Homecoming

Lana Turner, Clark Gable Homecoming (1948)

HOMECOMING  seemed like it couldn’t miss: collide doctors and nurses with socialites and battlefields, plot them to soap opera convention, then fill roles with a heavyweight cast.

It does kind of bounce off its target, though, despite the professional gloss laid on by MGM. Doctor Clark Gable finds passion on the front (The Big One, WW2) with bombshell Lana Turner, while back at home wife Anne Baxter frets, steams, emotes and dallies.  Kid brother John Hodiak offers counterpoint to Clark’s fooling around.

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Director Mervyn LeRoy moves the 1948 melodrama along with little energy.  Turner is only convincing in the clinches, Baxter overdoes it, Hodiak comes off best. ‘The King’ seems bored with his assignment, though his condition does score points in a few scenes where he is called upon to project world-weariness.

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Gable’s next film, Command Decision, was much better. It’s another war drama, but minus the suds and his performance there has the spark and authority that is missing here.  Turner likewise fared better in her next, The Three Musketeers.  Hodiak and Baxter were husband & wife at the time of this production.

113 minutes, with Ray Collins, Gladys Cooper, Cameron Mitchell, Marshall Thompson and Lurene Tuttle. The budget of $2,654,000 was rewarded with a ring-up of $8,910,000, fans of the star quartet taking it to #10 for the year.

27498 - Home Coming

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