- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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A Near Masterpiece with a Great Actress
I first saw this on a local Boston TV movie anthology that aired Friday nights called, "Adult Theatre" I was 14, it was 1965. I fell in love with Simmons then and there and have since seen all her films many times, and also had the pleasure of seeing her as Desir�e Armfeldt in the US tour of "A Little Night Music" in my early 20's/ The novel "Home Before Dark" became a favourite in my teens and 20's, and that the screenplay was written by Eileen Bassing, who wrote the novel, and her screenwriter husband Robert Bassing made for a superior script. But it was Simmons's burning intensity as Charlotte that galvanised the cast so it could overcome Mervyn LeRoy's bland direction; Dan O'Herlihy is superb as Arnold Bronn, Charlotte's husband, Rhonda Fleming is a fine Joan, her step-sister, and even the talentless and wooden Efrem Zimbalist comes briefly alive in this film. There seems to be some misinformation in previous comments; Simmons's husband and sister-in-law were NOT having an affair; there was no physical infidelity. It is made plain that Fleming's Joan knows herself to be in love with Arnold, but Arnold, though he lusts after her, hasn't figured it out yet, nor that he actually loves her. Charlotte's suspicions are based on fact -- they ARE in love -- but there is no physical contact between them at all until after Charlotte's Christmas Eve breakdown in The Ritz Carlton in Boston. As a Bostonian the film always gives me a great deal of pleasure because that is the Boston in which I grew up, and little of it is left now.
Great Ensemble, Jean Simmons best performance!
I don't think the TCM article on this movie is very good. There is not really any Gaslight treatment going on, just poor Charlotte comes home to the same household situation that drove her crazy in the first place. No one wants her to be ill, they just don't know how to handle her, and most important, they don't understand her, because for so long Charlotte herself tried to be something she was not. It's realistic. The two people who are most helpful are her old flame who knew her long before, so knows her real personality, and the new professor who is learning about her all anew. There was some criticism of the bland cinematography in the article too. I'm no expert - the author may be correct - but all I gleaned from the photography was that it was very austere: the winter cold , is the same coldness (or lack of comfort) Charlotte gets from her husband, family, friends and town people. I cannot recommend this film highly enough!
What A Twisted Relationship
No wonder she had to seek mental health treatment.What a household.Should have kicked hubby's sleazy butt to the curb.
Jean Simmons is captivating
- John Sauls
I had never seen this movie before and don't watch TV during the day but I was so captivated by her performance and as someone mentioned, the screenplay. Great film! John
Eerie and riveting film!
Jean Simmons gives the performance of her career in this excellent film. She perfectly executes the fear one must feel when leaving the security of an institution after a year there and, yet, one wonders if she wasn't there because of all the suspicions she had when she went in for care. Those suspicions are borne out as truths when she comes home again. There is also the question of her wealth which is only hinted at in the film but is obvious. This entire family clan is dependent on her home and her money. When she finally realizes her husband is truly having an affair and that her step-sister is the paramour with the step-mother complicit in the covering up of the entire matter, Simmons displays a strength we didn't see earlier in the film. I particularly liked Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. in this film, as his character is such a good man who helps her see the life she only lives on fringes of the mess at her home. I gave this film four stars because of the way Jean Simmons draws you in at every moment she is on the screen. Excellent screenplay here!
Home Before Dark (Jean Simmons)
This is one of Jean Simmons' best performances. The movie story line covers every aspect of marriage you can think of. I bought a "crap" copy of this on ebay and after a couple of watchings it became corrupted. I would really like to have a decent copy of this movie or to see it again without the "crap". Here's hoping you will obtain the rights and show this movie soon.
Home Before Dark
- Gwen Black
An excellent film. When will it be shown again?
Home Before Dark
Wonderful movie. Thanks to TCM for showing it. I requested it a few months back so I'm thrilled they finally showed it.
home before dark/jean simmons
- K. Connor
i agree with the others. a very good movie. there is so much trash available on dvd. it is a shame that excellent titles are missing.
Home Before Dark w/ Jean Simmons
- Rita Gowen
TBS used to show this movie around Christmastime every year, but the last time I saw it was in the late '80s. I wish TCM would show this movie. Also, I would pay a premium for a DVD of it. I love the movie and have been looking for it all these years. It seems very unfair not to let folks have it.
home before dark
i just read the review of a previous fan about the movie "home before dark" with jean simmons. i too have not seen this movie in at least 15 yrs. please put this movie on your shedule. it is truly an underated movie. it should be shown because it is one of the best that i have seen.
One of Jean Simmons' Best!
This is a terrific movie that touches on several emotional themes: belonging, mental illness, love, jealousy, shame. Please make it available to view and purchase!
please show this movie again
- susan fahy
I have not seen this movie in over 20 years and it still haunts me. Have tried to find it to purchase and not been successful. It is a dark story but relevant.
Home Before Dark--Please!!
- sandra miller
The last time this wonderful movie was shown was when Ronald Reagan was President. I am still waiting to see it again, am getting older every day, and time is running out! Supposedly it is in the vault--please share it with us! Skip some of the repeats, and show this gem! Thank you.
One of the best......
This is a wonderful movie. I taped it when I was very young. I would like it on DVD. Jean Simmons acting is Superb........
Best female performance EVER
Jean Simmons gives the performance of her life in this story of a woman who's unrequited love for her husband drives her mad..the film is like reading a good interesting novel that you can't put down I havent seen this one in decades and wish Turner would get the rights to show this...It's a winner,...
Home Before Dark
- Diane Graham
This movie is right up at the top of my list of favorites. I used to see it on TV late nights, but not in years. Please show it! I would love to buy a copy of this movie. The book was a huge seller. Please bring back this entertaining movie!
Home before dark
please, please find and play the Movie Home before dark. I have waited and waited for this movie to play. Is there some reason it can not be played.please inform the public. This movie is truly a classic. Thank you Janie
Robert Osbourne would love this film
- Alice Brazier
I would love to see this film on TCM and to hear Mr. Osbourne's critique. Jean Simmons is a great actress and great in this film. I remember it fondly.
Home Before Dark
Please, TCM, with all the movies you show over and over and over, you rarely ever air a new movie. Home Before Dark is a wonderful movie, and you are doing a dis-service to your fans when you don't respond to their appeals to show one of their favorites. The fact it is in your movie vault tells me it is available for televising. Jean Simmons has made a great number of films you show over and over, but rarely televise many of them. Hilda Crane is another one you never air. I am disappointed in your selections of repeats during the past year. It is time for some new movies, your list is becoming stale.
Home Before Dark
- Marie Mallett
I can't understand why you can't get a copy of this movie. Come on, it was made in the 50's. Maybe Jean Simmons has a copy??!!!! Would love to see it again!. Heck, I'd buy it if it were out on DVD. Bet a lot of other people would as well.
- Ann Brown
Jean Simmons as a Cinderella-like ex-mental patient, complete with a wicked stepmother and stepsister, who steal her house and her husband! (Dan O'Herlihy in a wonderfully caddish performance). Efrem Zimbalist is the dishy Jewish outsider who befriends Jean, and helps her see through the confusion in her mind's eye. The art direction is effective, creating a stark, cold, wintry, New England college town. When Jean ditches the blonde wig for her real brunette tresses we feel as if she washed her emotional trauma from her head.
Home Before Dark. (1958)
- Syd Barrett
This was a great movie. The opening was filmed at danvers State Hospital and has some great shots of this wonderful Kirkbride masterpiece. Watching it you would think it was filmed in the 1930's not the late 1950's. The movie is interesting with bits of dark humor mixed in. It shows the attitudes of people towards a woman who was in a mental institution in the 50's. TCM should try to get as copy of it to show. Jean Simmons gives an outstanding performance.