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

Herbert B. Leonard directed Going Home, a dull father-son melodrama, starring Robert Mitchum, Brenda Vaccaro and Jan-Michael Vincent.

Grade: C- (* out of *****)

Going Home
Going Home 1971.jpg

Theatrical release poster

Harry Graham (Mitchum), a lonely and beaten-down man. has recently been released from prison after serving time for murdering his wife years earlier.

His son, Jimmy (Vincent), who witnessed the slaying as a child, is still haunted by the crime and wants to confront his father.

Jimmy tracks Harry to run-down seashore community and finds him living in a trailer park with girlfriend Jenny (Vaccaro).

Jimmy himself suffers from serious psychological problems.  The father-son reunion leads to grim complications and utterly implausible reconciliation.

Robert Mitchum doesn’t act so much as inhabit the role with his sheer screen presence; he could have dialed his part over the phone.  Handsomer Jan-Michael Vincent, then early on in his career, is tasked with the impossible role of playing a youngster who’s both appealing and psychotic. He would become a major star in the early 1970s.


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


Directed by Herbert B. Leonard
Screenplay by Lawrence B. Marcus
Produced by Herbert B. Leonard
Cinematography Fred Jackman Jr.
Edited by Sigmund Neufeld Jr.
Music by Bill Walker

Production company: MGM

Release date: December 1, 1971

Running time: 97 minutes