Saturday, October 24, 2009

Our Mother's House (1967) Film Review - Dirk Bogarde

Plot Summary - Dirk Bogarde stars in this very strange, unusual British film about seven seemingly fatherless children whose mother dies and the kids, not wanting to get sent to the orphanage, bury her in the garden and continue to live on, attend school, etc. without telling anyone about her death. They build an odd shrine in the garden complete with her bedroom furniture and hold "Mother Time" prayer meetings - actually, more like seances as the oldest daughter (Pamela Franklin) contacts the mother and relays advice to the kids! The bunch start to go out of control a bit, forging mom's signature and cashing her weekly "check" at the bank, and dealing out harsh punishments like cutting off the long hair of the eight-year old-ish daughter. When the girl gets ill after the brutal haircut incident, they won't call a doctor - but the middle girl (family leader actually) gives the scoop that they actually have a father, a real beast apparently, and one of the boys contacts the man. Arriving on the scene one Charlie Hook (Bogarde), cockney horse-race gambler with a passion for women and hard drink. He takes over the family, the kids start to run wild, the middle daughter completely doesn't trust him - and with good reason as he secretly starts taking money out of the mother's savings account.

Review - Okay, this movie IS kind of weird and strange, but it's quite well done and memorable. I have seen this quite a few times before, but not in a number of years - I still remember that hair cutting scene, poor girl. The film has a sort of dark, gothic feel to it - school uniforms and large, rundown Victorian house adding to the atmosphere. Okay - what's with Dirk Bogarde's Moe-like haircut in this - seriously though, he's great as usual. Though Charlie isn't meant to be any kind of father figure, he comes across as really having a ball with these kids - I believe because Dirk Bogarde himself enjoyed making this film and working with the kids, it really does come across. Mark Lester appears in this film in the role of cute little stuttering Jiminee, expert at forging signatures! A memorable little music tune runs through this film that I still remember weeks later. Rating - 9/10 stars

1 comment:

Kate Gabrielle said...

This sounds so interesting, it's one of the few Dirk Bogarde films I haven't seen yet and now I can't wait to! :)