Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Lost Movie

I grew up in NY where we had the very best TV imaginable. Million Dollar Movie which showed movies like "King Kong" and "Moby Dick" twice a day for up to (if I remember correctly) 2 weeks. We had Zacherle and Ch. 13 PBS which showed early Fritz Lang films and Japanese film retrospectives. We had the Early Show and the Late Show and monster movies on Ch. 11 and somewhere in the mix there was one movie that stood out, one movie we'd watch every time it was on. "Home Sweet Homicide"!
"Home Sweet Homicide" was the story of the 3 Carstairs children, Archie (Dean Stockwell), Dinah (Peggy Ann Garner) and April (Connie Marshall). They lived with their widowed mother, Marian, a mystery writer. The kids decide they need to help their Mom make it into the big time by getting her to solve a real murder...which conveniently happens next door. Enter, a handsome detective (Randolph Scott) and his grumpy side-kick (James Gleason). This all added up to being a very appealing and delightful film that seems to have disappeared into outer space.
 The book the film was based on was by Craig Rice, and it is one of my very favorite books. It is often available on Amazon or ebay and worth tracking down.
So, rights owners to this movie wherever you are... this is the age of DVDs, Netflix and TCM. What are you waiting for? Don't you want to earn some extra cash by releasing it from the vaults? I'm ready to hit that Paypal button whenever you do!


  1. Hi Stephanie,

    Just discovered your blog. You can order HSH from; they specialize in films never commercially released.

    I too grew up with all those local movies. I recall seeing HSH on a Saturday afternoon movie Comedy Showcase which was on Channel 5 at 2pm, late 50s to mid 60s. Whenever they'd run out of Abbott & Costello movies, they would air the likes of Olsen & Johnson, Joe E. Brown and those lousy late Laurel & Hardy films, and occasionally HSH, which I found very charming Channel 5 had a lot of Fox movies then; Channel 9 was usually RKO, Columbia and Universal). Million Dollar Movie showed the same movie several times a day for a week.

    I finally read Craig Rice's book a few summers ago, and actually found it far inferior to the Fox film which smartly tightened a rather meandering plot with too many peripheral characters and repetitive domestic scenes. Craig Rice was an interesting character and I believe the first woman mystery writer to be on the cover of TIME in 1945.

    Barbara Whiting gave an interview late in her life to Films of the Golden Age Magazine where she recounted her fond memories of making the movie and staying in touch with Lynn Bari. As you may know, HSH reunited Peggy Ann Garner and Dean Stockwell who had been in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn the year before.

    PS I've been exchanging emails with Michael Maslin for the past 3 years, and he has a link to other cartoonists' work, including Mike Lynch.

    David Pomerantz

  2. Hi David,

    Thanks for your in-depth post. Very interesting. Is HSH really available in a decent print? Years ago I bought one and it was unwatchable and was never able to get my money back. I think the guy was making 10th generation copies from a 10th generation copy. It was mostly I've been wary about buying another copy anywhere.
    Did you grow up in NY?
    Michael Maslin has links to cartoonists? I'll have to e him. I have a film society at the library where I work p/t and had one years ago when I moved to NH. My first movie for the 2nd season will be "Hanna" which I loved, so I'm excited our license covered that.
    Did you ever see "the Unseen" a creepy movie about a governess watching a couple of kids and a murder in an alley.