Homebodies (1974)

PG | 96 mins | Drama | 1974

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HISTORY

End credits include the following written statement: “We wish to thank the city of Cincinnati for its cooperation in the making of this film.”
       Principal photography took place in Cincinnati, OH, “largely on location,” as stated in a 3 Jul 1974 DV news brief. An 11 Sep 1973 DV item reported that the six lead roles were played by actors and actresses over the age of seventy who had appeared in nine hundred films, collectively, but were receiving top-billing for the first time in their careers. The film received independent financing and was the second production for Cinema Entertainment Corporation after Trick Baby (1973, see entry).
       According to a 24 Apr 1974 DV news item, Homebodies was set to play at the Cannes Film Festival’s Critic’s week, along with two other American productions: Hearts and Minds (1974, see entry) and I. F. Stone’s Weekly (1973, see entry).
       According to the 4 Sep 1974 Var review, the film opened in Cincinnati, OH, and a “carefully-orchestrated campaign” was planned for further releases in “non N.Y.” ...

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End credits include the following written statement: “We wish to thank the city of Cincinnati for its cooperation in the making of this film.”
       Principal photography took place in Cincinnati, OH, “largely on location,” as stated in a 3 Jul 1974 DV news brief. An 11 Sep 1973 DV item reported that the six lead roles were played by actors and actresses over the age of seventy who had appeared in nine hundred films, collectively, but were receiving top-billing for the first time in their careers. The film received independent financing and was the second production for Cinema Entertainment Corporation after Trick Baby (1973, see entry).
       According to a 24 Apr 1974 DV news item, Homebodies was set to play at the Cannes Film Festival’s Critic’s week, along with two other American productions: Hearts and Minds (1974, see entry) and I. F. Stone’s Weekly (1973, see entry).
       According to the 4 Sep 1974 Var review, the film opened in Cincinnati, OH, and a “carefully-orchestrated campaign” was planned for further releases in “non N.Y.” cities.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
HISTORY CREDITS
CREDIT TYPE
CREDIT
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
9 Sep 1974
p. 4719.
Daily Variety
11 Sep 1973.
---
Daily Variety
24 Apr 1974.
---
Daily Variety
3 Jul 1974.
---
Daily Variety
5 Sep 1974
p. 5, 8.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Sep 1974
p. 4.
New York Times
15 Dec 1978.
---
Time
7 Apr 1975.
---
Variety
4 Sep 1974
p. 20, 28.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Key grip
Gaffer
Cam op
Best boy
1st asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom man
Re-rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Script cont
Prod asst
Prod secy
SOURCES
SONGS
"Sassafras Sundays," music by Bernardo Segall, lyrics by Jeremy Kronsberg, sung by Billy Van.
PERFORMED BY
SONGWRITER/COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
1974
Premiere Information:
World premiere: 13 Aug 1974 in Cincinatti, OH
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Movielab
Duration(in mins):
96
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

At 522 South 24th Street, an elderly woman named Mattie Spencer watches as tenants are forced out of the apartment building next door. Miss Emily Wilkins, whose father once owned fourteen buildings in the neighborhood, reminisces to Mattie about the days when the neighborhood was classier. Peering out the window, Emily sees a skyscraper being erected down the street and hopes that elegant people will start to populate the neighborhood again. Later, Mattie eats prunes and sits on a folding chair on the sidewalk, watching construction on the skyscraper. She witnesses a construction worker, to whom she just gave a prune, fall to his death when a piece of equipment breaks. Mr. and Mrs. Loomis, an older couple who live in Mattie’s building, wonder if their apartment will be torn down in a week as planned. Mr. Loomis, the superintendent, says he plans to paint the building’s exterior regardless. As she eats dinner, Miss Emily speaks to her dead father, expressing hope that she may not have to move since the construction worker died. The next day, Miss Pollack delivers relocation notices to the tenants. After arguing with the Loomises, she goes to the apartment of Mr. Sandy, a widower who is writing a memoir about his marriage. Sandy says he cannot pack his things and unpack them in time to finish his book, so he must stay. However, Pollack insists that everyone leave that day, reminding the tenants that they have known the move-out date for weeks. Mr. Blakely, a blind resident, says he has lived there for thirty-eight years and is too old to learn a new place. Congregating in the stairwell, the tenants agree that they ...

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At 522 South 24th Street, an elderly woman named Mattie Spencer watches as tenants are forced out of the apartment building next door. Miss Emily Wilkins, whose father once owned fourteen buildings in the neighborhood, reminisces to Mattie about the days when the neighborhood was classier. Peering out the window, Emily sees a skyscraper being erected down the street and hopes that elegant people will start to populate the neighborhood again. Later, Mattie eats prunes and sits on a folding chair on the sidewalk, watching construction on the skyscraper. She witnesses a construction worker, to whom she just gave a prune, fall to his death when a piece of equipment breaks. Mr. and Mrs. Loomis, an older couple who live in Mattie’s building, wonder if their apartment will be torn down in a week as planned. Mr. Loomis, the superintendent, says he plans to paint the building’s exterior regardless. As she eats dinner, Miss Emily speaks to her dead father, expressing hope that she may not have to move since the construction worker died. The next day, Miss Pollack delivers relocation notices to the tenants. After arguing with the Loomises, she goes to the apartment of Mr. Sandy, a widower who is writing a memoir about his marriage. Sandy says he cannot pack his things and unpack them in time to finish his book, so he must stay. However, Pollack insists that everyone leave that day, reminding the tenants that they have known the move-out date for weeks. Mr. Blakely, a blind resident, says he has lived there for thirty-eight years and is too old to learn a new place. Congregating in the stairwell, the tenants agree that they have lived there too long to be forced out. Finally, Pollack knocks on Emily’s door, but Mattie says Pollack is wasting her time because Emily has not left her apartment in twenty years. Pollack leaves in a huff, threatening to send the police. The building’s gas, water, and electricity are turned off, but the tenants use candles, build fires for cooking, and collect water from outside the building. The next day, an explosion on the construction site causes an elevator to fall, killing three construction workers. The construction boss and his crew quit. Having witnessed the commotion, Mattie returns to Emily’s apartment and announces that they will be able to stay now. Meanwhile, a safety regulator informs the skyscraper’s owner, Mr. Crawford, that the elevator was inspected last week and suggests someone may have sabotaged the construction site. Crawford drives by Mattie’s building and sees Loomis painting outside. He yells at Loomis to stop wasting his time, saying he wants everyone out of the building by tomorrow morning. Miss Pollack shows up the next day with two police officers. Although most of the tenants are packed and ready to go, Mattie and Emily have disappeared. The Loomises, Mr. Sandy and Mr. Blakely are delivered to an institutional apartment building that resembles a retirement home. Returning to the building on 24th Street to look for Mattie and Emily, Pollack opens a closet door and Emily stabs her with a knife. Mattie appears, calmly observing as Pollack falls to the ground and dies. Finding Pollack’s car on the street, Mattie drives it away, taking the murder weapon with her. After driving recklessly and committing a hit-and-run, she abandons the car on a bridge and throws the knife into a trash truck. The Loomises, Mr. Sandy, and Mr. Blakely, sneak out of their new apartments and return to the old building, where Mattie shows them Pollack’s corpse. The next day, Loomis, Sandy, and Blakely steal a wheelchair and use it to remove Pollack from the building. On the same bridge where Mattie abandoned Pollack’s car, they throw the woman’s corpse into a passing train. After a party is thrown at the skyscraper site, Mattie lures Crawford into a trap at her apartment building. Hanging by his feet, Crawford tries to negotiate with Mattie and her cohorts, offering a nicer building. Refusing the offer, the tenants take Crawford back to the skyscraper, drop him into a wood crate, and bury him in wet cement. Before leaving, they realize the edge of Crawford’s foot is sticking out of the crate, so Loomis hacks it off with an axe and shoves it in his pocket. As a wrecking ball destroys the other buildings on 24th Street, Mrs. Loomis regrets killing Crawford. Mattie stops her from confessing to a police officer and, later, knocks her out with an urn containing Emily’s father’s ashes. As Mrs. Loomis suffers on a bed in Emily’s apartment, Mattie delivers a fatal blow to Sandy in order to keep him quiet. Afraid for her life, Emily leaves the building for the first time in years, running to the skyscraper. There, Mattie catches up with her on a scaffold. Although Emily argues that Mattie tried to frame her by using Emily’s urn, Mattie claims she has always put Emily’s needs before her own. A security guard stops the women from fighting as Loomis and Blakely arrive. As the four leave the construction site, Emily and Blakely say Mattie had no right to kill Mrs. Loomis, but Mattie insists that she will kill anyone who gets in her way. Approaching the street, Loomis, Blakely, and Emily throw Mattie in front of a truck; however, the truck stops and Mattie remains unscathed. In a park, Mattie tries to flee in a paddleboat, but the others catch up to her and drown her. When the wrecking ball finally destroys their apartment building, Emily, Blakely, and Loomis walk out. In an alley, they meet an older couple whose building is scheduled to be destroyed in two months. Blakely suggests they move in anyway, as Mattie appears in the alley, still alive.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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