Homecoming (1948)

Genres - Drama, War  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama, Romantic Drama, War Drama  |   Release Date - May 1, 1948 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 113 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Although Homecoming was a big box office hit in its day, it's actually a fairly dull film. As is so often the case, the blame rests primarily on the material, in this case the treacly soap opera concocted by Paul Osborn and Jan Lustig from the Sidney Kingsley story. Homecoming makes claims to being a sensitive drama about the issues confronting men returning from war, but it uses that setting for sheer, unadulterated melodrama, and doesn't sacrifice any occasion to bring out tired cliché after tired cliché from the soap opera handbook. Director Mervyn LeRoy doesn't try to battle the soapiness of the material, which is probably just as well, but opts instead to play it for all its worth, never missing an opportunity to highlight his handsome leading man and gorgeous leading lady in the most flattering way possible. (He doesn't do too shabbily by second leads Anne Baxter and John Hodiak either.) But it's Clark Gable and Lana Turner that drive this movie, pushing it with all their considerable movie star skill and turning in a couple of pretty fine performances. It doesn't make Homecoming good, but it certainly makes it a heck of a lot more palatable.