Home Sweet Homicide (1946)

Genres - Adventure, Children's/Family, Comedy, Mystery  |   Run Time - 85 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Although Home Sweet Homicide is really no better than dozens of other standard-issue mystery flicks, it seems to strike a chord with many viewers, especially those who initially experience Homicide while they are in the same age group as the trio of children it has as its stars. Truth to tell, there's little to the script that's exceptional. Certainly the basic premise is a sound one, and it's executed in a perfectly acceptable way. At the same time, however, nothing really interesting or unusual occurs in the execution -- and portions of it are entirely predictable. Lloyd Bacon's direction is smooth but not terribly exciting. Still, Peggy Ann Garner, Dean Stockwell and Connie Marshall are all extremely winning, and Garner and Stockwell in particular perform with flair. Of the adults, James Gleason is his usual dependable self; Lynn Bari and Randolph Scott look good and do what is asked of them, but their work is adequate, no more. With nothing more going for it, Homicide should be instantly forgettable -- and yet it sticks in the head for days afterward, with bits of dialogue or remembrances of a moment from Garner or Stockwell bringing a pleasant smile to the lips. For all its flaws and commonplaces, Homicide has a small charm about it that lingers.