Our Mother's House (1967)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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as Chalie Hook
as Hubert Hook
as Dunstan Hook
as Gerty Hook
as Gerty Hook
as Willy Hook
as Mrs. Quayle
as Miss Bailey
as Bank clerk
as Girl Friend
as Mr. Moley
as Woman client
as Man client
as Mr. Halbert
Critic Reviews for Our Mother's House
The idea ... has been done before in everything from comedies to horror movies
Audience Reviews for Our Mother's House
Complex and disturbing but very well made.
Here's another forgotten piece of film history. So many great movies get lost in the shuffle of time and an always crowded box office. They never get the attention they deserve. Some just don't get the proper media coverage or struggle to find the right audience, which I believe was the case when this was originally released in 1967. In "Our Mother's House," Mrs. Hook (Annette Carell) dies after refusing to take medicine owing to her fundamentalist beliefs. She leaves her seven orphaned children to fend for themselves. Not wanting to be put in foster homes, the siblings bury their mother in the garden and successfully keep her death a secret. When their long-lost father (Dirk Bogarde) returns, it's initially a happy reunion, as he helps perpetuate the fraud. But soon he shows his true colors -- drinking, carousing and scheming to sell the house. What a touching and disturbing film "Our Mother's House" is. Every single actor onscreen is completely invested in their role. Dirk Bogarde makes you hate the scheming loser he portrays as he lies and mistreats the children. The child actors are incredibly talented and all establish their own individual characters so that the viewer truly empathizes with them. I would consider "Our Mother's House" to be a drama with sprinkles of thrills and chills here and there. The scenes of the oldest daughter (Pamela Franklin) trying to contact their dead mother via a sort of séance add a little supernatural flavor to the movie as well. They never really tell you whether she's actually talking to the deceased or faking it to make the children listen to her. Franklin was perfect for the role and continued to freak people out as a clairvoyant in "The Legend of Hell House" a few years later. Although it's unrated, "Our Mother's House" would garner a PG at the least by today standards. It's a pretty intense film that deals with death and the effects it has on children. The movie contains light profanity, brief adult situations, alcohol and smoking, and some frightening and intense sequences. The part where the mother is lying lifeless in bed with the children surrounding her is one of the most shocking and realistic depictions of death I've ever seen onscreen. "Our Mother's House" is another fine example of a classic film somehow being overlooked by cinema enthusiasts. It's a brilliant family drama blended with just the right amount of effective creepiness to keep you in suspense. The child actors never failed to impress me as they moved from emotion to emotion. www.ersink.com
Six years after directing the brilliantly eerie "The Innocents" Jack Clayton directed the equally eerie "Our Mother's House". Seven children hide the death of their religious obsessed Mother and bury her in the garden in order not to be sent to the orphanage. For awhile they manage by themselves and go about their lives as if their Mother were still alive. They create a shrine for her in the back garden and everyday have "Mother Time" which consists of seances where it seems the mother talks to her children through one of the daughters. This changes when the children's father returns. For a short time a few of the children are convinced by him until secrets are revealed and we have a dramatic ending. The main stars of "Our Mother's House" are the excellent cast of children. These include a few familar faces, including Pamela Franklin from "The Innocents" and Mark Lester star of "Oliver", and a few not so familar. Each of the children have their own unique character traits which makes it even more special. The adult actors are also impressive. Dirk Bogarde does a brilliant job as their selfish Cockney father and Yootha Joyce, who is best known for UK sitcoms in the 1970's, is also great. You could dispute whether this is actually a horror film but it certainly is very creepy and atmospheric. The cineamatography and score only add to the uneasy feel. Finally I just want to say why is this not avaliable on DVD or VHS, it is simpling begging for a proper release! If you do have the time please vote for it to be released on the TCM site. A unique, creepy, dreadfully underated British classic. If you ever get the chance to see this rare gem then do.
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