2 user

Hylätyt talot, autiot pihat (2000)

Summer 1944 in Finnish Karelia; after a long lull, the Soviet army launches an overwhelming offensive that throws everything into disarray. Martta has barely time to marry Aarne before she ... See full summary »


Lauri Törhönen


Lauri Törhönen (screenplay), Laila Hietamies (novel) | 2 more credits »
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

It is the summer of 1941. An eastern-Finnish machine gun company receives an order to turn in their surplus equipment. The company is transferred to the front lines. The next morning the ... See full summary »

Director: Edvin Laine
Stars: Kosti Klemelä, Heikki Savolainen, Reino Tolvanen
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

This film is the second silver screen adaption of the Finnish war book by Väinö Linna with the same name as the film. The story is based on Linna's experiences as an infantry man in the ... See full summary »

Director: Rauni Mollberg
Stars: Risto Tuorila, Pirkka-Pekka Petelius, Paavo Liski
Sauna (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

As a 25-year war between Russia and Sweden concludes, two brothers who are part of an effort to outline new border accords become undone by their actions, and their mistreatment of a young woman during their journey.

Director: Antti-Jussi Annila
Stars: Ville Virtanen, Tommi Eronen, Viktor Klimenko
Klassikko (2001)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A self-loving fictional autobiography of author Kari Hotakainen

Director: Kari Väänänen
Stars: Martti Suosalo, Janne Hyytiäinen, Matti Onnismaa
Insiders (1989)
Crime | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  
Director: Lauri Törhönen
Stars: Mikko Reitala, Ilkka Heiskanen, Niina Nurminen
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Two small-time crooks take off to Florida to escape unpaid taxes and failure.

Director: Lauri Törhönen
Stars: Kari Sorvali, Mari Rantasila, Jari Järvimaa
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A man, desperate and out of money, decides to rob a bank in the Helsinki suburb of Jakomäki. The year is 1986. He takes hostages and escapes. When the party gets to Mikkeli, they are ... See full synopsis »

Director: Lauri Törhönen
Stars: Tom Pöysti, Jonna Järnefelt, Stina Rautelin
Maverick (1994)
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Bret Maverick, needing money for a poker tournament, faces various comic mishaps and challenges, including a charming woman thief.

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, James Garner
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan couldn't save Kennedy, but he's determined not to let a clever assassin take out this president.

Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Stars: Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Lauri Törhönen
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  
Director: Lauri Törhönen
Stars: Tor Planting, Raimo Hallama, Soli Labbart


Credited cast:
Mats Långbacka Mats Långbacka ... Captain Aarne Heikkilä
Jonna Järnefelt ... Martta Heikkilä
Sari Puumalainen Sari Puumalainen ... Helmi Elisa Karhu
Carl-Kristian Rundman Carl-Kristian Rundman ... Medical Major Pekka Karjalainen
Ville Keskilä Ville Keskilä ... Private Arttu Kivojainmäki
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eija-Elina Bergholm Eija-Elina Bergholm ... Hilma
Karoliina Blackburn Karoliina Blackburn
Jesper Grimbergen Jesper Grimbergen ... Hilkka's baby
Olli Halonen Olli Halonen
Jevgeni Haukka Jevgeni Haukka ... Russian Prisoner
Anu Heiskanen Anu Heiskanen ... Hanna
Ilkka Heiskanen Ilkka Heiskanen ... Dr. Sulamaa
Pekka Huotari Pekka Huotari ... Dr. Salonen
Maria Järvenhelmi ... Leena
Jari Järvimaa Jari Järvimaa ... Chauffeur Laukkanen (as Jallu Järvimaa)


Summer 1944 in Finnish Karelia; after a long lull, the Soviet army launches an overwhelming offensive that throws everything into disarray. Martta has barely time to marry Aarne before she is evacuated with relatives Hilkka who has just given birth to a son Helmi Elisa, the children, and their grandmother. In the confusion of the retreat, the women try to hold together and cross the paths of Aarne and Arttu, the only surviving brother of war-widow Helmi Elisa. Implacably, war takes its toll of suffering and death among civilians and soldiers. Written by Eduardo Casais <eduardo.casais@nokia.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War


See all certifications »






Release Date:

11 February 2000 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Abandoned Houses, Empty Homes See more »

Filming Locations:

Hamina, Finland See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Jörn Donner Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital


Black and White (archive material)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Pekka Parikka was original choice to direct but died before production began. Producer Jörn Donner replaced him with Lauri Törhönen. See more »


Featured in Laila Hietamiehen Hylätyt talot, autiot pihat (2000) See more »


Sulle salaisuuden kertoa mä voisin
Music by George de Godzinsky
Arranged by George de Godzinsky
Lyrics by Eine Laine
Performed by Harmony Sisters & George de Godzinsky
Courtesy of Imperial
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Abandoned Houses, Empty Homes
28 December 2010 | by random_avengerSee all my reviews

Laila Hietamies (nowadays Hirvisaari) has been one of the most popular and prolific novelists in Finland since the early 1970s. A little surprisingly only one of her novels has been dramatized on the big screen although several have been made into stage plays. The sole Hietamies feature film Abandoned Houses, Empty Homes from 2000 is based on the 1982 book of the same name and was directed and written for the screen by Lauri Törhönen.

Like so many of Hietamies' stories, the film is set in the author's old home region in Finnish Karelia. In the summer of 1944 the Continuation War against the Soviets is coming to an end and most of the Finnish soldiers are well aware that they are not going to win it. A lot of civilians that were evacuated from Karelia during the Winter War have returned to their homes but are forced to leave again when the overwhelming Russian troops are approaching. The film examines the situation through a few ordinary people, both civilians and soldiers: Captain Aarne Heikkilä (Mats Långbacka) with a pregnant wife Martta (Jonna Järnefelt), the widowed Helmi Elisa Karhu (Sari Puumalainen) with a young daughter and the frustrated Medical Major Pekka Karjalainen (Carl-Kristian Rundman) whose path crosses with the others many times.

During the first half the film stays down-to-earth and plays out like a character drama rather than a battle spectacle. The technical aspects are well created and the nature scenery looks very pretty with all the green vegetation and wavy lakes. The atmosphere of defeat is not very desperate for the most part due to the women's gutsiness while confronting troubles from all around (a rapist deserter, several air raids, childbirth just before evacuation...) but when the focus is turned to the men on the front, the story gains momentum significantly. The battle scenes look adequately dangerous and the desperation grows quickly when friendly fire is equally dangerous as the enemy's attacks. I think it is often a good idea to tell a war story through the eyes of the lower ranks as opposed to decorated Generals and Commanders; this movie works as a good example of such a solution. Likewise, we do not get to see the situation from the Soviets' perspective, which only adds to their sense of crushing insuperability.

In spite of all the good things, not everything in the movie is great. Namely, some of the acting comes across as a bit stiff and theatrical, making it clear that a half-hearted dialect is not enough to make up for the lack of natural screen presence. Also, the female nudity feels a little excessive because the audience knows to expect it right from the start; I mean, it is Törhönen's directorial trademark after all. The score frequently sounds too emotional, even sentimental, and does not rise above the conventional level of musical accompaniment in films.

Nonetheless, the story of evacuation and hurtful defeat should surely hit home especially with elderly audiences that went through similar experiences in their youth (I can't help thinking about my own grandparents here). Anyone looking for the home front's point of view in the matter might also want to give the movie a look. Additionally, the authentic filming locations in Vyborg and Hamina look very nice. All in all, Abandoned Houses, Empty Homes may not be the ultimate war spectacle but remains a watchable film with an emphasis on the softer side of things as opposed to non-stop action and heroism.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed