Going Home (1971): Herbert B. Leonard’s Father-Son Melodrama, Starring Robert Mitchum and Jean-Michael Vincent

In one of his last roles, in Herbert B. Leonard’s awfully banal melodrama Going Home, Robert Mitchum plays Harry Graham, a lonely, beaten down man who has recently been released from prison, serving time for murdering his wife years back.

(1 1/2 out of *****)

Going Home
Going Home 1971.jpg

Theatrical release poster

Jan-Michael Vincent plays his son Jimmy, who’s after him seeking justice for his mother’s murder.

Finally, in the poorly conceived encounter, Jimmy tracks Harry down to a run-down seashore community where he is living like a loser, in a trailer park with his girlfriend Jenny (Brenda Vaccaro). Both father and son then realize that they have to deal with many unresolved emotional barriers in their turbulent relationship.

The only reason to see this awkward melodrama is Mitchum, though he could have played this part in his sleep.

For some inexplicable reason, Jean-Michael Vincent, an otherwise handsome talented actor, was nominated for the Golden Globe as Best Supporting Actor. To be fair, Vincent is playing an impossibly incoherent role that calls for him to be simultaneously appealing and psychotic, and his hick-ups are ridiculously staged and performed.


Robert Mitchum Harry K. Graham
Brenda Vaccaro Jenny Benson
Jan-Michael Vincent Jimmy Graham
Sally Kirkland Ann
Josh Mostel Mr. Bonelli
George Mathews Mr. Malloy
Mary Louise Wilson Mrs. Green


Produced, directed by Herbert B. Leonard
Screenplay by Lawrence B. Marcus
Cinematography Fred Jackman Jr.
Edited by Sigmund Neufeld Jr.

Production company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Release date: December 1, 1971

Running time: 97 minutes


TCM showed the movie on Sep 19, 2020.