|Genre: War, Classics, Drama, Romance|
Directed By: Mervyn LeRoy
Written By: Sidney Kingsley
In Theaters: 29 April 1948
On Disc/Streaming: 22 June 2009
Runtime: 113 minutes
Box office: $5,594,000
Clark Gable as Col. Ulysses Delby “Lee” Johnson
Lana Turner as Lt. Jane “Snapshot” McCall
Anne Baxter as Penny Johnson
John Hodiak as Dr. Robert Sunday
Ray Collins as Lt. Col. Avery Silver
Gladys Cooper as Mrs. Kirby
Cameron Mitchell as Sgt. Monkevickz
Marshall Thompson as Sgt. McKeen
Lureen Tuttle as Miss Stoker
“Homecoming” is a 1948 romantic drama starring Clark Gable and Lana Turner.
It was the third of their four films together, and like two of the others, was about a couple caught up in World War II.
Ulysses Johnson (Clark Gable) is an American surgeon coming back from World War II. As he is sitting on the transport boat taking him back to America, he is asked by a reporter about his experiences during the war. Johnson begins to tell his story, beginning in 1941. Johnson is the chief surgeon at a hospital, a man free of emotional attachment to his patients. He joins the Army and has a cocktail party with his wife, Penny (Anne Baxter). During the party, a colleague of his, Dr. Robert Sunday (John Hodiak), accuses Johnson of being unsentimental, a hypocrite, and joining the Army out of purely selfish motives. Penny breaks up the fray and she and Johnson spend their last night together sipping cocktails.
Johnson then boards a transport ship, where he meets Lt. Jane “Snapshot” McCall (Lana Turner). Although they initially do not get along, they eventually find they have a lot in common and become fast friends. Their friendship is at numerous moments tested as they begin to fall in love with one another. After taking a trip to bathe, Johnson and Snapshot come back to the base to find that a friend of Johnson’s, Sergeant Monkevickz (Cameron Mitchell), is dying from a malaria-ruptured spleen. Johnson remembers that during his argument with Dr. Sunday, Sunday mentioned that people in Chester Village, where Monkevickz was from, were dying from malaria and being neglected by physicians. Johnson tells Snapshot that he treated Monkevicks without enough care as to treat him like a human being. To atone, Johnson asks Penny to visit Monkevickz’s father. When Penny arrives at the house, she finds Doctor Sunday there and confesses that she is jealous of Snapshot, whom Johnson has mentioned in letters, and believes that Johnson and Snapshot are having an affair.
Meanwhile, Johnson and Snapshot have grown closer and when she is reassigned to a different outfit, she and Johnson kiss. They depart, but again encounter one another in Paris. They fall back in love, but leave to rescue the 299th division, which has fallen victim to enemy fire in the Battle of the Bulge. The story turns back to Johnson returning to his home following the war as a far more world-weary man. He returns to Penny, a ghost of his former self. He apologizes to Dr. Sunday for not heeding his warnings about the malaria in Chester Village and confesses to Penny his love for Snapshot, but tells Penny that Snapshot died of a shell fragment wound. The film ends leaving the viewer to assume that Johnson and Penny patch up their differences and live happier lives.
Lana Turner plays Lt. Jane “Snapshot” Mccall.
The character of Snapshot is the most appealing of the “other woman” roles Lana Turner has played on the screen. Warm and good-natured, there’s an air of knowing wisdom about the nurse and, stripped of her usual glamour accoutements, in “Homecoming” Lana’s sex appeal comes from within. There’s a particularly charming scene midway into the film with an eager Turner and an embarrassed Gable taking separate baths amidst some Roman ruins. But her most effective moment comes in the end and Mervyn LeRoy places her deathbed scene high on the list of the most sensitively played sequences he’s ever directed.
In September 1948, Adela Rogers St. Johns wrote: “I thought Lana Turner gave one of the greatest performances ever in “Homecoming” and was burned up because I didn’t think she got enough credit.”
Heavy base makeup was a necessary evil for filming.It was required for the camera under normal circumstances, but in “Homecoming” Lana Turner was playing a war-weary nurse on the battlefields of Africa and Europe, so she got to wipe her face clean and was actually happy as can be. Getting to sleep in and skipping the 5 or 6 am makeup call always remained a pleasant memory of “Homecoming” for her. Hair the same dark blonde shade it was in “Cass Timberlane“, she sported a freshly scrubbed look, shiny-nosed, with just a dab of lipstick and the necessary eyebrows. It made her look even younger than her 26 years.
You can watch the film here.
Lana Turner did a lot of movies. She really loved being a moviestar.
Here are the most important films in which she starred. Just click the links for more info, photos and videos.
20 April 1937: A Star Is Born
9 Oct. 1937: They Won’t Forget
24 Oct. 1937: The Great Garrick
1 Jan. 1938: The Adventures of Marco Polo
22 July 1938: Love Finds Andy Hardy
12 Aug. 1938: Rich Man, Poor Girl
9 Dec. 1938: Dramatic School
28 April 1939: Calling Dr. Kildare
18 Aug. 1939: These Glamour Girls
29 Sept. 1939: Dancing Co-Ed
19 April 1940: Two Girls on Broadway
19 July 1940: We Who Are Young
25 April 1941: Ziegfeld Girl
12 Aug. 1941: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
2 Oct. 1941: Honky Tonk
18 Febr. 1942: Johnny Eager
27 Aug. 1942: Somewhere I’ll Find You
1 April 1943: Slightly Dangerous
19 Aug. 1943: Du Barry Was A Lady
13 Nov. 1943: The Youngest Profession
23 Aug. 1944: Marriage Is a Private Affair
8 March 1945: Keep Your Powder Dry
1 Oct. 1945: Week-End At The Waldorf
2 May 1946: The Postman Always Rings Twice
5 Nov. 1947 : Green Dolphin Street
1 Nov. 1947: Cass Timberlane
29 April 1948: Homecoming
20 Oct. 1948: The Three Musketeers
1 Sept. 1950: A Life Of Her Own
2 March 1951: Mr. Imperium
5 Sept. 1952: The Merry Widow
25 Dec. 1952: The Bad And The Beautiful
25 Aug. 1953: Latin Lovers
1 May 1954: Flame And The Flesh
7 Sept. 1954: Betrayed
13 May 1955: The Prodigal
4 June 1955: Sea Chase
14 Dec. 1955: The Rains Of Ranchipur
12 Jan. 1956: Diane
13 Dec. 1957: Peyton Place
30 Jan. 1958: The Lady Takes A Flyer
2 May 1958: Another Time, Another Place
30 April 1959: Imitation Of Life
23 June 1960: Portrait In Black
19 July 1961: By Love Possessed
2 Nov. 1961: Bachelor In Paradise
25 Dec. 1962: Who’s Got The Action?
24 Febr. 1965: Love Has Many Faces
27 April 1966: Madame X
30 April 1969: The Big Cube
7 Nov. 1974: Persecution
27 Oct. 1976: Bittersweet Love
31 Oct. 1980: Witches Brew
21 May 1982: Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid
Sources: Wikipedia, IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, Lana’s biography “Lana, the Lady, The Legend, The Truth“, “The Films Of Lana Turner” by Lou Valentino and “Lana Turner, The Memories, The Myths and The Movies” by Cheryl Crane.