Director:

Bill Forsyth

Writers:

Marilynne Robinson (novel), Bill Forsyth (screenplay)
Reviews
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christine Lahti ... Sylvie
Sara Walker ... Ruth
Andrea Burchill Andrea Burchill ... Lucille
Anne Pitoniak Anne Pitoniak ... Aunt Lily
Barbara Reese Barbara Reese ... Aunt Nona
Margot Pinvidic Margot Pinvidic ... Helen
Bill Smillie Bill Smillie ... Sheriff
Wayne Robson ... Principal
Betty Phillips Betty Phillips ... Mrs. Jardine
Karen Elizabeth Austin Karen Elizabeth Austin ... Mrs. Paterson
Dolores Drake ... Mrs. Walker (as Delores Drake)
Georgie Collins Georgie Collins ... Grandmother
Tonya Tanner Tonya Tanner ... Young Ruth
Leah Penny Leah Penny ... Young Lucille
Brian Linds Brian Linds ... Deputy Sheriff
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Storyline

In the Pacific Northwest in 1955, two young sisters, abandoned by their mother, wind up living with their Aunt Sylvie, whose views of the world and its conventions don't quite live up to most people's expectations. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>; edited by Peter Victor

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of a woman slightly distracted by the possibilities of life. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 February 1988 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Azo Min Doda See more »

Filming Locations:

British Columbia, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,083,282
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Even though this was filmed in the interior of British Columbia (Canada), the city bench scene with Christine Lahti sleeping after picking berries was actually filmed in the main square of Port Coquitlam. The city hall is adjacent to this central square on Shaughnessy Street (the main thoroughfare of this Vancouver suburb). See more »

Quotes

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 »

Crazy Credits

"For Marilynne and Fred and their two wonderful boys" See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: The Best Films of 1987 (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

SPARROW IN THE TREETOP
Written by Bob Merrill
Performed by Guy Mitchell
Courtesy of Coombe Music International Limited, London
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Best use of "Goodnight Irene" in the history of film
3 March 2001 | by adam1117See all my reviews

Though the box (identifying it as "A tidy comedy") is one of the most flagrant cases of false advertising ever, this is a wonderful movie. Set a bit after 1960 (you can tell because the song the mother sings in the ten-years-before opening was a hit in 1950) in a small town that hasn't caught up with the rest of the world yet, it shows a woman who isn't so much a free spirit as a person who just can't settle into basic routine. Mentally ill? Maybe, maybe not. But, if so, it's a pretty swell madness. Beautifully shot, wonderfully acted. Haunting is an excellent word. Just don't get it expecting a tidy comedy, whatever you do.


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