HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
   
 
Newest Articles
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
   
 
  Home in Indiana Jeanne or June?
Year: 1944
Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Walter Brennan, Charlotte Greenwood, Ward Bond, Charles Dingle, Lon McCallister, Jeanne Crain, June Haver
Genre: Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Supposed delinquent 'Sparke' Thornton (Lon McCallister) is sent to live at a floundering farm run by his Aunt Penny (Charlotte Greenwood) and Uncle 'Thunder' Bolt (Walter Brennan). For all his bad boy antics, Sparke loves horses and is drawn to the more prosperous stable next door belonging to Thunder's arch rival. By pacifying an unruly black stallion he impresses horse trainer Jed Bruce (Ward Bond) along with the owner's beautiful daughter 'Cri-Cri' Boole (June Haver) but his rough handling of another horse angers Jed's pony-loving daughter 'Char' (Jeanne Crain) who sets him straight. Sparke learns from his mistake and displays a gentler touch with horses that sets Char's heart a-flutter. So she secretly helps Sparke mate the stallion with Thunder's ailing mare to sire a sturdy racing horse to turn their fortunes round. Time passes, as the foal grows and so do Char's feelings for Sparke even though he seemingly only has eyes for her best friend, Cri-Cri.

Home in Indiana is sort of a National Velvet for boys. Produced by Twentieth Century Fox as a robust alternative to the 'girlier' MGM classic it has an ever-so-slightly harder shell if no less gooey centre. Oscar-nominated cinematographer Edward Cronjager conjures golden glowing images of rural Indiana to elaborate upon the opening narration's assertion that horse racing at the county fair is "as American as America itself." The film evokes a simplistic yet still charming notion that the American heartland is so wholesome and invigorating it can heal physical, mental, emotional and spiritual problems. As portrayed by fresh-faced Lon McCallister, Sparke does not come across anything like as bad a boy as the script implies. Nevertheless the thrust of the plot is that the young hero needs direction just like Walter Brennan's far more convincingly troubled, depressed alcoholic is in need of salvation.

Henry Hathaway is known for sturdier westerns rather than family fare and so adds a touch of grit. Take for example Thunder's rage on discovering what Sparke has done which briefly takes the film to an unexpectedly dark place when he takes a strap to the boy then swerves into wry comedy when they emerge firm friends much to Aunt Penny's confusion. Episodic, this lacks the clearly defined character arc that makes National Velvet so much more than a film about a horse. Truth be told the sweet coming of age romance proves more engaging than the equine angle. Screenwriter Winston Miller wisely avoids labouring the love triangle and instead lets things unfold in a more gentle, observational manner well served by the endearing performances from McCallister, Jeanne Crain and June Haver. The unwavering friendship between Cri-Cri and Char and warmth between Char and her father, who without tipping his hand gently acknowledges her feelings for Sparke, add an extra dimension to the story. Given her later glamorous roles Jeanne Crain makes a surprisingly convincing tomboy while June Haver also makes a vivid impression and stirred some censorship issues at the time with her skimpy bathing suit. On the downside one could politely describe the film's portrayal of African-American characters as of its time. Once the plot gets into the nitty-gritty of racing Home in Indiana grows rather more conventional and lacks tension despite throwing a few heart-rending obstacles along the way.

McCallister, a bland yet competent lead, re-teamed with June Haver in the delightfully named Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! (1948) and went on to play a jockey once again in The Story of Seabiscuit (1949) opposite Shirley Temple, but never became a really big star.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2050 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: