No Place Like Home (1989)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 97 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Written with heartbreaking attention to detail by Ara Watson and Sam Blackwell, No Place Like Home was one of the first TV movies to direct itself to the plight of the homeless. Jeff Daniels plays a Pittsburgh apartment superintendent and aspiring electrician who loses his job -- and his home -- when the apartment building burns to the ground. Daniels, his wife Christine Lahti, and his two children (Lantz Landry and Kyndra Joy Casper) move in with Daniels' brother Scott Marlowe, but the resultant family hostilities render the situation impossible. As the family takes the downward journey from welfare hotel to homeless shelter, Daniels searches in vain for an electrician's job, Lahti takes a few stints as a waitress, and son Lantz Landry gets involved with a drug dealer. The film offers little hope or comfort, nor any pat solutions to the ever-growing homeless dilemma. The final shot in No Place Like Home is a stunner, grimly evocative of King Vidor's more upbeat finale in 1928's The Crowd. Lee Grant, director of this numbingly realistic TV movie, had earlier directed a documentary on the same subject, Down and Out in America.



America, employment, family, homelessness, street, working-class