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Breaking Home Ties

Breaking Home Ties

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Breaking Home Ties Inspired by a Norman Rockwell painting, this 1950s coming of age drama centers on a young man leaving home to attend college, where he will learn the lessons in becoming a man. While his family must deal with a life threatening illness.

STARS: Jason Robards, Eva Marie Saint, Doug McKeon

95 min | Drama | 1987 | Color


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wonderful coming of age story
Breaking Home Ties This is a wonderful coming of age story. I am sure many identified with some part of the story, either leaving home for the first time, the loss of a parent, or first love. You really cared about the people in the story, and I found myself wondering what the future would bring for them.

Conceptually Very Near To Rockwell’s Original Illustration, Honoured Here By This Luminous Film.
A work produced for television wherein all connected with it might be proud, this highly nostalgic and sentimental piece utilizes original characters and situations drawn from the imagination of its writer and director John Wilder, directly derived from a well-known Norman Rockwell illustration that occupied the 25 September 1954 front cover of the Saturday Evening Post. The painting represents a father and son seated upon an old pickup truck’s running board, obviously waiting for the appearance of a train, the lad clearly excited about his forthcoming journey, his father solemn, and the action opens with the illustration’s figures becoming animated as we see Lloyd Welles (Jason Robards, Jr.) and his son Lonnie (Doug McKeon) preparing to separate, valise-toting Lonnie off to a university, having high hopes for his future, as have had many such young men from U.S. farms through the years, and this tautly plotted and executed production depicts the sorrow to his parents Lloyd and Emma (Eva Marie Saint with a typically strong performance) that is caused by Lonnie’s departure. Emma is dying from leukemia, a condition that she keeps from her husband and son; therefore, when Lonnie is at school (on an athletic scholarship), the scenario presents emotional trials and other experiences for him separate from her grim state of health, these having additional significance by their occurring in an unfamiliar locale, while tension between Lonnie and Lloyd establishes a foundation for conflict and resolution from within the narrative. Lonnie’s character forms as he finds that his life as an adult will not be a simplistic one, and maturity will come about only if he reacts to crises in a forceful manner.

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