William L. Newman | Mesquite, Tx United States | 07/21/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"While this movie is fair. IT IS NOT THE HAYLEY MILLS MOVIE. It came up on a Hayley Mills search and I jumped on it. My mistake."
This is not the Hayley Mills - Disney version
bookloversfriend | United States | 02/24/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, so this is not the Hayley Mills - Disney version. Get over it. If you want the Hayley Mills version, buy the Hayley Mills version.
If you are more interested in Back Home, here is my assessment:
This version avoids two of the most serious mistakes in the Disney version: (1) In the Disney version, the girl who plays Rusty (who is supposed to be a British girl who spent 5 years in Connecticutt and then returned to Britain) speaks with a decidedly California accent throughout the film. This grates every time the character opens her mouth. In the present version, the girl has a mixture of British and American accent, which is appropriate.
(2) In the Disney version, Rusty's behavior at school is anachronistic. Maybe a 1980's junior high American would behave the way she did; a 1940's girl never would. Examples: she clomps into the (principal's) headmistress's office, bellows out a "Hi!" and plops herself down in a chair. A real child of the time would have entered quietly and deferentially and would have waited to be asked to sit. Example: no girl of the time would have marched into a dorm room full of strangers and started talking. She would have said hello and then waited to get the lay of the land to know how to proceed. The present version avoids both these mistakes.
That said, the present version is not really Rusty's story. It is an ensemble piece about assorted person's reactions to the end of the war. As such, the screenwriter has thrown out a great idea and replaced it with a mundane one. The title "Back Home" has little applicability to this movie. The movie has a brief, episodic quality, more like a summary than a story.
There are some good moments: Peggy finally standing up to Roger at the end, and life in Devon at the end. There are some DVD features: a ten-minute interview with the author, Michelle Magorian, a biography and bibliography of Magorian, cast bios, etc.
What we need is a version of this excellent story that avoids the problems of both movie versions. A version that follows the book faithfully would be a big improvement, but other improvements could be made as well.
Pretty good - from someone who has not seen the Hayley Mills
M. Edwards | South Carolina | 07/15/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First, let me say that I have not seen the Hayley Mills version of this film, nor have I read the book. So I do not know how it compares to those versions of the story. Ergo at face value this move is pretty good. I wouldn't give it five stars, but we did enjoy it very much. The acting was excellent by some and somewhat mediocre by others (specifically the girl who plays Rusty). But, all in all, one did get a good sense of the tension and difficulties that the family had when returning to one another in England at the end of World War II. Some characters were not developed enough, and I have the feeling that this accordingly could have been made into a mini-series instead of just a 90-minute movie. But it was enjoyable and had beautiful scenery and period costumes."